June 2009 Archives

Necktie Arrived!

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I ordered ties with Norman Rockwell's pictures to a shop in West Virginia through internet site ten days ago, and today, they have arrived. I am surprised as I have not expected such a rapid delivery. The shopkeeper of the site, Kathy Wildman, was kind enough to suggest a discount for the shipping fee. The usual fee for export was $12.00, but she wrote me that she would send them by $6.00 because ties were so light. Moreover, she had packed and was ready to ship my ties in two days from my first e-mail, perhaps because I wrote they were gifts for my father and I wanted them as soon as possible. I am most grateful to her kindness.
Do you believe that this is my first time to buy ties for gifts for men? However, I boldly bought two ties at a time. They are of different designs, one is called "Doctor Examines Dolly" which I showed you the picture before, and the other is "Family Doctor." Both are silk ties and I think them tremendously beautiful. I am going to give the former to my father, and the latter to my brother. Father will be glad when I go to see him and hand it to him, and Brother will be surprised when he returns from the bioclean room after PBSCT is succeeded.

Strolling Old Town

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My nettle rash has not yet gone away, so I went to a dermatologist this morning. Dr. Noda recommended me a skilled doctor in Mikunigaoka, Sakai. It is rather far from my house, but Sakai is a familiar city to me. My family lived in Mozu, Sakai for four months after the Great Hanshin Earthquake 15 years ago. My son was four years old then and often suffered from otitis media, so I used to go to doctors here and there with him. I bought a bicycle and rode him on the back seat and ran around Mozu and Mikunigaoka areas. My treatment was over before noon, and I felt like walking around my good old town. I intended to visit Mozu-Hachiman Shrine and if possible, wanted to drop in at one of the ancient tombs.

mozu.JPGThere are many ancient tombs in Sakai, and the most famous one you know is perhaps Daisen-Kofun, so called the Emperor Nintoku's Tomb. Most of the ancient tombs are restricted to enter, so they seem to be big green forests floating on the dark green ponds. Because those tombs are irregular shaped, the roads around the tombs are curving and winding so much that I often lose my way. Today, as usual, I lost the direction and walked a lot.
Finally I arrived at an ancient tomb which I guess Gobyo-yama, ie., holy-tomb-mountain. I remembered I once happened to come here, in a rainy day like today 15 years ago. The cherries were blooming and the petals were floating on the dark water. Today, nobody was around and three big crows were croaking and quarreling, so I felt I was not welcomed.

mozuhachiman.JPGThen I found a road and succeeded in visiting Mozu-Hachiman Shrine. The gods of the shrine protected my family when we lived there, so I paid homage and said my gratitude. I heard our old apartment near this shrine had been pulled down some years before. That was an apartment my ex-husband's company prepared and there were many refugees from the Earthquake. We made friends with two families with small kids. Oh I remember the spring we were together, possessing nothing, living every day for children. One of the friends died too young of a sudden heart attack....
I went into a Post Office to do some payment, and asked the nearest station. The clerk kindly told me of Nankai Mozu-hachiman station. When I went out of the Post Office, it started raining heavily. Then I noticed that my nostalgic stroll had ended.

Caring for Plants

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pothos.JPGWhen I got divorced and moved into a small room in Tsukaguchi, the owner of the room gave me some pots of green plants. Some had withered up and some had survived; among them, golden pothos and sansevieria were lucky to survive. I took them with me when I moved to this room in Osaka. Now the golden pothos is in the height of its growth. Two years ago I divided one pot into two, but you see, these two have already become like jungles. The leaves in the center began withering, so I thought I must plant it to a bigger pot. I planted, cut the unhealthy stem short and dipped the tip in water. I will plant this small stem in a pot later.
As for the Dieffenbachia Tropica, he is quite healthy these days. Perhaps the heat of the concrete was not good for him, and after I put a wooden board under him, his condition is fairly well.
pothos3.JPGI have one more kind of green in my house. Father gave me two pots of cactus with many buds of flowers when he came to me last time. We thought they were going to bloom soon, but I am afraid to say that they are still in a total silence. I guess that they are shocked by the moving and are hesitating to bloom. I call them "Cac (Sabo)" and "Tus (Ten)," and often say hello and see them carefully, but they do not reply. If they change their minds and make them flower, I will show you the picture of them.

A Family Party

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This morning I got up with an idea that I would visit my brother today. I called Mother and asked when she would go to see him. She said at around two o'clock this afternoon. I told her that I would come also, and sent Brother e-mail. He replied that he would be glad to see us.
At two, I went to his room in the hospital. I had not seen him since April. He got through tough treatment and he looked older now. For me, he looked like our grandfather though he did never agree to that point. He put four paper cups on the table, setting instant drip-coffee packages on them. I was touched that he was waiting for us.
After a few minutes my parents came with four pieces of cakes. As Brother cannot eat fresh food, he chose a sacher torte. Mother asked me which one I wanted to eat, saying, "This marron cake is for Father!" Then there were two pieces remained which I could choose. This is the typical movement of our Mother. I took a cake with fresh mango and Mother a strawberry short. We ate cakes and drank coffee he prepared. It has been long time since we, my parents and brother and me, gathered and chatted face to face alone in a small room. It was as if we were living together thirty years ago. We became old and the family has expanded, but in a sense, we have not changed at all.

Suddenly...

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I had been writing this blog every night from April 13 except when I went traveling. Besides, I kept on writing e-mails to my brother every morning from January except the days of his temporary discharge. Four days ago, suddenly on Monday, I was surprised to find that I was not in the mood of writing sentences. I found out that I was empty, had nothing in my mind to write. I tried to make up some sentences, but somehow I did not feel like writing, so I gave up. My brother discharged and I stopped writing to him from Sunday, so perhaps it had changed my rhythm. On Monday, not to write any sentence seemed to be a kind of crime or shame, but on Tuesday and Wednesday, I felt rather liberated because I did not have to search for something to write. Write nothing to anyone in any morning and night.... How easy it is! I enjoyed doing nothing these three days. And suddenly again on Thursday, something, perhaps a goddess of chattering, descended on me and I felt like writing. It happened very naturally, I never drove me to do so. My rhythm has returned. My brother returned to hospital yesterday and I wrote him from this morning again. From this experience, I learned a lesson: I will be careful not to make this blog an obsession, a duty of mine. I started this blog as a training for English, but now it has become an important tool to express myself. If I enjoy writing, the readers may enjoy it. Thank you!

Urticaria

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I got a rash over my whole body. When I woke up in the morning of Wednesday, I had a very strange feeling on my lips. Especially my upper lip was swelling as if a mosquito had bitten the very rim of my lips. When I eat something, it is difficult to move them as usual. As time has passed, my eyes became itchy and the face too. Sometimes at my right ear, then my chin, then some part of my cheek, or around my mouth..., at first nothing has seen, but once I began to scratch the places, it became red and I could not stop scratching, often till it bleeds. In the Wednesday night, the itchy parts spread to my hands, to arms, to belly, and to the feet. I think it is urticaria, a nettle rash. I have never experienced such a rash before. I do not know why it comes; from food, or from sweat. Fortunately, nobody notices the swelling of my lips though it seems to me a double size(!) And unfortunately, nobody notices my unbearable feeling of itchiness. This evening, at last I bought a bottle of anti-histamine tablets and took some. I hope the rash will somewhat subside till tomorrow morning.

A Promise in Future

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I asked my brother if we, my children and I, could visit him in the hospital, but he answered: "Thank you for your kindness, but I want you all to come after the operation succeeds. I remember your son(my nephew)'s birthday is August 3, and my next goal is to get out of the hospital before his birthday." So we decided not to go to see him this time. His own birthday is July 15 and he will celebrate his 53rd birthday in a bioclean room. What a pity! However, I feel so grateful because he has conquered many risks one by one and has received dangerous treatments in great patience.
Brother also said that he has given up wearing contact lenses and has made new glasses. His fingers became numb and often tremble. He said his glasses and his skinhead style suit him best. But I wonder.... It is because I know him of the same style when he was a junior high school student. In those days in Kobe, boys in the junior high were ordered to cut their hair very short. It was of course a notorious rule for boys! I sent him a mail, saying that I remember that he was skinhead and wearing black rim glasses. He answered, "I do not wear black rim glasses this time! I chose very handsome glasses. I took a picture of mine and keep it in my portable phone. So, when I have enough courage to show you, you will see!" All right, I am looking forward to seeing him after the success of the transplant operation.

Learning Silence

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These days I think I have been talking too much, not as action but in mind. Every morning I write an e-mail letter to my brother, hoping that he can be a little happier by reading. In daytime, I often think of how I can manage to teach or tell people Adlerian way of thinking and how to encourage them to make action. And every evening I write this blog in order to get used to express various things in English. My mind is speaking this and that, all day long. Even at nights, I sometimes do not sleep well when my chattering disturbs me. Only during the time of meditation, I learn to be silent, the wordless state of mind. It is not very difficult to go into that state of mind in the morning, but it is difficult to keep that state long. Words slip in to me so easily, and I begin to chat in mind automatically. However, it may not be a matter of duration.

I heve read an interesting story:

Joe entered a monastery where the rule of silene was very strict. Only once every seven years was a monk allowed to speak - briefly - to the Father Abbot.
Joe had been a monk for seven years - his time came to speak.
'Have you anything to say?' asked the Abbot.
'Yes,' replied Joe. 'Bed's too hard!'
Seven more years passed, and again Brother Joe was permitted to speak.
'Anything to say?' asked the Abbot.
'Food's terrible!' said Joe.
After seven more years of silence, he came once more before the Father Abbot.
'Anything to say?'
'Yes, I'm leaving!'
'Well,' said the Abbot, 'I'm bloody well glad to hear it. You have done nothing but complain since you've been here!'

Now, a person who after seven years of silence simply comes to say, 'Bed's too hard,' or 'Food's terrible,' can't be silent. For seven years he is continuously thinking, 'The bed is too hard and the food is terrible. Let the time come and I will say so!' Day and night he must be obsessed with it. Otherwise, after seven years of silence there will not be anything to say. One will bow down. One will not even say, 'Thank you,' because that is too small, not worth saying. But this is how it is. At least Joe was a man of great control - for seven years!

all from THE WHITE LOTUS by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

A Gelati Shop

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Today I used an air-conditioner of my house first time in this season. Osaka is famous for its heat and humidity. It is perhaps the hottest city in Japan because of the reflected heat from concrete, metal and glass. On my way home in the evening, I dropped in at a small gelati shop near my house. The name of the shop is CIRCO D'ORO. A family runs the shop and as far as I know, there are a middle-aged man, his sister, and their father. They gave me a piece of advertisement paper, and I read that the brother and the sister went to Italy and were apprenticed for making gelati for one year. Do you know the authentic way of eating a gelato? Now I can tell you, as I learned it by the paper. Put the cup out from freezer for some minutes, and wait until it melts a little when a spoon can scoop it easily. You can either warm it in a microwave oven for ten seconds. If you mix it with air, both of the taste and the flavor will increase.

gelato.jpegThey sell many variations of ice cream, parfait, for children, for young people, and for elders. I am now trying common gelati cups one after one, such as strawberry, chocolate, banana, tea, cappuccino. They taste surprisingly light that I do not need water after eating. The family seems to be very proud of the taste and quality of their products. Both of the guys there have the mustache, and are so friendly to the visitors of the shop. They say "Grazie!" instead of "Thank you!" when they are handing me change, almost taking my hands. In those occasions, I cannot help smiling at their happy faces. I am thinking of trying a pistachio taste gelato next time. I am sure I will pay frequent visits to that shop this summer!

Arranging an Interview

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My brother in the hospital will be treated by PBSCT (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation) perhaps from the end of this month. He will be locked up in a bioclean room for at least three weeks, so I want to visit him before the treatment begins. As My daughter will come back to Kobe from tomorrow and she will bring many of her pictures of the wedding, I asked her to go to see her uncle with me, and Son also. After some consideration and discussion, they decided to go if their uncle consents his niece and nephew to come. His condition is not always good, so we must be careful not to disturb his rest. Moreover, I have heard that he is almost bald now, and his face is swelling by the side effect of the antibiotic medicines. I shall respect Brother's will to the first, so I will ask him tomorrow by e-mail. Anyway, I feel that it is important for my children to see their brave uncle, who is confronting to his illness with all his might.

Goal Alliance

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Some clients of Life-Style analysis of me are in the reeducation stage now. Every week I plan and try to do good counseling, but often fail to reeducate them. It is difficult to change my clients' ways in behavior. I think I am not good at managing counseling, especially in this reeducational stage. According to the theory, it must be because of the lack of goal alliance. I told those things to Dr. Noda today. He said to me that I have found a good thing. I said, "But goal alliance is the minimum requirement, the must of counseling examination. I am afraid I cannot do it still now." He said, "Yes. Goal alliance is an eternal task for all of us."
And he told me an anecdote: There is an ultimate secret technique in fishing. Do you know what? To throw a bait to the exact place where fish is. Every angler knows it. We can see the fish under the water. But to swing the rod and throw the string against wind to the exact point is very difficult to actualize. It is a master's skill. The bait may be dropped at 50 inches to the right, or at 5 inches to the left. In either case, we fail. It is the same as in counseling. There are differences between the experts and beginners. After thirty years practice I am good at throwing, but we are all studying for it and the same endeavor will continue from now on.
For these years, I have been ashamed of me that I am poor in goal alliance with clients. I sometimes felt I am not enough to have this qualification of a counselor. Now I am grateful to my teacher. I have been encouraged to continue my task.

People-Watching

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On my way home riding a bus, I always enjoy looking outside from the windows. I am wondering why I am so fond of looking. I see a crowd of office workers walking, some are hurrying home and others are chatting with their friends. I see a young girl walking with her boyfriend with a beautiful smile on her face. I see a woman riding a bicycle, putting her hand on the knee lest her skirt is rolled up by the wind. I see a boy walking with headphones, moving his lips secrelty. I feel happy to see all those things. Perhaps it is partly because I am a visual sensory type person. But why do I love to watch so much?
I remind of an early recollection. When I was very little, perhaps about three years old, I was alone in my house, watching people from the window of the second floor. There were not many people passing, as the alley in front of my house was not wide. But I enjoyed seeing men and women walking by and made a careful observation. I put my elbows on the windowsills and kept the same posture, forgetting the time.
Now I found out that from the windows, of either bus or house, the people who are watched do not notice me. I can watch them without showing myself. I can satisfy my curiosity from where the place I am distant, or safe. Usually I do not watch people consciously in the trains or on the streets, face to face, and it makes me boring. Believe me, I am such a shy, timid person.

tanimachi.JPG

Pont au Courage in June

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We had a meeting of the self-help group in Kobe. As we had canceled the meeting last month because of the new flu confusion, it was held after two months' interval. Some of the members' schools had them opened yesterday and made it holiday today. So, there were only three members other than me, but it might be lucky we had enough time to discuss all of each one's cases. The cases taught us how important it is not to be emotional, and to listen to what others are thinking and feeling. Though we all had learned it and knew it, it is not easy to actualize the lesson. I guess the meaning of the self-help groups is to encourage each other to practice what we believe in, repeatedly and continuously.
We plan to invite Jolanta to our group on November 9. We have started preparing for it. Our object is that the members of the self-help groups, ie; Japanese Adlerians, will get in touch with Adlerians abroad. I want as many people as possible will come and chat with her. We will make some fliers and distribute them to old and new members of our group, and to anyone who are interested to make friends with a student of Adlerian Psychology from Europe. It will be a really exciting event, so please think of coming!

Only Action...

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It was Sunday today and I had nothing to do other than some home chores . Maybe I could go to a supermarket and buy some fruit, I thought. But I found that I was short on cleaning solutions for contact lenses. Such things might not be sold at the supermarket, so I should go to a drugstore near the station, I thought. It is not far, but not very near especially on a hot day like today. While walking about fifteen minutes to the store, I thought I should have brought my parasol. I bought a set of two bottles of cleaning solution, and bought some bread, yogurt and milk near the station. However, immediately after I came home, I found out that I had bought the cleaning solution of soft contact lenses instead of that of hard lenses. You can imagine my disappointment. To walk again with these heavy bottles in this sunlight! Shall I exchange them tomorrow after I return from Kobe? In that case, I must carry these bottles all the way to and from Kobe. Or, shall I give them to my son who uses soft contact lenses? But when on earth will he come? Perhaps there was no good idea, except going to the drugstore to-day. Maybe I could go in the evening when the sun became weaker, I thought. But I still hesitated to go, and I started reading stories of Eliade (strange stories as usual) and had a short nap. When I wake up, I thought of getting up and going from six o'clock. You see, I still wanted to delay my action. When I finally saw the watch, it was already six twenty, so at last I decided to go. I walked to the drugstore again and exchanged the bottles to those of hard lenses. On the way home, the night was approaching, and the town looked very beautiful with head and tail lights of passing cars. So, from all this consequences, today's lesson was: Only action CAN solve the problem!

For Father's Day

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tie.jpgNext Sunday will be Father's Day and I am thinking of some present for my father. As he was a medical doctor and pediatrician, I want to give him a necktie with Norman Rockwell's picture. Many of you may know this famous picture, of a family doctor examining a doll, putting his stethoscope on its chest. The doctor's bag in the picture is very similar to the bag of my father. When Father was young and I was small, he used to carry such a big black bag to visit the patients' houses. He closed his clinic and retired in 2003 after fifty years' medical treatment. I think Father resembles the doctor in the picture and I believe he likes this tie. I have searched for shops in the internet site, but I could not find a Japanese shop selling this tie. I found it finally in a shop of the US, but I am reluctant to buy it through air mail because it will take time and cost. Does anybody know a shop where I can buy this necktie in Japan?

A Busy Friday

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I have four counseling reservation today, so I went to the clinic in Kitahama at ten in the morning. Because I have moved to Osaka, it takes less than thirty minutes to go. The first case was in the reeducation stage, and I think we, the client and I, succeeded to agree with the goal at hand. The second case was now in the climax of Life-Style analysis, we discussed on the client's felt minus and felt plus. Then I had a lunch time interval for two hours, so I went back to my house and took a rest. The third case was to begin from three, but fortunately or unfortunately, it was canceled. The fourth case was again in the reeducational stage, and I was glad to see the client enjoying the counseling. After finishing the work, I took a rest again at a coffee shop. Usually I need some time to reset myself. Then I went to Adler Guild to attend the Case Study, and thanks to the person who presented the case, we learned much.
I came and went, and came and went again. But the transportation expenses were only 600 yen because I bought a one-day free ticket for all routes of subway, bus, and new-tram in Osaka. The ticket is available only in Fridays, because Fridays are decided as no-car days in Osaka. Anyway, I gratefully use it. On the way home, I bought a cup of Haagen Dazs of white peach. Yes, it is a reward to a person who worked and studied hard all day...though frequently I took rests!

Lotus, Lotus

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lotus.JPGI have many lotuses in my house. You see a small statue of Akashagarbha Bodhisattva and a candle on the picture. This is an altar in my bedroom. The Akashagarbha is a bodhisattva of wisdom, which I want most, perhaps. The flower-shaped candlestick is made of the transparent glass and I think it very beautiful. I found and bought it at Francfranc. I have another candlestick of a lotus flower made of shell, which one of my friends gave it to me. That friend gave me a lotus-shaped lamp also when I moved in to this house.
lotus2.JPGAnother picture is a yellow lotus flower in my washroom. The water runs down through the heart of the flower. Isn't it an amusing device? I always enjoy seeing the surprise of the visitors when they use the washroom! Last time when my parents came to my house, Father found there were many Jodoshu (Pure-Land School) temples in my neighborhood. Yes, I live in the Lotus Paradise, not only in my apartment, but also in my neighborhood.

The Tumbling-Rumbling Bulletin

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don.jpgI have just finished reading "Don-Guara-Gatta-Tsushin" May, 2009. This bulletin is published by Tokyo Adler Verein, one of the oldest and biggest self-help groups in Japan. I always enjoy this bulletin, but this time was special because I had participated in two-days workshop in Yokohama in March and shared the experience with them. Adlerian groups around Tokyo are now very enthusiastic on 4C work, which was based on Erica Ekle and Anthea Miller's Encouragement theory and developed by the members of Verein. This March, they tried to combine it to the technique of analyzing early recollections, so I was too much interested to miss the opprotunity. In the two-days workshop we had three sessions, and I was so lucky that I could do the roles of a client, a member, and even a leader. Reading the articles of "Don-Guara-Gatta, The Tumbling-Rumbling" reminds me of the each experience at that time clearly.
In Kinki Local Congress on Sunday, two Adlerians did highly instructive lectures on child rearing. I think that at one hand, instructive lectures may be needed, and at the other hand, educative method is needed. And I think self-help groups are highly educative method to learn Adlerian Psychology. Besides, I guess this kind of bulletin, or a newspaper, can be a very effective tool to tell about and spread Adlerian Psychology. The contributers of the bulletin are not professionals, they are people who have decided to learn. I believe that the sharing voices of members' daily practices in the families, in the working places, on the experiences in the self-help groups, on how they are encouraged to contribute, and on what they decide to do for the other people will give us great courage.

A Costly Temptation

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In Nishinomiya, there is a good concert hall, Hyogo Performing Arts Center. It was built and opened in 2005, ten years after the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The biggest hall can contain two thousand people and the sound is very deep and resonant. Oh I remember the day I watched Wagner's TANNHAUSER by the National Theater in Brno, Czech. How gorgeous the performance was! I also heard St. JOHN'S PASSION of J. S. Bach by the Netherlands Bach Society choir and orchestra. The instruments were as original as of Bach's times, and the choir was so dramatic that I was deeply impressed by the story of the last day of Jesus Christ.
tosca.jpgNow, I am a member of the early reservation of the Arts Center. Every month they send me many leaflets and try to arouse my desire. This evening I received the June Issue, and found that Puccini's TOSCA by Leningrad National Theater would come in December. What a temptation! Yet, the ticket is tooo-- expensive; 16,000 yen for a seat A. I cannot afford it after General Conference in Kochi, and Jolanta Project. Will anybody stop me? I know I should be calmed down.

Stone Spa

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Today I experienced a stone spa. I am weak in high temperature, so I do not like long bath and saunas. However, my friend asked me to go together and I went without much expectation.
First, I took off my clothes and wore the lent gown and trousers made of towel. I was recommended to drink a glass of water and went into a spa room. It was the hottest room I have ever experienced. More than twelve beds of black tourmaline stone were lined up, each were bordered with pink Himalayan halite. The stone beds were heated to 40 degrees or more. The room was very dark lit by dim lamps on the floor. There was a bamboo mesh pillow on each bed, and I spread a bath towel on the hot stone bed and laid myself on it. Gee, it was a torture!
Because it was dark, I did not notice what was happening to me, but after 15 minutes patience, I suddenly noticed that sweat rolling down from my throat to neck. Seeing in the dim light, my arms were all wet. I was perspiring a lot. It seemed as if every pore on the surface of my body was perspiring. It was a 40 minutes course, but I could not endure more than 30 minutes.
I drank glasses of water after this endurance, and took a bath to wash away sweat. It might be an illusional hope that my skin became a little smoother. I think it was good for my health, at least, to experience such heat before summer will come.

Come Upon a Miracle

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I attended Kinki Local Conference of Japanese Society of Adlerian Psychology today. In the morning they gave lectures, and in the afternoon we did some work based on the KJ method. Both were well prepared and much useful. I saw many old friends and especially, met a young woman again whom I saw last year's winter. At that time, she seemed depressed, but now she looks so healthy and lively, like a different person.
In February last year, I attended a Spiritual Work by Dr. Noda. I remember the first day of the workshop was incredibly cold. It was snowing and was so cold that the air conditioners did not work, and we all attended the workshop wearing coats, but yet freezing. Although under such a condition, or, because of that condition, the workshop had a strong impact on us and we learned much. That young woman was also a participant and somehow she spoke to me. I have forgotten totally what she told me and what I spoke to her. All I remember was that when we said good-bye, we hugged each other and she wept a little. Today, I found her also remembering me and showing me her affection. Her eyes were gleaming, and I guess she has found her place in the Adlerian community of her district, and in her family.
I always think it is very thrilling to see someone changing, to the happier direction, of course. She must have taken some risk to go to the next step of her life. She needed some courage when I first met her, but now she has changed to a person who gives courage to others around her. How grateful it is to come across such a miracle.

Treating My Parents

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Today Father and Mother came to my house from Kobe. The transit from JR to subway is very complicated and it must be very crowded around Osaka and Umeda stations especially on Saturdays. However, in this spirng, Kintetsu and Hanshin lines were connected, so if they get on a limited express from Kobe to Nara, they can directly come to my nearby station without any transfer. In fact, they came easily with no trouble, taking seats all the time for one hour. I asked them to wait at the underground center exit of the station, but they wandered off the place, getting on the escalator to the ground. Oh, old people! Finally I found them and told them they should have waited at the promised place. I am afraid I told them firmly but not very kindly....
Anyway, this is their first visit to my house in Osaka. They were glad to see me living in a comfortable space. And they liked the view from my windows and were excited to see Osaka Castle from the verandah. Mother took any tiny things in my room and commented this and that. She liked my dining table and chairs very much and Father liked "puta," the pig doll.
cherry.JPGI made cabbage rolls, and salad with tomatoes and gold kiwis. There are many good bakeries in the neighborhood, and because Mother likes bread, I bought a baguette at one shop and a cream bum at another shop. For dessert I bought strawberry and cappuccino gelati. I am glad they enjoyed lunch, Father showed a good appetite and ate it up. Moreover, they brought me a box of cherries! We spent a happy time together picking and eating the ruby-like cherries, drinking Japanese tea. Father and Mother had enjoyed traveling togther, although they did not travel anymore from this winter. I hope this small trip to my house becomes a little relief for them.

Everything Shows Life-Style

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I went to a hairdresser in the late afternoon. I usually feel tense to talk with people of the shops, but she is the rare person I enjoy talking, feeling relaxed. The shop is near the house I lived before, so it takes almost an hour to go there now. But I have kept on going and ask her cut my hair. When the hair is done, she hands me a hand mirror and makes me see the hair style. In such times, I always have some trouble in looking the image of the mirrors. I do not know whether I look in the large mirror on the wall or the mirror in my hand. I am always not certain in which direction I should tilt the hand mirror. Today, the hairdresser burst into laughter at last. She said, "It is funny! You are the only person who cannot tilt the mirror at a right angle." Yes, I always fail to see and she kindly corrects the angle. According to her, I move the hand mirror as soon as she hands it to me, I do not wait for her to turn my chair. If I hold the mirror a moment still, and tilt it after the chair has stopped, then I can easily see my hair in the hand mirror. I try to do things fast by myself without thinking of other's help. Oh, no. Don't you think it shows my Life-Style clearly?
The weather was uncertain today, but the sun shone for a while just before sunset. It was astonishingly beautiful twilight after rain.

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On Sensory Types

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I have poor eyesight. I was a bookworm when small, and often read books in dark places. Moreover, I always watched TV long time alone. I remember that even before ten my eyesight was getting worse. I wore glasses in the fourth grade for the first time, and I had to renew the glasses every year afterwards. Every spring when I put on the new glasses, I was surprised to see the world so bright and clear. It means that I usually watched the world dark and vague. It had continued until I put in contact lenses when I was in Junior High School. Thanks to the contact lenses, my eyesight was corrected, both of my nearsight and astigmatism.
puta3.JPGI think that was the reason I had developed my auditory senses. It was possibly some compensation to the visual organ inferiority. I am good at remembering people's conversations, and I enjoy learning melodies of music. So people said before that I was an auditory type person, who was especially sensitive to story and listening. About two years ago, however, I found that what was really important to me was images. When I think, I am thinking not by words but by images. When people tell me a story, I figure it out by seeing pictures in my mind. That does not mean I am good at seeing things in daily life. I see just what I want to see. I may miss many important things, but I caress things I like with my visual sense. As you notice, the outward appearances usually have meaning to me. I am getting older, and these days, my eyesight has become rather farsighted. Therefore, with the naked eye, I cannot see near things nor far things clearly. What a pity! My visual dominant days have come to the end and I should develop my auditory senses again.

Eliade

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eliade.jpgI like reading books of Mircea Eliade, a Romanian religious scientist and a fantasy novelist. I once read his "Pe strada Mântuleasa (At Mantuleasa Street)" and the story was so queer that it haunted me long. How can I explain the strangeness of his book? Let me try.... The outline of the story is so complicated that you can hardly follow the line; Many characters appear in a novel and their names are hard to remember (partly because of their Romanian names); The theme is always very vague; He may imply some divine existence, but at the same time he says the divine is often defeated by evil. But his story attracts me. Pessimistic atmosphere is dominating, but I feel his religious zeal desperately toward divine existence.
I got two volumes of his fantasy novel anthologies and like reading them once in a while. I cannot carry it outside because the book is too heavy. This morning I felt like reading his story, but I could not find one. I searched the bookshelf and other shelves, here and there, but finally I gave up. I read his another volume instead until I left home at noon.
In the evening, I went home and gee! I found the book on the chest in my room. Why could not I find it in the morning? It was Eliade's magic, I believe.

An Umbrella or a Parasol

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The rainy season has come. My umbrella was old, so I wanted to buy new one for long. This year, I finally found a nice one and bought it. It is a long umbrella with 16 bones which Neisha Crosland of England designed. There is the beautiful embroidery of blue flowers on light color. The same blue flowers are printed on the white handle. I think it very cute. It is slightly heavy but perhaps strong against wind. Because I got new one, I do not hate this season as until last year.
I have a parasol designed also by the same designer. I like this parasol either. The parasol is waterproof and can be used as an umbrella if it is not heavy rain. And the umbrella is coated for ultraviolet rays and can be used as a parasol. Then, I wonder what is the meaning to have both?

A Temporary Discharge

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Last time I saw my brother at the end of April, was the time when Mother was suddenly hospitalized. As he was very anxious about Mother, I went to his hospital and told him that she was perfectly all right. I brought him a pack of rice with green peas I boiled. He looked very well and insisted on seeing me off to the elevator hall, but a nurse called him to do rehabilitation. So we said good-bye at the door of his room. I kept contact with him by everyday mail, though. After that, his chemotherapy was going on and the level of his white blood cells declined. I had been hesitating to visit him in case he gets cold or something from visitors. Moreover, his hospital was a center of provision against the new flu, and we were recommended not to see inpatients.
Now his white blood cell got to the minimum level. After several sets of injection, last week, he had three sets of drawing of blood for "Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation´╝ÜPBSCT." His own peripheral blood stem cells were taken from the blood vessel. The cells are kept in a frozen state, and after his physical strength returns, they are to put back into the vessel. This is the first step and, perhaps the only possibility, to the complete cure of multiple myeloma, the cancer in blood.
Today he left the hospital for a week and is going to spend time with his family. I hope he enjoys the stay as much as possible.

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