Living in a foreign country is to constantly be meeting otherness. But then this is true of life no matter where one lives. Sometimes to reach beyond otherness is a conscious practice, and sometimes it is handed quite easily. And when another extends it, or when it falls to us so easily, it then becomes easier to hand it off again.
Today on the bike path a dachshund was running full force along the grass. I couldn't help but smile at the cuteness and at the elderly man walking calmly behind the four rapidly moving little legs. He saw me, and we shared a moment of eye contact, of universal understanding for things that are cute. And I took that with me and used that courage and feeling of belonging to ask a woman in the grocery store to tell me what was in a rice ball when I couldn't read the kanji. And she was happy to help to help me as I opened to needing to her help. And otherness was bridged by luck and by my own hand. I'm thankful for its coming when it comes. I hope I will come to create it fully of my own accord wherever I go and in whatever situation I may find myself.