Here is that moss-covered holy tree again, with the nondenominational temple and friends on her roots. We move so fast.
Dr. Suess, Joyous Leaping of Uncanned Salmon. This painter was and still is a huge influence, I imagine.
Mark Tobey, he and I share a vision. Here, I'll give you another one of his. Tobey was a Baha’i Zen Buddhist living in Japan for a while, too. Hmm.
oil on wood
This painting is pretty small. not so new. I put it in the show and Yasuchika said he liked it the best."It gives me so much space to enter and create.It's full of space, and I like."
That made me happy. And then today Tricia said she liked this painting the best because, "it feels like me. or at least, how I want to be."
Support is cords of god.
Hammocked in support cords of god.
This is heaven.
And here is my sister Martha, teaching at Niihama elementary school when she visited this fall. You might already know this story, but I want to publish it here because it is so epic, and so telling about how wonderful my sister Martha is.
So, how should I put this? While Martha was visiting me in Japan, I planned for her to visit an elementary school. This was a great idea, except that the best day to visit was when another English teacher would be there (I had to work at Junior High and couldn't be with her), and that day was also the day after Saijo Festival. Which is bad news. Because Saijo festival is an all night long event. So, after we walked all night with the city of Saijo up to a fertility shine in the heart of the mountains, we got home at around 6:45 and fell asleep for 30 minutes. When I woke my sister up, she was so angry; she was crying. “You will thank me later,” I told her. "But seriously, if you can't make it, you don't have to come." I said.
"No, I can do this." she insisted.
"Thank you. Alright, let's go. It takes about five minutes by foot, so we better get moving." How dare I.
We hurried down the street and were there by 8.
So in this picture is Martha, on next to no sleep, with her legs and feet killing her. And she looks great! She is a brilliant actress, and a strong, powerful woman. Imagine though, elementary school, alone, all day. It takes a lot of energy. Just repeating the flashcards to the kids wears the voice out. And head, shoulders, knees, and toes? You are on your feet all day. I am pooped at the end, even when I have had plenty of sleep! Did I mention Martha had no breakfast?
Of course nobody at the school knew this. She looked great and acted impeccably.
It gets better. After some weird Japanese lunch, when she was finished and all she had to do was walk home and sleep, she took a left instead of a right and found herself wondering around Niihama for three hours in the hot sun, on her now blistering feet. I went looking for her, worried sick, finally gave up, came home and passed out. When Martha finally made it home, I remember being woken up by some severe cursing.
God bless her.
I know it was cruel, what I made her do. And I told her she didn't have to go, and definitely not all day…, but she said “I don’t want you to look bad.”
And so, with a smile, fighting back tears, she taught elementary school, four classes back to back.
You see, I wanted her to experience what I experience every Wednesday. My family is so in the dark about what I do over here. This was my chance to share something golden. Hundreds of excited kids happy to see you. I wanted her to stand in front of a class of shining, beautiful almond eyes, and listen to them try to speak English. She got it, but her feet will never forgive me.
Martha left such an impression that when I visited the school last week many of the kids said, “Hey Look! It’s Martha Sensei’s brother.”