march 11

End of the Line, Chiba Debris-Scape  

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The day was beautiful out.  The skies were so clear it felt as if I could see clear across the ocean all the way to San Francisco.  It is one of the amazing things about being in Tokyo in the winter time, is that the air becomes so clear that the skies are boundless.  On a day like today I had to just get out on my mountain bike and just pedal around to see what could be seen.  I needed to get out and breathe in the cool dry air, and fill my heart with better tomorrows.

Eventually I made it all the way to the edge of Tokyo bay.  The end of the road in Urayasu, and just gazed off into the curve of Chiba peninsula as it makes its way down to Tateyama.  I could even see bits of Kanegawa that borders on Tokyo, that is just how clear it was.

Now, if only I could make my mind as clear as the skies.  At times it seems like all the clouds flood my brain and heart.  I try hard to stay focused on what really matters in this crazy world.  There is so much nonsense we all have to go through that distracts us from what really matters.  It is times like this that I am so thankful to have family that I can reason with, and for the Creator to watch over us all.

I have faith that tomorrow will be better.  That tomorrow might be far off, but it might not.  I prepare for the worst, and pray for the best.  I know that the path I am on is the right one, and if it isn’t that I will be wise in my choices to keep on the path that I am suppose to be on.

Stare off into the boundless horizon.  Follow those curves.  Breathe deeply and let that brain fog clear away.

Debris Mound Tokyo Bay Sky

Chiba Penninsula Sun

The Season’s Wheel is Spinning

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

This just in!  After much anxiety in my own mind I was pleasantly surprised to come across some of my first true autumn leaves today.  There is a lovely old buddhist temple in Konodai Chiba that is home to a very old weeping cherry blossom tree.  In the spring time it is a favorite spot for photographers and families come and take in the splendor of the waterfall of cherry blossoms.  Now we fast forward from spring to autumn and the same beautiful tree is starting to express itself with a display of earthen oranges and reds.

I was so elated to see the cherry blossom tree teasing me with bringing forth such beautiful colors.  The location of this magnificent tree must have been protected from the punishing typhoon winds of two weeks ago.  In reality, only one part of the tree has started to change its colors.  I look forward next week to see the colors engulf the tree in fiery reds.

I thought back to the unnerving anxiety when I last enjoyed the tree in April.  It was only a few weeks after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami disaster.  Most Tokyo dwellers were quietly observing the cherry blossom. So many Japanese had lost their lives just a few weeks before.  Most people felt it was too soon to celebrate.  However, my feeling was somewhere in the middle.  My heart felt that we needed to mourn those lost, and at the same time we needed to come together as a community and use the beauty of the changing seasons to focus our energies.  We needed to lend a helping hand to each other.  We needed to sit under a tree with our friends and family and engage in some heartfelt communication.

Where are we as a community now?  Has Japan come together to lend those helping hands to each other?  Have those conversations that started in spring continued into autumn?  I do not have the answers to these questions.  I can only offer up my hope and appreciation of the Japanese people to come together and change their country for the better.  I am just a humble outsider who loves his adoptive home.

Let the changing of seasons remind us of those that lost their lives.  Those brave souls that risked their lives to help others.  If we haven’t renewed our own personal commitment to leading a fruitful life it past time to begin.

Take stock in our surroundings.  Notice that leaf that yesterday was green yet today it has begun to shift into red.  Say hello to your neighbors.  Smile at the children on the train.  If we don’t the world will just spin on by.

Ruffled Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

Holy Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

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