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I swear the people who created Arrival must have also gone to the Teshima Art Museum. It was surreal. I didn’t really know what to expect when arriving because there’s little information about the art space online. I kind of just expected to walk through a beautiful, futuristic architectural structure. When the woman who greeted me at the entrance performed the same rehearsed speech to me that I had overheard here share with the few visitors before me, she told me to watch out for the water, white balls, and small plates. I nodded and hid my confusion. I had to take my shoes off before entering, even though the exhibit wasn’t really inside nor outside. Once I entered, I saw others sitting on the ground staring at the ground. I saw others walking in slow motion around the space. I soon realized that the ground had tiny holes in it and these holes were slowly oozing out water droplets. The natural light pouring in through the two huge holes in the ceiling of the structure illuminated the droplets in the most glorious way. The droplets, once large enough, would start to move because of their weight and the uneven ground. They would take on the form of a snake or eel and glide along the smooth stone towards a larger puddle of other small droplets. I had no words. I could’ve watched it all day.

Also on Teshima Island was this archive of heart beats. It was a beautiful secluded tiny building where you could listen to the heart beats of other humans categorized by where they’re from or you could record your own to submit to the archive. And there was a room that was playing a rotating selection of heart beats. The room was long like a hallway and was completely dark. Except for a single light bulb that would flash at every heartbeat. There were small square mirrors scattered over the walls to brighten up the light. It was so spooky. I was afraid to walk in the room. It really felt like a horror scene.

When I got there and was presented with the ticket options, I choose the less expensive one that did not include the chance to record my own heartbeat. When I was leaving the place, part of me regretted not leaving my heart beat on this island. How cool would that me for someone who I vaguely know to go there and find it? Sounds like the start to some crazy love story. But I eventually changed my perspective and thought how weird it is for me to pay extra for me to give them the sound of my heart. That is proof of my life and why should that be digitized into a file taking up more space on someone’s hard drive who may not even really care about my life?

Night in Kobe. I went to a Jazz Club because after seeing many symbols of Jazz throughout the city and in advertisements, I realized it was a city known for it. The musicians were performing What a Wonderful World, All My Loving, and L.O.V.E. It’s so crazy to me how music really is a universal language. Here I am, in this jazz club of all older Japanese people, appreciating music from the States.