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04 July 2016 @ 07:56 pm
"No one is free from Usagi's temptation"  
Stories first, life update at the bottom.

The Toyota City Municipal Art Museum sits on top of a hill, hidden by a grove of trees and the restored turret of a castle. The winding road that leads from it is lined by tall trees and flowers, but ends abruptly at a wide, busy street. The map to get there looked straightforward, with roads the same size criss-crossing at right angles and no hills. It seems insane that this bit of paper somehow lines up with the city sprawl in front of me. I suppose the designers of museums put a little artistic creativity in their maps as well. What's appealing to the eye isn't always practical.

I'm here to see my artwork hanging in a gallery. Well, that's the simple, narcissistic way of putting it. I'm really here to meet people, using art as a connection. I've blown 10,000 yen on round trip tickets to come here, on the idea that if I go, something will happen. I can't imagine myself sitting in a museum all day long staring at art, so I'm leaving it up to fate to entertain me. I walk in, ready and waiting for opportunity.


Hours later, when I'm in a completely different city having tea with a bronze artist in his workshop, I knew it was all worth it. Dust settles in at our feet and human forms of various sizes and positions stare about with cold metal eyes. A fire crackles, ready to flare up and soften any solid surface. I think about how I wouldn't have been here if I hadn't had that attitude that I was ready for something to happen at any moment.

You have to be ready for it.
I'm still trying hard to find words to describe that state.
But I know when I'm in it, and I can feel when I'm not there yet.
And I love it when I meet other people who know how to get there.
A state of non-judgemental equanimity, where you accept everything in the world around you, and let it get inside you and happen to you.

So I have some old-lady friends like this. They're open to life, and ready to let life come in and happen to them. One of them was walking down the street, coincidentally, where one of the schools I work at is. A TV crew from Osaka came by doing a weekly program where they find some little old people and take them out for the day. I think the idea is that these helpless oldies would never go so far away to have so much fun by themselves, and the program is doing them a favor. If that was the idea, they got it all wrong this time. They asked my friend to call up another friend or two to take on the trip. They asked her who she was calling and she's like, "My mountain friends." Mountain friends?


In the end, three of my friends got together to go with the celebrity on the day trip. While he was waiting for them all to arrive, another random mountain lady walked passed and got invited along, too. These are all women who are super-active in the community, healthy, fit, and quick thinkers.

They took my friends to a town that's has a goldfish theme!!
That is so cool and I have to go there some day.
The first activity was to catch goldfish using paper paddles.

The celebrity's one mistake was that he wasn't opening himself up to adventure. His idea was that his funny jokes would entertain and thrill these oldies and the activities planned would be exciting. And the jokes were kinda funny, and the activities were fun, but he wasn't letting my friends tell their stories. He wasn't ready to learn about our mountain, or ask the right questions to get to know more about the amazing women he had chosen. He was more interested in trying to get everyone to like the activities and smile for the camera. I think he'd have gotten more smiles and laughter if he'd listened to THEIR jokes and let THEM run the show.

Anyway, it was really exciting to see my friends on TV!!

Yossi has been pulled over to Okayama by his company and we are now living separately for the time being. I'm trying to be open about this, let it be an adventure, and let life just happen.. but I have an edgy feeling that this isn't what I wanted. In the meantime, here's Yossi's new place:
And don't worry, we spend every weekend together:


P.S. Subject is from a purikura machine. Not sure what that has to do with taking pictures of yourself in a photobooth..