Rain

Tonight, it started raining suddenly. And in the blink of an eye, the sky broke into thousands drops that showered us all, making us shiver and looked for refuge in the busy streets of this metropolis. I ran trying to scape it. But it was in vain, my clothes resembled the wet streets, and my shoes got heavier than the asphalt with every step. Unbelievably, there were couples taking pictures of themselves in the middle of the chaos. 
At times, it seems like love is not only blind but creates a fortress that shields us from adversity. 

Drawing by @consultculture
Yoneko Shiraishi


But tonight, although, I’m not alone, I feel like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Why? Well, sometimes that how life goes. But then a drop of rain on my cheeks reminds me that the rain has always been a good omen for me. It announces changes. Good changes. And against all the odds, the rain is bringing me hope in this cold night. The rain is telling me that trying days are ahead, but it all works out in the end. I just have to be patient and not to succumb to past ghosts. And I hope the rain brings you peace, comfort and renewed faith in your future.

Found the lost

Kuro, the hero

I look at the screen in utter horror. 
The draft of my newest novella “The nun and the prostitute” is gone.
My brain is screaming thousand swearing words unknown to me, “How do I know so many bad words,” I ask to myself.My shaking hands type again, and error comes out like the unavoidable curse that has fallen on me and my computer. 
“It’s got to be somewhere,” I tell to myself trying to remain calm. I log into various accounts, clouds, and alternative boxes and nothing “How did this happen?,” I scream at the computer. And again error.  Tears come to my eyes but I refuse to give up, and go old school and take a look at abandoned USBs. The first USB only brings more disappointment. The story repeats itself with the second, and the third USB I check. And the last one, the one I named “Kuro” (black in Japanese) brings almost no hope because this USB comes with me everywhere, to my classes, to my lectures, to my business trips. I know what’s in there, and what it isn’t. 

Drawing by Yoneko Shiraishi

But I decided to check it anyway. And to my surprise, there is an old copy, only 22 pages, almost a fifth of the final version. “Better than nothing,” I console myself. 
I decide to keep checking just in case, I click in an old folder and there, shining like, an oasis in the desert, is a PDF version with all 98 pages of it. 
The whole novella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
The characters and I cried of happiness. We’re together again. I found what was lost. Or better say, the characters found me again. I’m home. And kuro, the hero, takes a well-deserved rest.

A father: A hero

Some call him a father, some call him a hero, some call him a savior. Whatever our views on Chiang Kai-shek, arriving at his mausoleum was an impressive experience.

You see the lights, the people, feel the liveness that floats in the air, and smiles at the joy that travels from heart to heart in this city of many colors and perfumes.

I step in. One foot at the time. I can’t get in my head that I’m actually standing here paying my respects to the father, hero and king of Taiwan. 

Gods: Radha Krishna

I walked in the dark alleys of the city thinking of nothing else but my troubles when I saw a little store illuminated with bright yellow lights.

I got curious and made my way towards it. 


And to my surprise, I discovered that it was not a store, but a shrine, a place of worshiping for Radha Krishna. He is Krishna, and she is Radha. But they love each other so much that their names became one. How romantic!

It’s said that their love wasn’t physical but spiritual. Their love was pure and unconditional. They were one soul split into two bodies.

Finding Radha Krishna is the sign I needed today.

Drawing again: In peace

Life has been hectic these last few months, so my stories had to wait for me, my drawings were suddenly abandoned in dark draws. But life is returning to its normal rhythm. I’m neither extremely busy nor static; I’m in balance. And once the balance is restored to my world, the drawings jump out of the draws searching for light. And here’s just some of the drawings I’ve entertained myself with the last few hours of this beautiful, peaceful morning.

Shibuya: History and beauty

Shibuya, one of the most cosmopolitan districts of Tokyo, is everything you would expect from a modern city: cheeky, entertaining and provocative.

 

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But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, Hachiko could tell the story better than anybody else. He could tell you about the war days and how the bombs took his beloved master, how he bravely kept waiting for years until death came for him, too.

He let Shibuya be at night with the condition to restore its well-mannered behavior during the day.

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Shibuya, has come a long way since the days of WWII and has become, along with its little sister Harajuku, the center of the Japanese fashion world.

 

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In Shibuya time is ethereal

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Shibuya is in another dimension, where bad memories can become sweet and precious. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Hachiko yourself.

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Tokyo Station: The rebirth of a giant

Tokyo station  resembles  the scenery of a film set from the 1920s. With its inspired European architecture, lighting and breeze atmosphere, it invites you to dream of a Japan that no longer exist but that we all yearn for.

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Bombed during WWII it wasn’t until 2012 that it will be restored to its former glory to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its existence.

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And the surroundings  of the Tokyo station do not disappoint.

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At my arrival to the Imperial Palace I saw the merge of the new and old. All in one

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The Imperial palace guarded by thousand samurai souls

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Everything in Tokyo glows mystery.

Cicadas and the peeping Tom

 

I recall my first day in these islands as if it were yesterday, but not because of the excitement of arriving in a new place to discover, to learn from, to treasure in my heart for the years to come. But because of the noisy, impolite, nerve-wracking singing of the cicadas, that woke me up at godforsaken hours.
Let me be candid and tell you that these tree-friendly bugs have annoyed me since day one. With their unstoppable singing, I thought I was going mad. Perhaps, I went crazy after all. But my mental sanity will be probably discussed in another post. 😄

I was so upset with the cicadas that my murderer’s instincts started to flourish that year.

I would stare at the trees outside my window with my sleepy eyes, ruffled hair, and sweaty face. So, one of the neighbors thought I was a peeping Tom ( a pervert who spies people while they undress)
The 85 years old gentleman who called the police on me accusing me of such crime (peeping Tom) came later to apologize for the misunderstanding. Of course, he came accompanied by his wife. Just in case. You never know, right?.

 

But times have changed, and even to my surprise, I have grown fond of the little tree-loving insects (cicadas). I don’t look forward to their endless singing, but I am happy they always make me look out of my window.

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Laura

A rainy day of 2002, I was landing in Costa Rica, a paradise on earth, where the stress and rush of the modern world are not to be found. Just yet. Not just yet.

As always the same routine, immigration, taxi, and hotel. Just do it all over again a few days later.

But little I knew my life was about to take a turn.

Arriving at the hotel, a casual phone call home would confirm the worst. He was gone. The time stood still for what it seemed hours. The auricular fell from my trembling hands. And I stood there unable to move. Everything became a blur. Someone offered to help me with my bags. I looked at him. And tears started pouring uncontrollably. I collapsed crying onto the floor.

I woke up the next morning with my all my clothes on. I felt lost. It took me a while to remember where I was. And what had happened. And when the memories of the previous day came back so did the tears. And while I was debating if it was worth living another day, a knock on my door interrupted my suicidal thoughts.

I opened without asking.

“Laura” said a husky voice in the semi-darkness “it is time.”

“I know” I replied, “I had been waiting for you.”

He extended his pale, bony hand to me. I took it. And without words, he led me into darkness.

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Broken pens: the drama and the inspiration

I love pens. I love holding them. But at this moment, all the pens I own are broken. Why are they all broken? I have no idea. 

The spring that unfailingly lowers the tip is stuck..!And It’s hard to make the ink leave a mark on the paper. I try writing with the other pens, but it is all the same result. 

And when inspiration strikes, it has to wait until I finish battling (dueling at times) with the pen, the ink, and the spring.
I’d love to curse and let it all out, but I shut those thoughts down because the inspiration is a sensitive spirit, who needs to feel peace and calm to work her magic. So there she is now waiting with crossed arms in front of her. She is huffing and puffing at me, and the foolishness of who I am. 

“Buy new pens,” she says. 

“I like these old ones. I’ve had them forever” I simply reply.

And the inspiration just rolls her eyes at me as answer.

When I finally get the pen to work, I write it all down, but something is missing. I know. And the inspiration knows I know. I look at her, but I don’t beg her. 

“Fine” she says angrily. And she starts pouring silk on air.

She cries with me in the funeral of Prince Charming and smiles at the birth of his heir. And when we finish the story she leaves without warning or a goodbye. But I know she will come back. Because although I know, she doesn’t like me because I am a talentless writer, I know she will come back because she has nothing better to do than torture me.