Will J. J.

Day-to-day musings and occasional short stories for your delight.


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Car Window

Car Window

 

Hey guys,

 

Today I wanted to share a poem I’ve been working on. I had a thought recently about the very essence of riding in a car, and how much that has changed for me since I was a little boy. This poem is a translation of that thought’s conclusion. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

Car Window

 

Gazing through to the world beyond,

The glass window, ever beside you,

Cruising down the winding asphalt,

Hills and plains rolling gently past.

 

Shifting focus to sights nearby,

A patch of grass, by the roadside,

A branching tree, atop the green.

At last, you draw them into view,

Out of the constant blur of speed,

Reaching out to them with your eyes,

A lone moment of clarity,

Before they’re gone, swept behind you.

 

Your gaze drifts into the distance,

Houses clustered, etching the bluffs,

Faraway mountains, standing tall,

Massive cities, sprawling and bright.

Passing slowly, distant landmarks,

As if you were barely moving.

 

Riding up familiar roadways,

Fingers tracing along the glass,

On the cold, wintry weather days.

Every bump and turn, routine,

The daily trip you know so well.

New, unknown routes still excite you,

Concrete webbed for thousands of miles,

Skirting peaks and dodging water.

 

Years pass, your position changes,

Passenger to watchful driver,

Your gaze forward, the road ahead,

Fewer moments to peer aside,

Allowing your mind to wander,

And take in the beautiful view.

 

But when you do, so seldom now,

You recall that soothing feeling,

The world passing, both fast and slow.

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Your Name – Kimi No Na Wa.

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You guys might not know this about me, but I love movies. They are, hands down, my favorite form of media. A couple of weeks ago, I was on a flight back from New York City with Emily, and I found a Japanese movie called Your Name (also known as Kimi No Na Wa.) on the in-flight screen on the seat in front of me. The title immediately rang a bell because I’m a fan of anime and had heard that this one was insanely popular in Japan, breaking all kinds of box office records, and I had seen other films by the director, Makoto Shinkai.

 

I started the movie, expecting to watch it casually, because, let’s be honest, you don’t usually watch a movie on a plane expecting to be the most engaged. I was dead wrong. From the very first scene, I was sucked right in, and I was just praying the flight wouldn’t end before I finished the movie. At one point, I was actually crying and clutching the seat in front of me with both hands. It was an intense experience, an incredible movie, and it finished just before we landed. What I didn’t realize is that it won’t be released in the U.S. until April 7th, so no one I know has seen it yet. It has been KILLING me not having anyone to talk about this movie with, because it’s downright amazing.

 

Your Name is a fantasy, drama, romance story about two high schoolers in Japan who begin waking up in each other’s bodies at random, and the two must adapt their lives around each other while building an unlikely connection. The two are bound by fate, but kept apart by more than just distance. The premise might sound silly or overly sentimental, but instead, the result is genius. I don’t dare divulge more of the plot, because the film reveals itself in such beautiful ways that it would be a crime to spoil. What I can say is that the characters are equal parts hilarious and authentic, the animation is astonishing, and the story is heartbreaking, thrilling, and satisfying. Even saying that, though, doesn’t really capture the essence of what makes it great. This is so much more than just a romance, and it would be a shame to try and cram it into that category alone. 

 

Your Name is a special movie. It’s ambitious, original, honest, and vivid. This movie tapped into so many of the themes I cherish most, including love, time, and dreams. It explored love in such a pure yet genuine state that I have never seen portrayed nearly so well. Quite frankly, this movie reminded me of some of my deepest beliefs that I hadn’t really thought about in ages.

 

Your Name is my new favorite movie, and I haven’t had a new favorite movie in over a decade. I take favorites very seriously. Rest assured, when it comes to the U.S. on April 7th, I will be the first in line to see it again. I recommend you check it out too 🙂


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The 5 Best Places To Find Quotes

Day 2997

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Art by Tang Yau Hoong 

Quotes have been a big part of my life for many years. Growing up, whenever I felt especially emotional, I would seek guidance in quotes. The way I saw it, no matter my emotional state or particular circumstances, there must have been others before me who had experienced the same feeling. I would search for quotes that resonated with my sentiments in the moment to better understand what it was going through and perhaps gain a new perspective.

Great quotes can be short, memorable, and easily digestible, a perfect recipe in our fast-paced world. So, whether you are searching for comforting words to help you through hard times, want to sound smart and cultured, or just enjoy reading well-worded thoughts, here are the 5 best places to find quotes.

 

1. thinkexist.com

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If you’re looking for something meaningful, but you don’t know exactly what that meaning is, this is where I would start. This site is awesome. It focuses on quotes from celebrities and historical figures, and the homepage features quotes from popular personalities who were born on the same day that you access the site. If you click on the date just below the quotes, you will be redirected to even more birthday quotes along with some from people who died on that day. The search functionality by author and keyword is great and the database on this site is massive. I still look here first when I am searching for inspiration.

 

2. quotegarden.com 

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Quotegarden is an old school site, and it certainly shows in the site’s design, but don’t let that put you off. There is a lot to admire here. Every quote on the site is organized into one of 100+ categories listed, and those categories group quotes based on theme and content rather than keyword. That’s what makes this site a gem. By staying so old-fashioned, it actually manages to provide something fresh. I have found a ton of quotes here that I would never have found or thought to look for elsewhere.

 

3. robertbrault.com

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You wouldn’t think that a collection of quotes written by a single person would be expansive enough to warrant inclusion on this list, but this site deserves it. Robertbrault.com is also pretty basic looking, but the man’s thoughts are quirky, insightful, funny, and occasionally heartbreaking. Any lover of words will appreciate his writing style as well.

 

4. goodreads.com/quotes

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Goodreads is a social network for anyone who likes books, from the occasional reader to the diehard bookworm. You can rate, review, catalog books you’ve read, list others you’d like to read, and much more. One of my favorite parts of this site, however, is the quotes page, and you can access it without needing an account. You’ll find a massive list of quotes added by Goodreads members. You can also search by keyword and author or use the tabs to scan through quotes recently added to the catalog and liked. The site is much prettier and easier to navigate than those listed above, and the best part is that Goodreads users are constantly expanding the collection of quotes.

 

5. stumbleupon.com/interest/quotes

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If you haven’t heard of StumbleUpon, you are missing out. This is one of my absolute favorite sites and has been for a number of years. StumbleUpon allows you to set up a profile based on your interests, and the site finds and recommends various pages based on the interests you selected. You don’t need an account to access the quotes page, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention everything else this wonderful site does. The quotes interest has thousands of pages linked to it, and many include not only the quotes themselves but also awesome graphic designs and photographs to emphasize those quotes. On StumbleUpon, any user can add any website to an interest, so the number of quotes along with the site as a whole are always growing. If you don’t have an account, I would highly recommend signing up. I’ve found all sorts of fascinating pages through this site.