May 2010 Archives

Gorgeous Views!

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As my daughter was staying at my house, I moved the PC table (kotatsu) from the center of the tatami room to the corner. As a result I could use the room full, and I was to sit down toward the windows facing east. Last night when I was working on my PC, I raised my eyes and wow! I saw a big full moon outside the window. It was so beautiful and unexpected and I told it to my friends on Twitter.
Tonight, again, I am looking at the moon, sitting on the tatami in front of the PC. This is a gorgeous location and I love it! The big orange moon looks floating in the middle of the sky.
I want to share another incredible sight from Twitter with you:The full moon rising over the horizon taken by our astronaut, Soichi Noguchi in Space Station. Don't you think it is like a silvery jellyfish?


She Went Home

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Today my daughter went back to Tottori by the Super-Express Hakuto (White Rabbit) in the afternoon. She recovered from a cold and went back to her beloved husband at last. As she should not take medicine, all she could do was to stay quietly in bed and try the traditional folklore medicine. To lower her mild fever, I made "hot ginger": I grated ginger, and poured hot water and honey to the juice of the ginger. It worked very well! I made her drink a small cup of hot ginger three times a day. And she cooled her forehead with an ice bag. When her throat ached, she put a hot steaming towel on her nose and mouth. Now that she coughs much, she may try "radish in syrup" to reduce the phlegm. I think these are the great wisdom handed down through old people. The picture below shows the talismans of Nakayama temple, examples of super-folklore beliefs mixed up with Buddhism (and with moneymaking?).

talisman2.jpgShe came on May 19, stayed at her father's house for two nights, and stayed at my house for 9 nights in total. For lovers to live together is a pure joy, however, it is sometimes very difficult for the other adults to live together in a limited space. When she stayed with me, she used to follow me and speak to me constantly, but in this stay, she regulated her chattering consciously. We tried to keep our privacy because we had learned that mutual respect was crucial. Fortunately, I went out for work every day, so it assured our private time and space. We had usually shared the same bed together, but this time I used another futon lest I would catch cold from her. I think they were good devices to save our private space and time. It could be a good rehearsal for her longer stay in autumn.
She said that I might miss her from this evening. I said no, but she insisted I might. Yes, I admit I miss her. This evening, my small house seems vacant really.

She's Still in My House

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nakayama2.jpgOn Monday, it was raining hard, and moreover, my daughter had the morning sickness again. So she prolonged her stay in my house and I went to Nakayama Temple to get the cotton belt for her easy delivery alone. The temple was wide and beautiful in the rain. I had not known that Nakayama Temple was of the esoteric Buddhism, the Shingon sect. I saw three big golden vajras in front of the idol (the eleven faced bodhisattva, the goddess of mercy). I felt at ease because I gave her a small golden vajra before. I hope Kobo Daishi protects her and her fetus hereafter. In return to my donation, they gave me the bleached cotton cloth on which they wrote the name of the bodhisattva, together with a charm in a red silk pouch, a small candle and a talisman. They said we should light the candle and float the talisman on the water when she is in labor. They will pray for her delivery for ten days and will send a talisman to her house. I felt these traditions are very holy and would help her a lot.

nakayama3.jpgWhen I returned home, my daughter was still in the bed. She seemed to have caught a cold and had a throat pain. In the evening I taught her how to wear the long cotton belt around her belly. She was surprised to know how warm and safe it was! I bought her the maternity corsets, but she prefers the cotton belt and has been wearing it since then.
It is Wednesday today and she is still in my house. Her throat pain, the snuffles, and a mild fever have been continuing. It is not a serious cold, not influenza, of course, so she will recover when she rests quietly in bed. However, the fever might go up if she takes train all the way to Tottori. So I am playing a role of a good mom still!

As a Good Mom

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Last week my daughter stayed at my house from Tuesday to Friday. As I wrote it before, she has changed and ate much! On Wednesday she wanted to eat "the real" meal after she came home late, and ate a bowl of boiled rice, some vegetable dishes and pickles at midnight! Moreover, in the next morning she said she felt hungry as soon as she woke up. It was lucky that Thursday was my off because my bosses were all going to the Congress of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology. And I prepared a good meal for lunch; boiled unpolished rice, dried fish, miso soup and some vegetables. I thought it was the last meal I should prepare, for she planned to go to her father's house in the evening. However, she said she felt tired and had a headache, and did not want to go out and wanted to stay with me one more night. So I prepared supper again, feed her breakfast next morning, and treated her to lunch also. Am I much too concerned about her? Well, I want to do it as possible while I can.
She has stayed at her father's house for two days and is going to come to my house again. She and her brother will come and stay tonight, and we plan to go to Nakayama temple tomorrow to buy a lucky belt for easy delivery. But it is raining hard now ... I wonder if it will stop by tomorrow afternoon. She will have to go back to Tottori next evening. I hope it becomes fine when we go to the temple!

Family Lunch

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I invited my father, mother, and brother to my house to lunch yesterday. I invited my parents last year. For my brother, however, this is the first time visiting me after his discharge. I had written many daily trivial episodes to him for six months everyday during his hospitalization, so I had wished to invite him when he got out from the hospital. He is getting fairly well now, working two days a week. Now, it was the day my dream came true!
Let me tell you the menu I prepared for them: Tomato stew of chicken dumplings with onion, green pepper, and mushroom. The tomato sauce is of Classico's TOMATO & BASIL. Hot salad with boiled cauliflower, potato, carrot, okra, and asparagus, because my brother cannot eat raw food. Mayonnaise is of Best Foods' REAL MAYONNAISE. (It is not sour!) Le Ai's baguette with herb butter, croissant, and cream bun for my mother.
Yesterday it was a little too hot and humid. From Kobe, they came to the Kintetsu Uehonmachi station at noon and took a taxi to my house. I succeeded in cooking and they ate much. They brought Takasugi's shortcake and we enjoyed it with mint tea after lunch. My father was glad to see my cacti having many flower buds. Last year they did not bloom, but he assured me they were going to open soon. My brother enjoyed the view of Osaka from my window. He was surprised that he could see Osaka Castle so near and see many trees in the downtown. I showed him pictures of my daughter's wedding. Mother was pleased to know she and her fetus were in good condition.
They left around three o'clock and I saw them off to the station. I spent some time in the building and when I went out, it began to rain. It was very good that they came and left before rain. A very successful thing was that they seemed to be relieved to see my comfortable life. I wanted to show it to my family who tend to worry too much! One thing very regrettable was that I forgot to take pictures!

She has Changed!

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My daughter is staying at my house from yesterday. She has entered the 5th months of pregnancy this Monday. Her morning sickness was over at last and her kind husband let her come to see us. So, we ate supper together last evening and chatted a lot, as always. She used to speak to me without ceasing a minute till late, but last night she went to bed early. It was a very rare thing. She seems to lead a very healthy life now. She gets up early, cooks for her husband and herself (and for her fetus) three times a day, and goes to bed early! To say the truth, I have never seen such a diligent dauther in these 24 years. She has changed a lot! She herself says she cannot believe it.
Today, she was attending a seminar of agricultural philosophy in Kyoto University, so I saw her off at noon. It is eleven o'clock now, but she does not come home yet. Oh, a bad girl! Well, perhaps this is the last opportunity for her to see her teachers. After delivery, she cannot go on studying for some years unless I take care of her baby.... Oh, no!

Pottery Fair

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There is a big discount shop for babies and expectant mothers, Akachan Honpo, in Nishinomiya. It is very near my workplace, so I went to the shop this evening to buy a pair of maternity jeans for my daughter. Nowadays, young mothers tend to wear jeans (or spats) attached with the very wide elastic belt on their waists. By the long loose tunics and tight spats, they can cover their bellies very well.
Anyway, on the way to the shop, I came across a pottery fair by chance. In fact, I really like seeing and collecting pottery. I once learned ceramic art, and before the divorce, I liked using cups I made and displaying vases I baked. Now, I do not have expensive porcelain nor handmade tableware any more. After the divorce, my close friends gave me tableware necessary at the minimum. I did not want to spend money for pottery at that time. However, by and by, I began to collect some mug cups and rice bowls.... Today I chose bigger bowls for boiled vegetables, and smaller bowls for pickles of the same paintings. They were of Kutani chinaware's, but not expensive. I bought three pairs for each, so I had to carry six bowls in total all the way from Nishinomiya to Osaka. Yes, to buy things at the pottery fair is a joy, but after that, the load is always very heavy.

Taking Care of Vanda

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This morning I felt Vanda, the blue orchid, wanted to go out from the pot. Vanda was not planted in the soil, and all its roots were tangled in a big pot. According to the Internet information, Vanda should be hung from spring to autumn, in the rooms in May and October. However, my Vanda is about one meter tall and I could not think of the way of hanging her in the house. I cannot hang her from the ceiling because my house is a rented apartment. ...Well, one possibility. I am using two rooms as one, having cleared up the room partitions. Maybe I can hang her from the upper frame of the sliding fusumas. But how?
I went to a big 100-yen shop, and walked round and round, thinking of the device. Finally, I bought one metal hanging basket, two chains with connectors at both ends, two connection hangers, and two hangers for the wooden frame, kamoi. I bought other small things there, but they did not cost 1,000 yen in total. The device worked nicely and I succeeded in hanging the basket from the frame. However, when I put Vanda in the basket, it looked unsteady. Her stem is too tall and the basket is small. So I put a prop to the stem and tied the prop to the basket tightly.
Is she satisfied? She looks happy as I got rid of the dust over her roots. Or is she uneasy? I think she is relaxing now in the open air. Some roots look fresh and some do not, but I cannot decide which one she wants me to cut off. I think I should look after her carefully for some days.

Childbearing and Rearing

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mothersday.jpgThis morning, I received a present from my daughter and her husband. It surprised me because I had forgotten that it was Mother's Day! See the basket of pots of pink and red carnation, ivy and maidenhair. I love it! My daughter will be with her baby on Mother's Day next year, and will receive sweet presents from her kids in five or six years. A mother loves her children, and a mother is loved by her children. It is a natural mutual communication. It is a big gift, the Grace.

talisman.jpgI will show you all the talismans I have now for the easy delivery of my daughter. The red talisman on the right is Ayako Tenman-gu's I told you yesterday. The orange talisman on the left is of Hakusan Shrine in Fukui Prefecture which Dr. Noda gave me last month. I will hand them to my daughter two weeks after, perhaps. And can you see two cute lizards crawling below? They are made of amber: Jolanta and Nara gave them last autumn on the day when they arrived in Japan. She told me that amber represented happiness and lizards represented health. And as she gave me a pair of lizards, big one and small one, they seem to be the guardian animals of my daughter and the baby. I feel very happy that people around us support and pray for her childbearing. I myself will go to Nakayama Temple on the 24th and get some talisman too.

A Shrine with my Name

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I attended the counselors' training seminar in the Adler Guild today, and one of my friends gave me a present there. It was an unexpected joy. She gave me a talisman of a Shinto shrine which name was Ayako Tenman-gu. I had never heard of the shrine! My friend had not known the shrine either, but she happened to find it near JR Kyoto station when she was strolling. Tajihi no Ayako is said to be a nursing mother of Sugawara no Michizane, a famous bureaucrat, scholar and poet in the Heian era. He was expelled by some political maneuvers and died in fury at Dazaifu, Kyusyu. It is said that Ayako heard Michizane's message in her meditation, which asked her to enshrine him in Kitano. The shrine was built at Kitano in 947, and is now called Kitano Tenman-gu. Ayako Tenman-gu was built on the place where Ayako heard Michizane's message, and has been considered to be the original of all the Tenman-gus in Japan, the shrines for the deity of Michizane. Tajihi no Ayako might be a medium, perhaps.
I saw the official home page of Ayako Tenman-gu and found that although the shrine was very small, it had many fans. It was very funny that they had "All Japan Ayako Club"! Can you imagine that? People whose names are Ayako can join the club. No, I will not enroll!
My friend has known my daughter's pregnancy. And to my surprise, the talisman she gave was not exactly for me, it was for my daughter's easy delivery. I really appreciate her gentleness. Thank you so much!

My Green Friends

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greens.jpgIn the morning it was raining hard but the temperature was not low any more. I thought my green friends in the room wanted to go out. So I moved my Taro the Beauty and my little banyan tree, Hiko-Clone, to the verandah. See how big they have grown, compared to last year. Taro seemed to spread his huge leaves to feel the soft warm breeze, and Hiko-Clone seemed to be happy in receiving raindrops of May.
You see three pots of cacti on the verandah wall: From left to right, their names are Sabo, Ten, and new one, Sub. They all have new buds of flowers on their spiny skin, and I naturally want to help them to bloom. But the cacti are very silent creatures as you know, and I hardly know what these friends are thinking. Anyway, I guess they are enjoying the Osaka view from the tenth floor.
Very good news is that Vanda, the blue orchid, has survived through this winter in my bedroom. Some of her leaves have withered up, but many leaves are still alive. I sometimes spray water with liquid fertilizer over her leaves and root. I hope she will flower again in the next season.

Unconditional Love

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As I was wondering how to be a grandmother, one of my friends gave me an answer. "It's simple. Grandmother's love is unconditional." She said it in Kochi, and I was meditating on it during the flight to Osaka. For me, the unconditional love was a religious term, and seemed to be the love from Buddha and Bodhisattva. So it was difficult to identify it to my love to my future grandchild. However, when the plane nearly arrived at Osaka airport, I understood. Yes, every grandparent loves their grandchild without any condition; this is why people ask for their love. People consider it Bodhisattva's love. The smiles of grandparents are smiles of Buddha.
In Kochi, we had a psychodrama workshop based on Adlerian Psychology. One of the 14 psychodramas, there was a play of 5 years old girl and her grandfather. The grandfather's love to her was tremendous. It was very touching and I could not help shedding tears. That was unconditional love. My parents love for my children was the same, and my grandparents love for my brother and me was the same. For all small people, their grandparents are true Bodhisattvas.
Again, I thank to the Existence that I have a chance to become a grandmother and that I have a chance to embody the unconditional love for our descendant.

About this Archive

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

April 2010 is the previous archive.

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