Balancing on Shaky Ground

I am feeling more at home here, in Japan. With all of the unexpected changes of my last five years, as well as the recent political upheaval, my trips to Tokyo are consistency.

2PatriciaKamakuraAnother consistency - my trip to Kamakura to sit before the Diabutsu (The Great Buddha). Each time I've traveled to Tokyo, this is a sort of pilgrimage to me, where I can process events and emotions. It's also a break from the big city life. Here, in this ocean bay tourist area, there are more families and people dressed casually.

I had the good fortune of meeting some new friends. Patricia and Victor, from Mexico City, who were also headed to Kamakura. They had never been to Japan and were struggling with the strange food adventures in Tokyo, often escaping to safety of McDonalds. It's really hard to know what kind of restaurant you are standing in front of, let alone feeling confident to go in and look stupid, perhaps not being able to read a menu or order something fairly edible. (One time, I thought I was ordering grilled chicken on a stick and ended up being served boiled chicken skin on cold noodles!) So, it was my delight and pleasure that I could actually guide this young couple through the customs and polite words that brought a fabulous experience at a Thai Restaurant. We had a second-story ocean view, and left with happy bellies and warm hearts. I guess I've learned more of the language and manners than I realized.


Our walk along the bay in Kamakura – seaweed drying on racks.

The day before Valentine's, I particularly liked this drawing in the sand.

My workshops are going well, introducing new art and movement activities to actualize the concepts I teach. Students here really embrace new ideas and apply them readily to their lives. They are so appreciative when someone is encouraging rather than critical. I get treated like some kind of angel/celebrity, and it's actually refreshing to feel exotic (so different than everyone else) instead of just being another aging white woman in Montana! They are so sweet. Teaching helps me “walk the talk” as I am focused on positively embracing the soul perspective, instead of being in despair or fear.

2PlumBlossomOn my most recent outing, I went to Yoyogi Park, the spot where there are less tourists and more locals. A place where young lovers get to escape their family's eyes, and women without children walk their highly coifed doggies in stylish strollers. High-school kids run track, people come to practice instruments (not allowed in quiet apartment buildings), and a few homeless folks quietly sit with their bicycles and bagged belongings. Amidst it all, beautiful blooming plum trees. Nature's consistency.

Recently, the earth has started to get wiggly here, with a 3.5 yesterday and a 4.5 today, both with an epicenter an hour away. I'm on the 7th floor of a modern building, so I feel pretty confident as I sway like a bird nest. I'm reminded of the uncertainty of this life, and embrace the ongoing lesson of adapting and responding to the things that happen around me. Much as we would like to think that we are in control, I'm pretty sure that I AM NOT!

Much love, and hang in there!

Written by : Daeryl Holzer