Sunday, January 27, 2008

conscious blogging

i've been meaning to return to this space but lately all spare moments find me tired or negative and neither mood is a good one for blogging. also, i am using my parents' computer and am without a camera so i hestitate to post without an image to balance my words. i sometimes wish i had more time to give to my writing because it doesn't often do justice to our situation. i worry that without a cheerful picture, i come off as being petulant and redundant. so i was surprised when ladybug zen selected me to be among the bloggers that she so kindly bestowed with an excellent blog award. reading her description of my blog made me determined that today i would post something here and so i did something i have never done so far, i wrote a rough draft on paper. it is something i intend to repeat as i want to be more conscious about what i put here. i felt compelled to write because she's spot on, we are utterly homesick for japan and our stay in the states thus far has been bittersweet. there are plenty of sweet moments, of course, as there are bound to be in a loving family. the frustrating elements have been external: our inability to make any strides professionally or academically. through it all though, our little family has remained a cozy nest.
we moved back here with the intention to save money for our next step, which we believed was going to be graduate school for me. it doesn't look like that will happen. with the recession and two little children to support, we really can't afford the time and money it would take to pursue that route. so instead, we are now looking at the possibility of returning to japan by august. that gives us about five months to study japanese, get our passports in order, and find a teaching position. i know i said about a year ago that we were planning to do this but i will admit that i was being very picky about the jobs that i applied for. this time i am more open to positions and locations. this time i am not crossing my fingers for this time it is not a matter of chance but will. so no more lamenting about japan. we are entering a new chapter and i intend to put more effort into this documentation process. thank you for putting up with me for so long. and thank you ladybug zen for thinking of me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

in transition

it is nearing midnight here and outside the window an owl is hooting.
i just walked away from watching a program that was so disturbing it made me want to cry. i've been reading these parenting books and what i like about both books is that they promote the notion of parents learning how to behave. watching the frontline program really made me aware of how it is the adults and their behavior that turn children into what they diagnose as being psychotic. it is really a crazily unhealthy society here for young ones. for everyone, actually.
we are still in between here and there. here being my parents' house and there being our apartment where our poor kitty is undoubtedly lonesome. jason and i have a big day of moving tomorrow. today was supposed to be dedicated to the task but we took the afternoon off to take the kids over to the park and then i spent the evening playing extreme hide and seek with sebastian. we also did a lot of racing up and down the driveway which wore me out way before it did him.
already a sense of relief is descending, making us feel that our decision is indeed the positive one that we need. the next few weeks will be all about shifting and reorganizing, about finding the right paths. i look forward to starting a little garden in the yard and of investigating the local parents' co-op preschool as well as contacting the island montessori school to see if they need any volunteers.
oh, and how interesting that this should be taking place in nara.
i'll probably be wrapped up in the moving affairs for a bit. i hope you are well. take care.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

the year of the rat

2008 is the year of the rat, a year of opportunities, of socialization and tending to the family. the year of the rat is a time for preparation, for organization.
this year there will be numerous changes for our little family. jason and i both started new part-time jobs this week and hopefully better opportunities loom on the horizon. we are moving and then in a few months, we plan to move again. to someplace not in florida or japan (though, of course, if something opened up there...). i'm enrolling sebastian in a pre-k and we now intend to send him to kindergarden in the fall. it seems only fair to him since we can't focus on homeschooling at this time with all the other changes occurring. jason might go to a school that he has been longing to go to. i might go to grad school, i might pursue some other route. the details aren't clear but what is obvious is that this is a year we are taking by the horns (or perhaps the tail?). 2007 was a year of meditation, of sorting through the possibilities. we enter the new year lighter and determined, with solid goals and the strength to work towards them.
instead of resolutions, we are adopting the suggestions from the back of a calendar that we were lucky enough to receive from our local and tiny japanese market. each month has some wise truism, like this month's "an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest". words to live by. (that doesn't seem flaky, does it? well, you should click on the image and you too will wish you had such a handy calendar on your wall.)

p.s. hey heather and family! i've been trying to get in touch with you! please email me asap! xo

Friday, January 04, 2008


our home is not just our apartment with its gleaming pine floors and wrought iron balcony. it is not just the perfect warm afternoon light that makes even the flaws look appealing. it goes beyond our walls. it is the way our neighbor's laugh carries from the top floor. it is the sidewalk that leads to parks for picnics, for letting the boys get their last ya-yas out under the stars, for taking our old bread to feed the ducks and geese. it is our neighborhood grocery store where they know the boys' names, where the girl who works in the deli always comments on how she remembers when i was pregnant with nico, amazed at the flight of time.
i am not unreasonably sentimental tonight. you see, next week we will pack our bags and go back to my hometown in an effort to collect the funds necessary to move some place unknown but equally temporary. we knew our current situation was limited. we have a few more stops before we can truly settle down and grow our roots. we just didn't realize this would happen so soon. in the end, i know it is for the best but tonight, i feel sad as i detach from the place that has been our home for a year and a half.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Happy 2008! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I have a lot to share but will have to postpone that for another post. In the meantime, here are some pictures from our first day in the new year. Three years ago our dear friends introduced us to the joy of New Year's Day kite flying and we have now incorporated it into our family traditions. A very good way to begin the new year, laughing and playing under the bluest of blue skies.

Wishing you all a wonderful new year.