A blockheaded writer got help from beyond

Every professional writer tells us, amateur writers, to write every single day. “Even when you don’t feel like writing, go ahead and write why you don’t feel like writing,” they tell us.

Sadly, my friends, this is one of those days, when everything seems to go wrong, and even the simplest syntax and vocabulary seem to slip my mind.  Today, my mind doesn’t make the difference between good or bad. I have been dragging words all morning. Even the little characters I draw are sitting there waiting for me to give them a story, so they don’t get lost in their existence. The evil witch has already jumped on the opportunity and is marrying Prince Charming. The lovely princess will have to get a job, oh well!! It was about time 🙂

Then I came across a beautiful video, where a lovely Nana recreates the dishes of her childhood during the Great Depression. She has inspired me more than I would have ever expected. Unfortunately, she is not with us anymore, but she has left a legacy of love, courage, and bravery behind her.  And maybe that’s what’s life is all about. Inspire others,  build something praiseworthy with our lives to inspire even future generations.

Today, in these broken lines I know I am not conquering the world, neither these modest lines will ever win a prize, but I know I’m moving forward because I am conquering my humanity. And that is a triumph. My very personal triumph. And I owe it to the legacy of a lovely Nana, an Italian immigrant who didn’t let harshness  define her life.

 

Shinjuku: The beast and the heart of Tokyo

 

When I arrived to Shinjuku for the very first time, I got lost and I almost ended up crying in one of its corners, as I am houkouonchi, which means literally “person with no sense of direction” (方向音痴 ほうこうおんち)I still hopeless to find my way around this big city.

But if you survive your very 1st day in Shinjuku, the beast and the heart of Tokyo, then you can rest assure that you will survive anywhere else in the world.

 

 

Shinjuku is at first overwhelming and scary, but with time, it opens its arms to you

 

And it can even become your friend and protector, if we give it time. Just a little bit of time.

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Without internet: Could you work?

 

“I’m telling you when I started my career, we didn’t have internet, we didn’t even work with computers” was saying, my middle-aged colleague.

 

I stared at my colleague while holding my fork halfway to my mouth.
My colleague’s words shocked me because, although, I interact with technology every day, as most of you, it is shocking to be reminded that it was not always the case.

 

My colleagues started talking about telephones, faxes, and notebooks and pens.

“Can you imagine? I even had to go to a seminar to learn how to send e-mails?” My colleague was saying in a low voice as if making me a confidence.

 

My colleague’s words resonate with me because in the back of my head, I still remembering the world without internet, perhaps my generation is the last generation to have grown up without it (internet). Yes, I am that old 🙂

I still remember the boring Sunday afternoons and the horrible silence in the streets when the children went back home for dinner.

 

In other words, I remember daily life without internet. But business without internet, I have never experienced..!! and I think that is a huge (very big) challenge.

 

Just think about it, you are only giving a notebook and pen. And you can use the office’s phone and fax machine as long as the other thirty people, who work with you, are not using it 😫

I don’t know you, but I couldn’t work properly. Or maybe I am just spoiled.

 

Working without computer or internet, I have never done. And that’s why I take my hat off (I want to show my respect) to those colleagues who have achieved so much without technology. Thank you, and I hope one day, I can be as good as you are.

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Ark Nova: When goodwill and faith travel

Art makes us think, inspire us, and move us to do things for other people. And I humbly think I felt all those things together when I saw Ark Nova,  an inflatable concert hall created to support affected areas by earthquakes. An inflatable concert hall..!

 

 

And fulfilling its destiny, Ark Nova has been in Fukushima for a couple of years, but now it is finally in Tokyo to keep spreading its message of goodwill and faith in humanity.

 

And it (Ark nova) seems to bring peace with it. It surrounds it all with calm and serenity

 

If you have some time to spare, please go to Tokyo Midtown, it will be a great experience. And no worries, there is no way to miss Ark Nova

 

To my beloved white supremacists: Here is your brown mommy

Hey, you all…!! Come on..! What are you so sad about? What did you say?

People do not understand you..!!! Oh, my..!!

You poor little things. Now, come here and let me give you a warm hug. There, there it’ll pass. You’ll see.

What is that? That the Brown people are taking your jobs? And that the African Americans have been mean to you?

Come on..! Do not cry..! Now, put down that tiki torch.

There, there… good boy.! Now come on, let’s talk..! But first, let’s blow your little white nose. Nice..!! I will definitely have to throw this handkerchief away now.

No, I will not call you master.

Now, what is that non-sense of starting a genocide so you and your children can have an opportunity in life?

Oh, I see..!! You had privileges before, and there given to you, not because of your intellectual abilities but for the color of your skin, and that’s why you don’t have any (intellectual abilities)now.

But honey, there are so many smart and successful white people out there, what is the difference between you and them?

Ahh..! I see, they worked hard, they studied hard, and they actually made a great effort to succeed in life. But you want none of that nonsense, what you want it’s things given to you.

You want things the way they were before the civil war.

When the white man was respected and feared, and that’s why you voted for the Donald Trump, although, the functionality of his prostate interferes with his “brain abilities.”

Honey, let me give it to you straight, to succeed in life, there are no shortcuts, you have to work hard, study harder and stop with the rallies and shenanigans, why don’t you work on yourself instead of trying to bring other people down? Because that ain’t cool.
And now go on your way because this brown hot mamma gotta keep working.

 

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Music: Musical notes and words

The earliest memories I have of music involve a piano, a guitar, and my grandfather’s sanshin (Okinawan guitar of three strings).

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We would enjoy music together. But don’t misunderstand my words, the musician was my grandfather. I was only the audience. He would play beautiful songs for me every afternoon to save us from the boredom of the routine.

He would play unknown songs, and the musical notes would dance in the air bringing us smiles. And if for any reason I couldn’t find grandpa in the house, I just had to follow the music notes hanging in the air. They always guided me to him.

And since then music has accompanied me in everything I do, even this humble post, without music, would simply no exist. And If I play the correct tune, I feel my heart opening causing the words to start pouring themselves on the paper. However, we all know very well that most of what I write it is not always entertaining nor interesting, but poor letters are better than nothing.

Curvy girl: learning to love her juicy bits

Although during my teenage years I loathed my curves, I have to admit that I have grown fond of the generous flesh that surrounds my bones. Tenacious flesh that has resisted diets and exercises.

During those innocent years of my first youth, I tried every possible diet. As there were always “helpful” people, who let me know what was wrong with my body, I was very well aware of what parts of it should be covered the most as they were exceeding in size and proportion I was told. That’s why I was always up to date with the newest miracle that would promise to give me the body I was never destined to have.

In other words, I was the subject of different experiments from “well-intentioned friends,” but I have to say that once maturity finally settled down in me. And I got rid of those “friends” I found out that I was never meant to be a slim beauty, and I am more than ok with it. I am, in fact, I am happy with it.

I rejoice in my juicy bits, I really do.

And in my personal journey to self-love, I learned that I am a happy curvy girl, with a merry soul, who, every day learns to love her juicy bits all over again.

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Introducing yourself: In Rome do as Romans do

A sunny day of spring, I bravely made my way to the closest Japanese school and tried to make one of my most precious dreams come true: Stop speaking Japanese like a barbarian.


When I got to the class, there were all younger than me, as I had expected. And all Asians. Most of them Chinese. And as I don’t speak Chinese I was feeling rather left out.

I tried to smile in a rather sad attempt to connect with them. But it was all dead silent. I was cursing myself already for being an idiot. At my 30’s something, I should have known better. I was already thinking to call my boss to apologize and ask him to give me my job back. I am sure he will believe I was “temporarily insane.” When suddenly a young teacher entered the room. Stopping my thoughts at once

He looked at us, smiled and introduced himself as our tutor. When he finished, he asked us to do the same. And if as someone had switched a lamp, the whole room became alive. The youth woke up, and the dead whispers became an animated chorus of singing cicadas in summer. It was a magical moment.

When we all finished introducing ourselves, the veil that had covered the room in the gloom was simply lifted.

And I am sure this was inadvertently for them, but for me, I had just witnessed the power of self-introduction in Asia. I have all these years thought, stupidly, that it was mainly a Japanese cultural characteristic but I was wrong, it is an Asian cultural characteristic.

In Asia, you need to introduce yourself. You must introduce yourself. As if giving the person you meet a rope to not fall off a cliff. And for me realizing this was like a car crash because I do not like introducing myself. But in Rome do as Romans do.

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My son

Taro, the little character of my book “Positive thinking to learn English (or in Japanese 英語を習うのためのプラス思考)was born one morning, when life seemed to not only have closed doors but windows, and all the paths that could ever lead to happiness. Or at least to spiritual or mental peace.
And suddenly for no reason or whatsoever, although, there is always a reason in the crazy carousel of our lives, I took a piece of paper and a pencil, although I hadn’t gripped a pencil in long time. And I held my breath while drawing fine lines and circles, and as if it were a miracle, Taro came to exist.
Smiling at me since its place in the paper, I couldn’t help but smile back at him. Very little I knew at the moment, but Taro had saved me. He forced me to look at the corner of my soul, at that part of me that I had hidden long time ago from everybody, even from myself so that it wouldn’t get hurt.
Taro softly made me look and discover that unknown part of me, at the silent place that I had always neglected, pretending it didn’t exist. But that through Taro could re-emerge, or maybe only come to be. Just be.
Sometimes life resembles a wild black horse, it will throw you. And if you are lucky, it’ll go away, but sometimes, its fury is such that it will not only throw you, but it’ll step on you, over and over again, until it is sure there is no hope to stand. Sadly, some may never stand, some stay broken, just a bare mirage of who they used to be. Some recover and get stronger, but they lose a part of their soul, and become bitter and try to take their anger on others, I think I was destined to be one of those souls. And lastly, there is a lucky group of people, who recover and become human. I think I was fortunate enough to be part of this last group of people, and although, I would like to get credit for this, I don’t think, for a second, it is my merit. I think a miracle happened. The ordinary in the extraordinary took place when Taro found me, and with him, I started writing discovering  I’m a storyteller. And with him, I never went back to be the same. I became a little braver and started putting my words out there. So, with little Taro, the story begins, again, when it should be finishing.

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Cazando historias

Caminando en medio de la ciudad, del bullicio, y de las incertidumbres de la vida misma, me pierdo, porque a mí nada de eso me importa. Lo que a mí me importa, son las personas y su ajetreo, me concentro en su ir y venir, y las observo. Trato de leer sus rostros, como quien lee cartas olvidadas.

En cada gesto trato de adivinar sus sentimientos, sus intenciones y sus miedos. Y espero a que sus miradas me hablen, y me revelen sus historias. Pero no las historias que se comparten con las amigas a la hora del té sino las historias que aparecen en medio de la noche como almas en pena reclamando justicia. Esas historias que llevan secretos malditos y que aún en sueños nos acechan.

Todos tenemos esas historias en nuestro bagaje.

Pero yo creo, que no las guardamos dentro de nosotros, porque entonces no podríamos vivir. Pienso que las echamos al universo a que se pierdan, a ver si la suerte nos acompaña y se extravíen por ahí, y encuentran a otro más desgraciado que uno para torturar.

Y ellas se van vagando por el mundo, extraviadas y solitarias, pero sabiendo bien a quien pertenecen y buscándole. No importa si habéis cambiado de dirección, de ciudad o país, porque ellas siempre sabrán como encontrarle. Aun así hayan pasado decenios, ellas sabrán reconocer a quien las abandonó, y su furia no tendrá piedad.

Esas son las historias que yo colecciono, he capturado algunas ya, y aunque pueden infringir miedo en algunos, yo las amo, porque reflejan nuestra verdadera naturaleza, no lo que aparentamos ser, sino lo que somos cuando creemos que nadie nos observa o pensamos que nunca nos cacharan las mentiras. Esas historias que nos recuerdan que aunque vivamos en un mundo superpoblado, en realidad, nos encontramos solos.