Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2009

The Dream Chronicle - Final Visit

This is the last installment in this Dream Chronicle series. As all the previous dreams in this series, everything in the dream felt real. In all previous dreams, I was either woken up by my Husband or because I could not breathe. However, in this last dream, I didn't wake up in a panic. The Dream I was taking care of a dog. I could hear the dog in the hallway and went out of the room to see what was happening. As I stepped out into the hallway, a pair or arms came out from the wall behind me and set hold of me. I could feel the weight of the arms around me which made it difficult for me to breathe. I could hear my heartbeat racing and I started to panic. The hold only became stronger. Soon, I somehow understood that no harm was meant to me and that this was my Father saying Goodbye. I stopped struggling and was able to catch my breath. There were no words from him, only this last Fatherly hug. I clearly remember talking to him and saying my last goodbye. At that p


Living in Japan has taught me that culture defines how we communicate our feelings. A Japanese man was telling me how he likes to visit his family's grave by himself. It allows him to clear his mind and relieve stress. He said he felt "purified." I immediately thought he should say he felt "peaceful." But after listening to his reasons for his feelings, I concluded purification was the best word. It is a process of letting go, cleansing the soul, and moving forward. So this move is my purification. I spend everyday going through my stuff and deciding what I want to keep. Every tactile object has a purpose, but I can't keep everything. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at this task right now. At the same time, I am feeling relieved at having less. My closet and art studio are better organized. And I can't help but ask, "Why was I keeping all that stuff in the first place?" In previous moves, we've kept almost everything whic

Enoki Mushrooms

Take means mushroom in Japanese and there are many varieties to eat here. I find the shape and color of the Enoki mushrooms to be the most interesting. It takes 60 days to cultivate Enokitake in small containers. I took this photo under artificial lighting and edited it in IrfanView. For more shadow shots from around the world, visit Hey Harriet's blog .

Traveling with a cat abroad to Japan, Mexico or the U.S.A.

Last month, I had to buy a new pet porter for two reasons: the handle on the old one was broken, and the old pet porter was bigger than the allowed carry-on size for United Airlines. It took two weeks for Sputnik to adopt the new one over the old one, but she is finally going into the new one throughout the day to hang out in there. Hurray! We visited the Vet last Monday, and she took her first trip in the new pet porter. She has two more Vet visits in preparation for the Overseas move. My poor baby. In case, someone might be looking for this information, I am posting all the links I found for traveling with your pet to Japan, Mexico or the U.S.A. with a Cat. **right click on your mouse to open in a new window. Japan Japanese Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) is the official bureau which oversees the import/export of pets into Japan. They require advance notice of arrival to the airport with a pet: "When trying to import dogs or cats, you must submit advance no

The Jump

Fear 12 years old, Swimming lessons, standing on the diving board. I wrote the above poem in 2002. My poem and Ian McNemar's photo fit how I feel now: apprehensive, uncertain, hopeful, determined. In May, I wrote about identity and change . Whether to make a major change in our life has continued to be our daily debate. We've been in Japan for seven years now. I have grown into a comfortable routine. When I was in fourth grade, I almost drowned after going down the slide into the deep end of the pool. That lead to immediate swimming lessons. Once we had learned to swim, we had to take one final test: the high dive. Change feels like that first jump off of the Olympic-like high dive. Standing at the edge of the diving board, high above the water, the idea of letting go and jumping was my biggest fear. The teacher counted down, 3 ... 2 ...1. I hesitated and she shouted, "You'll be O.K. You can swim." So that is what we are going to do . . . jump

Sputnik, my siamese cat, looking pensive

Autumn arrived last week. In summer, it is too hot to be near the window, but now that the temperatures have cooled, Sputnik spends the mornings on her bed by the patio window. I wonder what she is thinking? To see more pets from around the world, please visit Pet Pride's blog .

Hanging the Futon out to Air

Sunny days have been far and few this summer. The rainy season has claimed every month since April. Hurray for the sun coming out Today! On sunny days you can see futons hanging on balconies to air out. On my way to work, I caught sight of these hanging futons and their subtle shadows. They are attached by strong clips to prevent them from dropping or being taken away in a gust of wind. To see more shadows from around the world, visit Hey Harriet's Blog .

Otomegahama on Miyato Island in Higashi Matsushima

20 years ago in August, we were living in a small city North of Tokyo. We had decided to travel 4 hours up North near Matsushima and find a place to camp out at an unknown, hard to get to, beach. Camping out on the private beach was quiet and beautiful. We were the only ones there. Our only mistake was we hadn't brought a tent or any bug repellent. The first morning I woke up with a swollen chin from some bug bite. The third morning, my husband woke up with a swollen eye. At that point, we decided we had better head on home. I had written a letter to my Mom in August 1989 describing our trip. Recently, I came across this letter at my Mom's house. Now we live less than an hour away from Matsushima. Last month, we made the same trip we had done 20 years ago! This time we rented bikes. There is a bike trail along the entire island. We passed spectacular, green rice fields along the way. It took us an hour on the bikes to reach the trail head. We walked