January 2010 Archives

After the Concert

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It is raining from morning, cold, but not snowing. I have a headache today perhaps because I listened to very noisy sound yesterday. Yesterday afternoon, I attended the Case Study at the psychosomatic clinic in Kitahama with doctors, and in the evening, I went to my son's live concert. He has been playing music with his friends since 15, and he has come to think of playing music on his own as a sort of training. He found a live house new to him at Yao, asked the shop owner, and decided to register himself there. And it was his first solo live yesterday.
The hall was rather big in comparison with the live houses he and his friends used before. The stage was higher than the floor, and the lighting and sound facilities were better. As usual, there was no seat in the hall, but I found a small space to sit on, and watched other groups from the very rear of the hall.

walkingman3.jpgFive sets of musicians played last evening, one was my son, three were visual hard rock groups, and one was an outdated heavy metal group! They were all very noisy except my son's performance.... As the shop was near my son's university, his friends came to hear him. The picture on the left shows my son and his friends seeing the hard rock performance. Against my anxiety, my son was relaxed and seemingly very happy.

walkingman2.jpgHe used a Kaossilator (Dynamic Phrase Synthesizer) with a Loop Station, using them for a rhythm session, base, and keyboard. Switching on and off the machines busily, he played his song with his acoustic guitar with a pick up microphone. He also made his voice looped as "Good evening, good evening, good, good, good evening...." I am afraid if the audience who likes listening to the hard rock music might not enjoy such distinctive music ... though it was interesting for me to see him creating sounds. I saw some of the audience were very curious about his technique. Anyway, my son played for 20 minutes all by himself. I was introduced to his classmate and his friend of film-making club, and his girlfriend came to say hello to me. When I said good-by to them and went out of the hall, I saw the guitarists of the heavy metal group, in their black costume, carrying thier guitars on their back, rode on the bicycles and went home. They might live near. I felt warm and could not help smiling.


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I am thinking of attending ICASSI this year. Until recently, I intended to attend ICASSI next year. In 2011 ICASSI will be held in Switzerland and ICIP (International Congress of Individual Psychology) will be held at Vienna, so that you can travel Europe and may attend both. However, I have changed my mind for the following reasons. First, I want to learn Life-Style analysis from Dr. Yvonne Schürer directly as soon as possible. I heard that her talent in reading Life-Style is the level of a great master. Though we can learn from her in Japan when she comes this autumn, I am sure we can learn much more when studying intensively in regular two weeks' class in ICASSI. Second, ICASSI this year will be held in Romania. Not all participants in Romania will speak English very fluently, and that situation may help us Japanese. I guess the speed of the lecturer will be slower than in the English speaking countries. Third, my parents are getting older ... so I had better get a chance while I can.
The problem is, as always, finance. The deadline of the early bird fee will be March 31. I intend to begin researching the air fare at HIS or some shops soon.

dracula.jpgOh, I forgot to tell you! The Transylvania district in Romania was one of my early dream land. I love to visit Count Dracula's castle!

Walking on a Tightrope

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I read a Hasid story this morning. I think I have heard it before.

There were two friends of the king, and both were proved guilty of a crime. Since he loved them the king wanted to show them mercy, but he could not acquit them because even a king's word cannot prevail over the law. So he gave this verdict: A rope was to be stretched over a deep chasm, and, one after another, the two were to walk across it. Whoever reached to the other side was to be granted his life. It was done as the king ordered, and the first of the friends got safely across.

Now, I stopped reading here and started meditating on it. If I am in the same situation, I know I become upset and tense, and am sure to be failed. Even not in such a crucial situation, I often become tense and tend to lose a control over me. I am such a coward.
I think we are walking across on a tightrope in a sense every day. When we feel we cannot make a mistake, cannnot lose anything, and when we feel we must succeed, we become stiff and perhaps the most unpreferable thing will happen. On the other hand, when we are relaxed and let things happen, perhaps we can make way. Or, we will fail, but the result might not be cared.
The answer is : Meditation, awareness, trust. Then we can acquire serenity and enjoy walking on the tightrope.

The other, still standing on the same spot, cried to him, "Tell me, friend, how did you manage to cross?" The first called back, "I don't know anything but this; whenever I felt myself toppling over to one side, I leaned to the other."

Well, I am a coward and cannot acquire this peace of mind yet, even though I know the answer in words. I think I am short of time for meditation these days. I will try from today, the ?th birthday of mine.

Pont au Courage in January

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This morning we held a meeting of the self-help group of Adlerian Psychology, Pont au Courage, not in Kobe, but in Nishinomiya. I had opened my living room for the group for seven years, first in Kobe and secondary in Amagasaki. When I moved my house to Osaka, one of the members kindly made us use a meeting room of her apartment house in Kobe last year. She has become very busy these days, so we thought it was better to rent a room of a public utility for our meeting. The purpose of our group is to learn Adlerian Psychology together, so choosing the room is not the vital; we can learn any place if we decide to learn. So we discussed last month, and decided that members will reserve the rooms in turn. As a consequence, I have reserved a room in Nishinomiya for the meeting this month. Thanks for the other members, they gathered as before, and one more new member came to join us. I think we had a great time, learning much from an episode.


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Sometimes I become much inactive and spend a lazy day. This morning I had a headache according to stiff shoulders from yesterday, so I decided to stay home a whole day. By chance, it is the Memorial Day of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 15 years ago. I have been watching special news programs on TV. They had a Memorial Ceremony at Hyogo Prefectural Office, and the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess Masako came to attend it. Even the Prime Minister Pigeon came. It was just nothing but a formality. However, I could not help weeping by the message of the delegate of the survivors, who lost his 16 years old son at that earthquake....
shrine.jpgIt was mere luck that we did not lose our lives on the day. We would have injured severely if anything had crashed down on us, and it could have really happened. They, and we, and all who survived were blessed, destined to live. Watching the news on Kobe, I felt a kind of homesickness. I wanted to share this feeling with people who had experienced the same disaster. Anyway, I live in Osaka and love to stay here, especially in this old town. What I lost was the community I had 15 years before, and what I get here is a convenient life in an area of tradition and history. Home is where you make it.

Egon Schiele

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As one of my friends wrote about Egon Schiele in her blog, I remembered that I had been to the exhibition at the end of last year. It was the exhibition of Museum of Vienna, featuring Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, major Austrian painters in the early 20th century. However, I was rather disappointed because their oil paintings were not shown much.

schiele3.jpgI saw Schiele's oil paintings in Belvedere Museum in Vienna two years ago. Before I went there, my target was Klimt, but when I entered the room of Schiele's work, I could not leave the room. I was overwhelmed by the energy of the pictures. I saw "Death and the Maiden", "Family", "Four Trees", and some others. I only wanted to look at these pictures forever.
schiele1.jpgI do not know why I was so much fascinated by his work. His pictures have a certain unique aura. The confident composition, and the twisted postures and the straight gaze of the models. The most impressive picture for me was "Four Trees". Though he drew no person here, how expressive these trees are! When you see it real, the color of the sky was almost scary, like blazing fire.
According to Wikipedia, the most important collection of Schiele's work is stored in the Leopold Museum in Vienna. If I have a chance to go to Vienna once more, I wish to visit the Leopold Museum and see other Schiele's.


Happy Racoons(2)

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Dr. Noda's amateur skill of drawing cartoons has risen, and when he drew his racoon dog for fun, many participants in the workshop loved it. I am afraid that they may envy me because he often sends me racoons by fax. As I wrote before, he sends me a report of bank income in the evening when the applicants pay participation fee. He usually adds a cartoon of happy racoon dog in the blank space of the fax paper. Because people love them, I want to share with you before I say good-bye to them.

racoons.JPGThese are the racoons I received in the end of last year. See them clockwise from the top left, they are in chronological order. You can enlarge the picture when you click it. It is working busily perhaps for the New Year's preparation. It cleans its house, cooks its food, and reads its book, always enjoying! It seems to eat stew, pancake, some grated yam soup, and fish. And it seems to have an electric vacuum cleaner, glass windows, along with a classical furnace!

A New Hairdresser

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Yesterday I had my hair cut at a nearby hairdresser's where Jolanta went during her stay in Japan. Jolanta told me that she went into the shop and asked the hairdresser if she could speak English, and as she said yes, she had her hair cut there. I was surprised at their courage and became interested in the hairdresser. As I still went to the hairdresser's in Amagasaki, I decided to explore a new one near my house in Osaka.
The shop is called "Tomi" and is run by a lady. She was a good-natured, jolly woman around 40. I told her that I heard of this shop from a Latvian woman, and Ms Tomi remembered Jolanta very well and shouted with joy, "Oh, that is Nara-chan's mother!"
tomi.jpgShe told me that in November she saw Jolanta passing by the lane in front of the shop, and was struck by her beauty and smiled at her. Then Jolanta noticed Ms Tomi, came in and asked her to cut her hair. Ms Tomi became the panic but she bravely tried to communicate using all knowledge of English she had. She could not even understand "daughter", she mistakenly took Nara's age "forty" instead of "fourteen", and so on. But Ms Tomi was professional. When she finished Jolanta's hair, it was a great success, and they both shouted "Kawaii!"
When leaving, Jolanta said "I will remember you", but Ms Tomi could not understand it. So she went home, and asked her junior-high school student daughter the meaning. And when she knew the meaning, she was deeply impressed....
Ms Tomi was excited about the encounter with Jolanta and, sequentially, with me, so she could not stop talking. She actually kept on speaking for more than 15 minutes without touching my hair! Of course, I enjoyed her merry speech very much. Moreover, her hair cutting was very good; I think my hair became a little bit more stylish. Isn't it an amusing thing that my introducer to this shop was Jolanta Cihanovica from Latvia?

Family Meeting in Kobe

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Yesterday my daughter, her husband, my son, and I gathered at my parents' house for New Year's greeting. My father and mother were very glad to see their grandchildren. They were happy to see my daughter with her husband. And they gave my son a special Otoshidama as he came of age last year. So my son was happier as never before.
ocean.JPGAfter the greeting, we all went for lunch to a French restaurant "Comme-Chinois" near Hotel Okura Kobe in the bay area. This restaurant was very very nice. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very quiet and serene and they served beautifully decorated nouvelle cuisine. What was the most splendid was the landscape of Kobe bay. The weather was fine, the sea reflected the sunshine, and the seagulls were flying over the fountain in the park. We were very relaxing and cozy.

ocean2.JPGAfter the lunch, my daughter's husband drove back to Tottori because he would give lectures today. My daughter will stay in Kobe for two or three days more. I am afraid that there is no such bright light in Tottori in winter. So I was glad to see my son in law enjoying one of the best landscapes of Kobe.

Two Films on Painters

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vermeer1.jpgI saw two films during the New Year holidays. They were about Dutch painters, one was Johannes Vermeer, and the other was Rembrandt van Rijn.
First, I saw "Girl with a Pearl Earring," which was named after the famous painting by Vermeer. This film is imitating colors and light of Vermeer's paintings; vivid yellow, transparent blue, and white glister. The girl actress is attractive and the music is classical. I saw some of Vermeer three years ago in Rijksmuseum (National Museum) Amsterdam, though "Girl with a Pearl Earring" was not there.
vermeer2.jpgThe famous one in the Rijksmuseum was "The Kitchen Maid" who was pouring milk beside a window. The setting of the house of the film was just the same angle as in his pictures, and I sometimes felt deja vu. It was a fascinating movie and I liked it very much. I can give it three stars.

The other one is "Nightwatching," which was also named after the famous painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. I saw the real "Nightwatching," the most gigantic picture I had ever seen, in Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. They exhibited some pictures based on stories of the Bible as well as some portraits and Rembrandt's self-portraits.

rembrandt.jpgMy favorite was "Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem." I think Rembrandt was really a genius. His description of people, their hands, their costume, was superb. His insights to the people were so deep. I visited the House of Rembrandt also, and was happy to see his atelier, storeroom, kitchen and bedrooms.

However, the film was not appealing to me. Both the camera work and music were modern, the story was fragmentary, so I sometimes failed to follow. It depicted the dark side of the Golden Age of Holland, full of intrigue, betrayal and cruelty of upstart merchants. The film was ended when Rembrandt received revenge from them, and I became gloomy. Because I love Rembrandt's paintings, I felt they disgraced my idol. So, I am sorry to say that the Rembrandt movie got no star.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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