Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Banana Yoshimoto's World 吉本ばななさんの世界

When I went to the Makawao library to check out children's books for my students (I usually check out at least 20 of them since our school doesn't have a library), I found these two books at the Japanese book corner: Banana Yoshimoto's "N.P" and "TUGUMI." I read "TUGUMI" when I was in high school, so this was my second time.

As soon as I started to read one of them, her world swiftly expanded inside of me, and I felt like drifting in this comfortable feeling that is difficult to explain. I feel this way every time I read her book.

Particularly, these two books had the theme of summer. Overlapping with the fact that we just welcomed summer solstice, the books made me miss the Japanese summer, and missing so much, I was on the edge of tears, but they are not sad tears, rather sweet ones. Under the wide blue sky that made me feel like being sucked up each time I looked up and under the giant white thunder clouds, I went for bug hunt, swam in streams, ate ice, and fell in love. That's how I grew each summer as a child. Those summers are precious treasures in my heart.

While I was still on Maui, I went back to Japan momentarily.

------------------------------- Japanese ---------------------------------





Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Flower Opens When It Does 花は咲くべきときに咲くのね

A flower opens when it does

I cannot make it open when it's not its time

I blossom when I do

The time will come

I just wait.

Keep watering, sunning, and loving it

I open when I am meant to

Not too early, not too late, just on time

That's how it is always

---------------------------------- Japanese ----------------------------










Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grandma Elsie  エルシーおばあちゃん

In March, when I went to see Ty, I also took advantage of the opportunity to visit Grandma Elsie (Loren's grandma) who is living in a nursing home in Brookfield (near Milwaukke), Wisconsin. (Milwaukee and Chicago are about an hour away.)

As some of you know, Grandma Elsie is a very important person in my life. While I was with Loren for almost 4 years, I spent the whole 4 years with her here on Maui.  Those days can be read in the following postings.
The last time I saw her was last July with Ty. I wrote about it in this posting.

Very fortunately, Loren and I have been good friends since we separated. We are more than just friends now. We feel like we are a brother and a sister. I always wanted an older sibling, but it was impossible as I was the first born child, but now I know that it was possible :-) Well, anyhow, so we kept in touch and talked about how Grandma was doing time to time, and Loren told me past February that she was getting weaker. That was another factor that made me want to go to Chicago in March. I met up with Loren in Milwaukee (he was there before me), and we saw Grandma Elsie at a couple of occasions. We took her out for a dinner. We also did not forget to take her out for an ice cream outing (she is a big ice cream lover).

Although Grandma was a bit thinner and weaker, her shining smiles and cheerful rascally character was still there. Her sense of humor was still keen and wit-full. She made us laugh so many times. At the same time, I noticed how faster she got tired, and how the density of her existence was thinner than before. Each minute and second I was with her was precious because I was in the reminder of how any beauty won't last forever in a physical matter. Someday soon, she will go back to where she came from. That was a fact that was clear the whole time I was with her and made me even more appreciate the beauty of her as a soul and beauty of this world. Everything is living its 100% at any given moment.

Saying good bye was again very difficult. It does not seem to get any easier. She had us sit on the edge of her bed, and she started pray for us just like the last time. No matter how weak she gets, her strength and bigness as our "grandmother" is always there. I felt deeply loved by her, and I felt a deep love for her that words cannot describe.

She is an angel God sent my way.

This time, I stayed at Loren's mom (Melanie) and her partner (Gus)'s house in Milwaukee. Thank you, Melani and Gus for letting me stay at your place. Melani even said that Ty and I could stay at her place whenever we visit Milwaukee. Everyone in Loren's family warmly welcomed me again, and Loren even jokingly said, "Do you remember we adopted a girl from Japan when she was small? Look, now she is all grown up and came back to say hi to us. She is my little sister." Seeing his family responding by saying, "Oh yea, I guess I remember that now..." I felt something hot was flowing to my eyes from heart.

I am not sure if I get to see Grandma Elsie again before anything happens, but my heart is with her, and she will always remain in a special place in my heart.

---------------------------- Japanese --------------------------





とても幸いなことに、ローレンと私は別れてからも良い友人関係を保っています。そしてそれはただの友人以上のもので、まるで兄と妹のような関係へと発達しました。いつもお兄ちゃんかお姉ちゃんが欲しかったものの、一番最初に生まれた以上それが無理であることは子供の頃から渋々承知していたことでした。でも、それが可能なことを今知りました:-) ということで、私たちは今も連絡を取り合い、おばあちゃんの様子をローレンから聞いていました。この前の二月にローレンから「おばあちゃん、あまり状態が良くないんだ」と聞いたのが、三月にシカゴ行きを決めた理由でもありました。ミルワーキーでローレンと合流し(彼は先に行っていました)、おばあちゃんと何度か時間を過ごすことが出来ました。三人で夕飯を食べに行ったり、勿論アイスクリーム屋さんにお連れすることも忘れませんでした。(おばあちゃんは大のアイスクリーム好き。)






Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Odissi Dance Workshop by Vishnu ヴィシュヌのオディッシィダンスワークショップ

This year has been very much hectic, and so far I have not been able to make time to update my blog as regularly as I wish.

Whenever I find a moment, I try to cease the opportunity; hence, my blog has been irregular, and my postings are not necessarily posted chronologically. I just wanted to let you know that :-)

In the past February, I had a wonderful blessing to take Sri Vishnu Tattva Das's Odissi dance workshop here on Maui. My dance teacher, Sarala Dandeker and Vishnu studied under the later Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra and used to perform together.

This workshop was my second time learning from him, and this time, we learned a wonderful pallavi called Mohana. I fell in love with this piece right away due to its unique 7 rhythm cycle and its intricate yet somewhat playfulness.

Vishnu's warm and sincere personality is clear in his dance and teaching, and I was inspired by his love and dedication for this art form. I believe that his devotion for the art form is beyond simple desire to perfect its beauty but to be in a deep spiritual awareness, and his dedication to that practice was something I cherished the most in my heart during the workshop.

I cannot wait to take his workshop again. I will practice hard until then.

----------------------------- Japanese --------------------------







Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pali Trail Hiking パリ トレイル ハイキング

(If you click above, a new slide show window will open. There, all the photos appear a bit bigger, so it's easier for you to see.)


In last February, I signed up for a hike with the Siera Club. We hiked Pali Trail in Lahaian for a half day.

I got to see whales from the top!! Also, we came across with two Nene (Hawaiian Goose), too!

I hiked with people whom I had never met before. Everyone seemed to have a deep love for nature, and they were all wonderful people. It was nice to get to know a part of Maui I did not know before, and also it was nice for me to re-realize that I like a part of me that is curious and adventurous with the just-give-it-a-try attitude.

2月の半ばに、Siera Clubのお知らせのページで見つけたハイキングに参加してみました。ラハイナにあるパリトレイルを半日かけて歩いてきました。



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Recent Odissi Performance 最近のオディッシィパーフォーマンス

I had an opportunity to dance at a local event called "A Day of Culture and Art" on Maui on April 11th. It was an event to celebrate Maui's diverse cultures.

I have been studying Odissi dance with Sarala Dandeker, my teacher here on Maui. Each year, my heart is mesmerized by the dance form more and more for its beauty and spiritual depth. Lately, I have been feeling a strong desire to study it seriously. I try to make time to practice out of my busy teaching job.

Some of you who read one of my past blog entries might have noticed that I was wearing the costume that Ty bought for me as a surprise gift. Yes, this was the first time I wore it on the stage.

By being surrounded by friends who came to watch and support me, by wearing the costume my love gave me, by dancing in my healthy body, and by dancing with my dancer friends, I felt that I was such a blessed being.

I want to send my deep gratitude to Sarala.