People around me catch cold one after another; Dr. Noda, and some men who joined in the workshop in Numazu. They have developed the similar kind of symptoms of cold as sore throat and joint pain. They do not develop fever, but the symptoms hardly left them, it seems. I have prepared to get cold because we were together in the same classroom for four days, but I am quite all right for the present. Besides, I do not hear other female members have caught cold after the workshop. It seems to me that this infection is only for males.... Well, I heard Dr. Noda's daughter got a cold from him yesterday. So, perhaps this cold is limited to men and girls. We, females over 40, may be strong enough to repel the infection.
March 2010 Archives
This evening I saw a very big moon rising in the east. The age of the moon was 14th today. The moon was almost full and its color was deep yellow. It seemed literally like a round golden tray. I am afraid it will be cloudy next evening so we cannot see the full moon.
Well, I like the blues and my favorite song of the moon is Tom Waits' "Grapefruit Moon." I always recall this song when I see the gorgeous moon:
Grapefruit moon, one star shining, shining down on me.
Heard that tune, and now I'm pining, honey, can't you see?
'Cause every time I hear that melody, well, something breaks inside,
And the grapefruit moon, one star shining, can't turn back the tide.
Never had no destination, could not get across.
You became my inspiration, oh but what a cost.
'Cause every time I hear that melody, well, puts me up a tree,
And the grapefruit moon, one star shining, is all that I can see.
And I perfectly agree that the moon looks sometimes like a grapefruit!
I went to Tottori and stayed two nights and three days at my daughter's house. We were two for two days and her husband returned from Kyoto late last night. This morning, it was very cold but sunny, and at noon, it suddenly became dark and hailed. The small cube of ice rolled on the roofs and streets and they were whitened by hailstones in a few minutes. The temperature there was -1 degree! However, it stopped hailing soon, and began to shine again. Afterward, we went to my daughter's favorite pasta shop by car to have lunch. The restaurant was famous for serving fresh, not dried, spaghetti. We ate spinach spaghetti with cream sauce and it was so delicious. My daughter has been suffering from morning sickness these days, but when she eats something she wants to eat, she seems to be very very happy. So, her husband and I said, "the weather of Tottori and her feeling change often" and laughed.
They drove me to the JR Tottori station and we said good-bye. On my way back, the sky really changed often, and the bus ran through white mountains and sunny countryside in turn. I enjoyed both scenes of winter and spring from the windows.
There will be the Congress of the Agricultural Economics Society of Japan in Kyoto this weekend. Many of the professors and researchers will gather there and my daughter was eager to attend it. However, she gave it up this time because of her body condition. Her husband is to attend it and she will stay at home alone. So, as an indulgent mother I am, I am going to visit her this weekend to take care of her. I will get on an express bus in Saturday morning and stay three days at her house. My daughter was very happy to hear my plan. Oh I am so busy: Last weekend I was in Numazu, and this weekend I will be in Tottori. I am happy that I can do something for people I love, but because Tottori is not as warm as in Numazu, I should take care not to catch a cold!
Numazu is a good place for doing meditation. The atmosphere of the place is pure, I guess. It is transparent like the water of the sea. It took only a few minutes from the hotel to the beach and I went there every morning. I always like to feel the air from the sea. The weather of the third day of the workshop was stormy. So, the back gate of the hotel to the beach was closed on that morning. But I did not give up and found a roundabout course through a public street. I reached the sea, and wow, the wind was violent! It was dangerous for the small people: They might easily be beaten by the wind and tumble down from the dike.... The sight of the raging sea was so exciting for me that I could not leave the bench on the shore for more than thirty minutes. I was never tired of the sight of the waves. Seagulls, crows, and pigeons were happy to glide on such a wild wind. Finally the strong wind took temperature from my body and I felt chilly. However, I felt cleansed well as if I, my ego, had been blown off.
I went to Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture for the Spiritual Work and came back this evening. We are 24 people in total and stayed in a small cozy hotel for four days. The meals of the hotel were delicious and they offered us a warm service, so we were all satisfied with the accommodation. As for the location, the hotel was just in front of Suruga Bay and it had a wonderful view of Mount Fuji. On the first day, we went to see the setting sun to the beach through the back gate of the hotel, but we could not see Mt. Fuji. It was hidden by thick clouds or hazy airs of the spring. The next morning, I went to the beach alone and could see the whole shape of the mountain, but it was still hazy a bit. From evening of the second day, the wind became very strong. In addition, at midnight, the roaring sounds of thunder startled us. We heard the wind whistling all night long and during the third day. Mt. Fuji hid its fugure totally, but instead, I enjoyed seeing the stomy sea roaring and raving. Today, in the morning of the fourth day, I saw the beautiful figure of the sacred mountain Fuji at last. See the pictures I took.
On every month, the third Monday, we hold a self-help group of Adlerian Psychology, Pont au Courage. Yesterday four people including me gathered at a small meeting room in Nishinomiya. One new member who found our group in the Internet homepage came to the meeting for the first time. She did not know what to do with her child, and read books to get the knowledge for child rearing, but she thought she could not do things as right as in the books. She was discouraged and came to our group, searching for the answer. However, we do not know the answer because every child and every mother, every family value and atmosphere are different. We only know a formula how to encourage children. That is to say, we encourage children to believe in their own strength and community feeling of people. So we read aloud the first page of PASSAGE (Parent Study System on Adlerian Group Experiences), the formula or the rule to solve the problems, with which I had reared my children and fairly succeeded. She spoke a lot and we tried to find many appropriate things she and her child already did. I think she needs time to get familiar with the Adlerian way of thinking, so I hope she will keep in touch with us or some Adlerian groups.
Today, a parcel has arrived on a given date. Yes, it is a gift from my father in return to my Valentine's chocolate. He is so pleased to receive MY or MY DAUGHTER's presents that he always returns us far more expensive gifts than the chocolate. We have received brand-name make-up porches and shoulder bags, etc.. This year, he sent me a Kitamura's coin purse. Wow, I like this pale blue color. Perhaps my father and mother went to the department store in Sannomiya together and there is no doubt that Mother chose and decided this gift. I called them to say thank you. We had a little talk and I asked them to come to my house when it gets warm. I am thinking of inviting my brother at the same time because he has never come here. Perhaps in May, in the middle of spring, the best season for everyone. Oh, but how about my brother's return to my Valentine's chocolate? Maybe he and his wife have forgotten that this is the White Day!
This is a very rare thing but one of my clients gave me a present the other day. As for this client, our first interview was more than a year ago. We finished the Life-Style analysis in summer, but she kept on coming to me once a month because she wanted to talk about her daily episodes in her workplace and with her family. She decided to resign from her job this spring, where she has been working for 35 years. So, we had the last session last Friday.
She did not like her mother at first; she often wept when she talked about her mother. Even after the Life-Style analysis, she was still saying that she could not forgive her mother. But during the working through period, she has changed much, I guess. In the last interview, she said "I have been asking for care from mother and others. I think it was childish as I have now grown up. I'd like to be one who takes care of people who needs care like my mother." Great! She has grown so much by learning her own Life-Style. I was deeply impressed by the power of Adlerian Psychology.
This cute cotton bag was made by her mother, she said. Her mother is very good at sewing small things. She wants to learn how to make these things from her mother and help her mother sell these handmade bags in a garage sale or something. I guess both of the client and her mother will be encouraged by such cooperation. The fact that the client has started encouraging her mother was the happiest thing to know for me. This cute present is a token of her growth and her decision for contribution.
Today is our teacher, Dr. Jalsha Noda's 62nd birthday. I met him in the afternoon to work at the clinic in Kitahama and handed him a small present. It was very cold today. I heard it was snowing even in the warm districts, Kyusyu and Shikoku. In March, it often snows after several warm days. We call it a return of winter, kan no modori. It was cold and snowing the day Dr. Noda was born, he said. According to him, not only it was snowing, but also the thunder was rolling. Moreover, five colored clouds, which represented an arrival of some noble, precious man were in the sky. However, unfortunately, it was midnight and nobody saw the five colored clouds.
I found some more amazing pictures which had been sent from Soichi Noguchi in the space station. Space rockets were one of the greatest dreams when I was a child, but now people can come and go by using "shuttles." Moreover, they can easily send messages and pictures to people on the earth, and we can receive them through our personal computers. Wow, it is a great device!
I started Twitter last week; I did 21 tweets, am following 18 people, and am followed by 11 people now. Last autumn, one of my friends told me that she is writing English in Twitter to brush up her English ability. Yeah, I agreed that it was a good idea. If I knew this tool last spring, I might have chosen Twitter instead of this Red Bird's blog. In Twitter you can write anything trivial like a bird twittering. The space for the comment is very small so you do not have to write long sentences. I recommend Twitter for a tool in training any foreign languages. However, I am a little too talkative and perhaps I need enough space for chattering, not for twittering. Therefore, in Twitter I am writing Japanese on very very trivial daily matters.
At first, I did not know how to belong in, but gradually I was used to this specific community. Some twitters of famous politicians, Koichi Hamada and Daijiro Hashimoto, are interesting. Today I found an astronaut, Soichi Noguchi. He is twittering live from the space station! Can you imagine that we are connecting across the dizzying far space? This is the picture of night scene of Sapporo he sent from the space. So beautiful!
This is the paradox of the Hasid. He works hard and still he trusts that the ultimate flowering is going to be only by His grace, by God's grace.
And it is beautiful. We are very small. Our effort cannot create much. Our fire is very small -- by this fire alone we cannot set the whole existence aflame. We are just drops. We cannot create oceans out of these drops. But if the drop can drop into a deep prayer, the ocean becomes available. When the drop relaxes, it becomes capable of containing oceans in itself. It is small if you look only at its periphery; it is tremendously vast if you look at its centre.
I have still been reading Osho Rajneesh's "The Art of Dying" in the mornings. And these sentences are beautiful. Without action, gods will not smile on us; but we will not achieve only with our action. We are tiny drops, but the drops can become the ocean. Life is very complex as Jolanta said in her lecture.
Man is both, man is a paradox. He is the tiniest particle of consciousness, an atom, very atomic, and yet he contains the vast. The whole sky is contained in him.
And what I love most in Osho's lectures is the beauty of his metaphors. I feel as if energy is poured into my heart, imagining the vastness of ocean and sky. What an energy of the words!
I finished sending the application form to ICASSI in Poiana Brasov, Romania. In both weeks I will attend Dr. Yvonne Schurer's classes: "Lifestyle Analysis: A Practical Approach" for the first week, and "Using Lifestyle for Problem Solving" for the second week. As for the morning class, I decided to attend Ms Erica Echle's "Group Process in Education" in the first week. Erica is popular among the Adlerians in east Japan because the group members of Tokyo have developed her idea of 4C (Connect, Capable, Count, and Courage) for their 4C Works. This class is "open to all who work with groups", so I hope to learn much for the self-help groups in Japan. I made friends with Erica when I went to ICASSI 2007. In the International Night, we did a small play "Individual Psycowlogy." The members of that funny play were some Swiss, a few Indians, a Greek, and two Japanese. Oh, what a mess! Erica played a role of a cow, and I played a role of Aikido Master. It was so funny!
For the morning class in the second week, I choose a class of "Adlerian Psychotherapy" by a Romanian teacher, whose lectures are based on the Chicago Adlerian techniques and practice by Dr. Dreikurs, Dr. Mosak, and Dr.Shulman. So I can learn Adlerian Psychology of Chicago method in English. It will be great!
As for the accommodation, I choose Hotel Alpin which seems to be my preference. I read a guidebook of Romania and found Poiana Brasov is a famous ski resort, which means in summer it is a nice place to spend holidays!
March has come and this is the season of boiling ikanago for people live in Kobe. Ikanago is very small fish of a sea bass kind caught in the Inland Sea of Japan. People in Kobe love eating the young fish of ikanago about two or three cm long, boiling them with soy sauce and sugar. We call this boiled young fish kugi-ni, boiled nails, because they are similar to broken nails in their color and the shape.
If you know five housewives in Kobe, you find at least one is a master kugi-ni maker. One of my aunts who died when I was 35 was the master: She cooked more than ten kilograms of kugi-ni every spring and distributed them to her friends and relatives. I ate her kugi-ni every year from my teens to the early thirties. After she died (I remember that she came to say good-bye to me when she left...) my mother and I tried other masters' kugi-ni for some years, but we were not satisfied with the taste. At last I started cooking kugi-ni for myself. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I did not, but I always enjoyed boiling one or two kilograms of ikanago in spring.
When I moved to Amagasaki, I tried but failed once, perhaps because the heat of the cooker in my apartment house was weaker. Besides, I could not buy raw young ikanago in Amagasaki as fresh as in Kobe. And here in Osaka, I have never seen raw young ikanago are sold though we can find a lot of kugi-ni in markets. People in Osaka may not have custom of cooking kugi-ni for themselves.
The other day, however, I found a seemingly delicious packaged kugi-ni at a food shop in the Kintetsu Department Store basement. Although it was expensive, I bought it, and to my surprise, it was really tasty! It was very similar to that of my aunt's. In Osaka, perhaps we can get things we want if we pay for it. I love it, so I want to buy one more package and send it to my daughter, who also love kugi-ni very much.
I got a result of a blood test which I took about a month ago. I had been suffering from a serious anemia for several years because of the myoma of the uterus, but the amount of the iron in blood has totally recovered after the surgery. However, this time, the level of the neutral fat and the total cholesterol were higher than the standard level. This is the first tendency of the metabolic syndrome! My weight does not change and the results are not very high yet, but I should be careful about my eating habits. First, I tried to change my lunch at my working place. I usually eat two pieces of egg sandwich and a sweet roll, but today I ate two pieces of vegetable sandwich and an orange. Is it effective?
Doctors around me kindly (cruelly?) tell me that the worst thing to eat is CREAM. Any kind of cream made from milk will increase our neutral fat and cholesterol level. Ice cream too! And the next worse thing to eat is SUGAR. Chocolate, cake, cookies, and anko.... Oh it will be a miserable life, if they are forbidden!
Yes, I know what I should eat. The best food to eat is, for example, boiled genmai (unpolished rice), grilled fish, boiled vegetables, and miso soup with tofu. When somebody like my children or friends came to my house, I am really happy to prepare these foods, but when alone, I do not want to cook at all. I am basically a lazy person. So I should invite my friends to come and dine with me for my health. And it will also make my life happier!
I attended a study group of Individual Psychology a week ago. It was a one-day workshop led by veteran Adlerian seniors. In the morning, we had a kind of demonstration of open counseling. The demonstration group consisted of a counselor, a client, two helpers who searched for the client's resources, and two more helpers who tried to make up questions. Those helpers were prohibited from speaking, just writing down the resources and the questions on the white boards behind the couple. Other participants in the room were to think of the resources and the questions at their seats.
I volunteered and became a client. It was a great experience! People found many resources of me and I felt what I wanted to solve had melted away by their warm encouragement. However, what I learned from this experience was greater than what I got as a client.
I learned how sensitively a client might behave in an interview. I started my story by speaking, "Well, I am a little embarrassed to tell you that...." What my embarrassment was, I myself did not know. Afterward I found out that I had unconsciously protected what I did not want to speak. The topic was not serious but there was something I did not want the counselor to ask directly, and I wanted to hide it. Even I, who are used to such a situation, feel like protecting myself occasionally. All the more, if it was the first interview of a client and a counselor. Every client might warn a counserlor not to step in the point where she/he wants to hide or protect. The counselor must notice any slightest sign from the client. And furthermore, I learned from an Adlerian senior that with a definite goal of the session and with enough respect and compassion, by knocking carefully and asking permission, the counselor could unlock the door.