Last night in Dublin

Standard

By the time I’ve removed glitter, mascara and smog from my face its 23:00. I change into pajamas and make a cup of herbal tea I brought back from home last time, and think of my childhood friend who always stock this particular blend in his kitchen cabinet.

I can’t connect to the hotel wifi so I switch on the hotspot on my phone and look at the time again, consider what time I should get up tomorrow. I need to pack my backpack and have breakfast before 11. 8 o’clock should do. 

Nathaniel is taking my Mac and phone to the office so it doesn’t have to stay in my unlocked room while we are on holiday. We may get new roomies in the meantime. 

This means I won’t have my Mac Friday night though, and I need to do my expenses before the weekend. I can do them in the morning, but then I would have to get up quite early. Giuliano wanted to go for an ocean dip in the morning as well, but since she is still out I think the pressure is off.

The chat connects, there are 63 messages from the crazy kids still at the bar, now another one. Two team mates are already back at the hotel though, having admin/PJ party like myself. I rub the lenses of my glasses to remove a stain, then send a selfie to the group chat. I check my personal phone, Loverman aka Merman has not replied yet, did he go to bed without texting me goodnight? I message mum and a friend, then leave it next to me.

I find the receipts I have already sorted for last week first. Personal phone vibrates, its Merman telling me goodnight. I smile and crawl a bit deeper under the covers.


 FR7407 to Luton

Standard

I’m packing homemade flower remedies from mum, chocolates, artist brushes, glitter, herbal tea, 6 menthol lip balms. 

For the road my friend equips me with a tinfoil wrapped bread roll, an organic apple, a tiny box of raisins and November’s issue of Eurowoman with an article about being from a beautiful place but not feeling at ease there, and making home elsewhere.

I tear up as I bite the bun, sat in my blue and yellow Ryanair seat, already mid air. A girl in a tank top is riding on her mum’s shoulders on the commercial on the wall, the sun is shining, arms stretched out she looks like she is flying. To me now it looks like something that would be really hard to return to. I fumble for my head phones and blast a funkão carioca to remind myself why I chose that, and how it chose me too. Somewhere inside, my PC feminist scratches her head… But who has the time when the beat is this great? If you can’t twerk it sure aint my revolution.

 Tchau & Bjão Dina, vai se ver por aí!

Inhabiting space

Standard

3pm slow Sunday. Sitting in a log in Brockwell park, eyes closed in anti social peace. Tall skinny guy in rubber boots with dog stops by, says 

– Hi, peaceful right. Great. Not from England? Holiday? Live close to here? 

– Yeah, no, its been a few years. Denmark, local now.

– Got a place close to here, fancy a drink? Som’in sweet?

-No thanks, case closed.

Rest eyes on trea, the other way, will go away. But cirkles back behind me, closer.

– Ur very pretty, what’s ur name?

– Maria, gotta go, bye.

– U want a drink? I got cocaine? Sex?

– No. No. Definetely not.

Yuule

Standard

Morning of the 26th I wake up from two cats jumping on my bed, and a phone conversation of the only roomie left behind in my friend’s appartment who came home from night shift at a hotel. I get up and stumble down the stairs to fumble for the cat food with half open eyes and two eager creatures dancing around my feet. My man leaves to go get food for later at another friend’s house, I make coffee and heat up chicken tikka from yesterday. Its the most quiet it has been the whole year, I’ve spent 48 hours in Pjs and cuddles. We could have rushed to be with my family, I know my man would have gone to his people if they hadn’t been so far, but I’ve gravitated towards peace again this year, acknowledging how precious it is to have 48 pristine and stressless hours, just this once a year. 


A call for the ancestors

Standard

”So… okay… wait” my friend draws out a notepad and a pen. And writes the words ‘mother’, ‘father’ and ‘Mie’ and asks me to explain again the structure of my family.

”Mum and dad had me, and my brother. Also my mum had two sons from a previous marriage. Then mum and dad got divorced, dad married again, and this one becomes my step mother. Then they divorce and she adopts me” a thin line grows deeper between my friend’s eyebrows. He is concentrated for a while, then looks up again.

”Whose name did you put down for the ancestor ceremony?”

”The father of my father…” I write ‘father’s father’ above ‘father’ in the notebook and circle it .

”Oh I see. And why did you chose to pray for him?”

”My father’s father participated in the second world war, not fighting, but as an administrative worker. He was editor of a newspaper and made propaganda to get young Germans to join the army.. I feel like my father’s family has a strong charge form this involvement with the Nazis, an intellectual hardness without connection to the heart”

”Was he kind to you?”

”When I was born he was already a very old man, and I remember him vaguely as a little child. I think he treated me well, I was a small child anyway, when he died”

When I had done the research to find out the needed information about my grandad in order to put his name down for the ancestor ceremony and found a photo of him online, looking at it had made me shake nervously. For some reason. I never had any special strong sentiment towards my grandfather, but I felt reconnecting with the whole field of my father’s family was quite significant – just as it had been to break it.

I feel my grandfather still carries some of the energetic charge from the war with him on the other side, and all this apart, there was much pain and violence between my father and his parents…

I went to Shumei one last time before leaving for Japan last week, to change the pouch on my Ohikari and share Jyorei (healing). I first received Jyorei, and as the energy surrounded me my pappa suddenly popped into my mind.

When we changed and I started giving Jyorei I became aware of the field between my pappa and my granpa, and felt light flowing into a deep pain, I started to cry and tried not to sniffle too much to not distract my friend who was on the receiving end of the energy.

At the ancestor ceremony in Misono, many people came. We queued in neat lines half an hour before the start. The ancestors were called collectively, with four men dressed in white calling them with ghostly moans, then they were offered food and flowers. One woman fainted. The transformation had already happened for me – time does not exist in a linear way in the dimension of the spirits, intention opened way for love… and I felt so much lighter

WP_20160308_004WP_20160308_009

Ko-hee, friends and trees

Standard

”sleepy?”

”yess… no coffee in Misono, I never really wake up!”

”ooh, here you can have ko-hee every day, just ask someone to make it. Every afternoon you can drink ko-hee”

– And such was the conversation that gave me very strong and warm sisterly feelings towards Hide. While Misono is a bit claustrophobic for my taste, with all its elegant meticulousity, the little model farm upholds a sane level of beauty and elegance, the snip of the toilet paper is still neatly folded, and every inside surface cleaned several times per day, but in the farm work it is like anywhere else. We throw around things and some fall on the side, people exchange roles fluently and each person moves to the role which is needed, there is chit chat about everything and nothing, with shy laughs when things get lost in translation, and every once in a while a song.

” Hide I have something to ask that you might find weird because it is not in your culture.
You see, for my spirituality it is very important to go into nature, and touch the soil, hug the trees to really connect, now I see all this amazing forest around and I really really want to take a walk inside it…”

Hide’s face goes blank, then he translates to the others, laughing.

”so you want to go into the forest? For me its fine, I think there are no bears… it might be the only problem if trees fall… maybe its a problem”

Hide needs to call Taka, who is my official caretaker on the trip, to get approval. Then comes back to me.

”so… tomorrow afternoon after lunch you can go have a walk. How long would you like to stay in the forest?”

”maybe some two hours?”

”two hours?!” Hide laughs again…

Later same day after lunch cooked on the traditional wood-stove Eri brings me a whole thermus of ko-hee, and sits down next to me to chat until she is called back into the kitchen. I stay seated on my pillow on the floor and pour myself a second cup and a third, and keep the cup close to my face as I change between inhaling and sipping, as I fall into the gentle music and the fresh air coming from the open door.

The house’s sensei brings me three little packages of ready to use drip filter kohee.

”special gift”

Indeed it is

”Arigatooo gozaimasu”

Next day indeed I go into the forest, in the pouring rain, to the one temple where I truly feel at home. And Eri brings me more ko-hee, more beautiful, beautiful ko-hee.

Peace quietens the space around me, and my heart expands into the great one-life.

Arigato gozaimasu….

 

 

 

 

 

Misono days

Standard

With a babbling brook outside our bamboo covered windows, and all the simplicity I have been yearning for my whole live in our bamboo mat covered room with two futons and a low table a night in Misono could not be any more peaceful.

The days however can leave you out of breath. Morning call is at 6:00 am but in order to perform the mandatory ritual cleaning of the bathroom before breakfast 5:45 is more realistic. After the cleaning a clothes change is required as you cannot enter the temple in work clothes or jeans. Then breakfast is served in the canteen two floors up – our meals are rice, soups and tea three times a day. After washing the adorable little bowls and placing each part back in its original place, and head towards the temple were you wash hands and mouth in the fountain, and bow in all the right places on the way to the entrance where you cover your shoes with plastic slippers before coming inside Meishusama’s hall (which reminds me of Mariko Mori’s imaginary of a space ship: elegant, feminine, bright and deliciously beautiful, though less colourful – no photos allowed inside so you will have to trust me xD).

After morning service with chanting and Jyorei (healing sharing) we change clothes to work and go for dedicated hoshi activity. The point is not what work you do, but to focus the mind on selfless service for the happiness of all beings – in my case means turning over soil and making compost outside in the fresh mountain air. NOT BAD. (most of the other hoshi tasks are Cinderella inspired jobs such as cleaning floor or mattresses on your knees, scrubbing the kitchen etc.)

After hoshi the clothes change again and we venture back into the temple for evening service, followed by bowing, rice, greetings, and my dear Brazilian friend with much eloquence extorting sexy Japanese phrases from our very shy Japanese friend.

After all this left is only to roam around the reception area to pick some wifi to talk to my boo, or finding our Sensei to see if he will break the tea monotony with a oh so beautiful whiff of coffee, or as we say ”ko-hee”. I haven’t made it to a ko-hee encounter yet though, I have mere managed to collapse on futon, and as it says in the sleeping instruction manual (because everything in japan comes with a manual): ”lastly please get into bed and sweet dreams”

Tomorrow 05:45 repeat…