Drawing the Circus

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Feeling a little disconnected from the group this afternoon, so I drew everyone in their characters and the big circus dreams we are creating. Maybe tomorrow I can play well with others.

New Year's Walking

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At midnight, we visited Fudoson temple with Chris and Elli. We rang the big bell - nobody was counting the tolls, I wonder if we got to 108 - had some amazake, listened to the monks chanting Sanskrit and Japanese blessings, then stepped into the temple to greet the gods there. That was pretty special, it's unusual to be invited into the sanctum itself. The monk greeted me with "Happy New Year" in English, which brought a smile to both of us.

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This afternoon, after a slow morning and a breakfast that might as well be called lunch, we were ready to move a bit and we walked up from home to Futatsuyama, where we'd been told there was a beautiful view. There is and my snaps do not do it justice. 
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You can see clear across our valley, west to Miura and Yokohama, northwest towards Tokyo, and south to Oshima. We even glimpsed Mt. Fuji in the haze of clouds.

Our house is always invisible. It is odd, actually. You barely even see it as you approach it on the road and it seems to hide behind hills and trees in all photos and vistas. You can't see it here, but we know it is on the other side of that hill in the foreground.

Welcome 2016

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Wishing you a prosperous Year of the Monkey.

25 Words

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A new era began with Japanese eijuuken and freedom to do anything! We quit Tokyo for rural Chiba. Now we have time, space, and ease.

Here are all the 25 word summaries since I started writing these summaries in 2001: 

2014
Our 25th anniversary. Eyes opened in Ireland and India to a new life together. More adventures, independence, inventiveness, alliances. Yes, yes! The ayes have it. 

2013 
Running away to the circus confused me. Spent ten months wondering "What next?" Tried resting, contests, midwifery - not my things. Travel, teaching, performance? Yes. Circus. 

2012
Hooping took me up to Tohoku, down to Niijima, and around the world on tour. Ukulele, yoga, improv, songwriting, skating, visiting, & fundraising filled the gaps. 

2011
Mother Earth trembled and futures fell apart. Uncertainty ruled us for months but in the end I'm still in Japan, married, hooping, and feeling happy.

2010
Lived my hoop dreams, wheeee! Connected, created, collaborated, choreographed, costumed, capered, camped, coordinated, but then crashed hard. Ouch. Healed and found my truth. Full circle. 

2009
Rose petals in blue sky and the scent of muddy elephants conducted me to presence. An intense upwelling of joy revealed the universe inside me.

2008
I made dresses, meals, 100 necklaces, friends. Grew food. Witnessed a birth! I am greying, wrinkling and fading, but I started hooping, so who cares? 

2007
Food ruled 2007: went almost vegan, developed recipes, and lost 10 kilos. Also sewed Morsbags, made political statements with robots, and explored Tokyo real estate. 

2006
Forty was a pleasure/pain year - a roiling emotional sea. Heartbreaking anguish half drowned me but also un-dammed a flood of patterns, photography and creativity. 

2005
This year, a lesson in
How to bear pain and loss.
Travel doesn't cure heartache; Friends ease the agony. Healing and peace flow like water.

2004 Did more, finished less.

Strengthened friendships and traveled.

Constructed 18 videos, knitted scarves, Shared my pencils and my love.

Still seeking realisation of my principles.


2003 Hello Tokyo finally done

Neon Chopstix now begun. 'Twas mostly work but also fun.

Hosted friends from far away. Another visa for three years' stay.


2002 Celebrating four years in Japan, I exercised my right brain and my poetic voice. I filmed then procrastinated. I waited for the axe to fall.


2001 Spent seven weeks on holiday in Maui, China, mainland US. Wrote lots, taught many, earned little. Saw the inside of my head. Didn't do enough.

Realise 2016

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My guiding theme for 2016 will be Realise.

Realise is a good one because it can mean so many beautiful and useful things: imagine, understand, make real, profit. 

Here are my guiding words and themes for previous years:
2010, connect: http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/archives/010736.html

After seven years doing this annual project, I'm noticing a trend here. Looking back with hindsight, the guiding words don't match up well with the year I choose them. They are often a couple of years behind: I moved more in 2015 than in 2013; 2013 was a lot of relating with and after the circus; 2012 was definitely a connecting year as I went on a world tour. Maybe my subconscious is slow on the uptake. I don't know but I will continue to choose words and let them percolate or whatever they need to do before turning up in full force. 

Reds & Greens for a Merry Holiday

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All of these photos were taken in my rural neighborhood this month. There is a reason we see red and green in our holiday decor at this time of year. So pretty. 


Plank Pose

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I started running yoga classes twice a week at Satoyama Design Factory. Today nobody showed up, so I decided to combine my yoga practice with some much needed floor maintenance. It's amazing how many yoga poses you can do while cleaning the floor. I extended my usual 45 minutes to nearly 3 hours as I swept, mopped, steamed and waxed the wood floors in the main space. In the lower right picture, you get a before/after glimpse. Still not perfect, but much improved. Maybe next week, I'll do window yoga!

Corner Cow

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This is my friend and neighbor, Corner Cow. She lives at the dairy next door and watches over the intersection from her hilltop stall. From the road below, I greet her, talk to her about the weather, and sing her songs. She knows my voice and turns to watch me pass. She sniffs the air when I bring visitors to meet her.  Yesterday she heard us all coming along the intersecting road, laughing, and turned herself halfway around in her stall to see what we were up to. Good cow.

The dairy is closing next month and Corner Cow will go to another farm. I hope she remembers our meetings.

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Friday in Transit

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20 min Walk
45 min Yoga
20 min Walk
30 min Bus
90 min Meander in Shops
30 min Walk
25 min Bus
15 min Walk
2 min Bike
...Beer

There you go, that's my day. I had to get out of the house today. My bike's been busted for over a week. I pedalled too hard and broke the crank. Tod ordered parts and tools but they didn't arrive until this afternoon. Tod fixed my bike while I was out and now I am fully mobile again.

Honking

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Background: I'm teaching my first workshops at Satoyama Design Factory today. It's in my new rural neighborhood and I have no idea who, if anyone, will turn up. Could be little kids, could be elderly neighbors, all of the above or no one at all. I'm OK with letting things flow and I can take on whatever comes my way. Despite that, I am still a little nervous and I'll be disappointed if nobody turns up.

So in the shower just now, I was breathing out to clear my sinuses before doing jala neti...and I honked. I sounded like my father blowing his nose. He had a distinctive honking/blowing sound and when it came out my own nose, I giggled and smiled. Thanks, Dad, for visiting and reminding me that everything is always good. My workshops are going to be terrific.  I'm excited to be sharing circus fun with my new world. 

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