Comfort

At ease….

It’s funny to me, though totally believable, that my kakizome has already begun to do its work in my life for this year.

安心 Anshin

It roughly translates to a combination of the following:

  • Peace of mind, freedom from care
  • Relief, be quite free from care (anxiety, fear)
  • Feel easy (about), feel at ease
  • Feel relieved, stop worrying (about something)
  • Feel reassured, be confident (of, that), be (rest) assured

And, somehow unforeseen by me, 安心anshin has found its way further and further into my daily life these past couple weeks.

I am actually excited about the near future and the present almost every day, even when I wake up in the morning (In case you don’t know, the morning thing is huge for me).

I am not fully where I want to be – not by a long shot – but I am actually moving there now, actively and effectively heading in that wonderful direction, becoming who and how I want to be every day and night (and morning) of my life.

And it feels amazing (including the muscle soreness)…

Thank you, 安心 anshin, for your existence, care, and support in my life… truly, thank you. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

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Lingo-bot Life

Occasionally, I feel a bit lame and down about my seemingly lessened and lowered Japanese skills.  But then I have experiences like tonight, where, when speaking with a Japanese man, he was unable to come up with the right Japanese words immediately or at all – we all take longer to process, when we aren’t using a language all the time; even native speakers.  When it happened tonight, I told of the many times I, myself, was unable to come up with an English word while living abroad.  When immersed in one language, it id much more difficult to recall another, native or not, language.  So, I just need to immerse myself more often in each of my languages, and that will help significantly – it is all still there; it just needs a bit of encouragement and exercise.  😛

Not that this is news to me – it was merely a welcomed reminder.  🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Accomplishments

Today, I socialized while getting myself some of the good Japanese culture, and even a bit of the language, too.

I made this:

The fancy and “real” one is the white paperboard one, but I messed it up, so I much prefer my practice one on the newspaper (that’s why I put the hanko [stamp] on it, too).

It is the Japanese writing for Anshin, which means ‘peace of mind; freedom from care; relief.’

We did it as an activity called kakizome 書き初め, which is the first kanji one writes in the new year, and it is an intention and wish one makes for the year.

I selected 安心, because that is what I want in abundance in my life this year (I almost considered アットホウム, which is not kanji, but is spelling out a word, and, in this case, spelling out the two foreign words “at home”, because I couldn’t find anything that seemed quite right for what I longed for in my life this year…, but then I found 安心).

安心 was perfect, as soon as someone wrote it down for me… we had discussed the meaning, which I really liked, but it was when I saw it that I loved it.

I don’t remember what the very top part is, but the whole thing includes the word for woman and the word for heart – those two kanji, combined with the meaning?… done deal – let’s do this. 😛

And, so, we did. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019 (The last year of Emperor Heisei, Heisei 31 平成三十一 )

True to your heart

You know that feeling of being in just the right place, doing just the right thing for yourself and your life?

Today, surrounded off and on by Japanese people who live and work in Texas (mostly as language teachers) and a few non-geeky-but-maybe-a-tad-dorky-about-Japan US Americans, I found myself in just that feeling…

And it was delicious, and perfectly timed. 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Dinner and a shower…

Tonight, I ate the same food at dinner as I used after dinner to scrub my body in the shower.

Slightly absurd and utterly intriguing, is it not?

I’ll just tell you: It is.

You see, when I was living in Japan, I learned first in Okinawa about how this food that was regularly a side dish in Japanese meals was also found as the base for certain jiggling and super-foaming soaps – trust me, this was a very odd and confusing conversation for me to be having, especially in Japanese, as the shop workers tried to explain to me how something that sounds like the Japanese pronunciation/version of a drinking alcohol is actually a food, and that this food is what makes the jiggling, funny soap here in front of me.

Suffice it to say, I bought a few of these spectacular soaps, mind partially blown by the soap itself and partially by the whole discovery of its being something I somewhat often ate.

(The next time I use one, I’ll share photos, I’m almost certain – it is really cool!)

Now, this plant is called konjac, and is pronounced just like the alcoholic beverage.

Therefore, in Japanese, they are both pronounced the same way and written in Roman characters the same way: konnyaku.

(The signs had the Japanese written, too, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that I’d seen a foreign word written as though it were a Japanese word [e.g. using hiragana instead of katakana], so I didn’t trust it entirely.)

However, I eventually understood what non Earth it was – sort of, anyway – and suddenly started noticing it more and more around me in life.

Tonight, I cooked some “konnyaku threads”, which look like little knots made of about seven white strings of rubber each, and had them with some other Japanese-esque food I prepared.

Then, for my shower, I happily pulled out for the first time my “Natural Konjac Puff”, a body scrubber similar in size, shape, and texture to a cut loofah… except that it went from the rough and crispy of a loofah to the soft and squishy foamy of a sea sponge, once it was wet and soaped.

Also, when I first opened the package for the puff, I smelled the puff, and it had a very similar smell to my konjac food from shortly beforehand- that rubbery, slightly salty, and weird smell that isn’t exactly bad, but isn’t delightful either…

Totally odd and crazy experience.

P.S. Here is a great page that talks about konjac in mug more detail.

Post-a-day 2019

Dream it, girl!

I am bursting at the seams with joy and delight tonight!

Remember just the other week, how I kept running into 渡辺 謙 (Ken Watanabe) things all over the place?

Remember how one of them was that quick-change from the Tony Awards, and how it made me really wish I could see that performance of his, in “The King and I”, even though it ended, like, over a year ago?

Believe it or not, due to a reason I know not, that production is, for two nights only, being shown in select movie theaters here in the USA.

Obviously, I (re)arranged everything, and I attended tonight’s showing of the performance.

It was spectacular, and almost even better than an actual live theater performance, because everyone and everything was so much bigger and easier to see, up there on the big screen. 😛

And, let’s be real here, I hadn’t seen the show since I was itty bitty, so I totally balled my eyes out at the end…

Also, the curtain call always makes a show feel complete – this one was no excuse – and I think that’s what’s missing from regular films, is a curtain call… a tiny nudge back to real life after the show, and a chance to show one’s extreme appreciation for the performance just given.

Plus, clapping and cheering and hollering, with a glint of tears in the eyes, is a totally fun way to end the event.

Anyway, thanks, whoever you are, who decided to show this performance for me tonight – miniature dream just came true! Woohoo!

Post-a-day 2018

Bilingual Ballet

I found myself thinking of (and, of course, missing) my ballet class in Japan.

I was the tallest by a lot, and it was mostly older ladies (not old, but definitely older), and everyone was super sweet and happy and even a bit giddy every class.

And the teacher and I had an unwanted but accustomed distance-by-language-barrier, because my technical Japanese was utterly iffy, and her English possibly below that… that is, we had this distance until the night that we delightfully discovered that we both spoke French rather fluently… then we got on quite comfortably, and even more familiarly than I did with any of the others, because we could say so much to each other now.

I had always asked on occasion for the teacher to repeat something she’d said or done (in Japanese, of course), and I continued that…, but now I could and would ask for clarity at times when I still wasn’t certain what the goal or instruction was (if you’ve ever done ballet, you can understand how important it is to understand what muscles are doing what in a movement), and that part would be in French.

All in all, Monday nights at ballet class were always great, and I miss them now, especially with it getting cold outside (that was when I’d first started going to the classes).

Post-a-day 2018