To Beach: Beach, Beached, To Have Beached

Dear Friends, I promised myself when I returned from Shimoda’s Shirahama Beach that no day off, from then until the end of summer, would catch me not wearing a swimsuit. I have two days off, and I vowed to myself that at least one of those would be spent at the beach or at a pool. (Off the record,…

Shimoda: Sparkle by the Sea

Dear Friends, My mother often talks about her “heart smiling.” Her top three inducers of heartsmiles are usually birds, flowers, and her grandchildren (*not in that order– roses would probably be first). When I arrived in Shimoda (door to door, four and a half hours from Tokyo, because I took the cheapest way), viewed the never-ending sea from the train, felt…

Getting Happy: Staycationing and Appreciating

Get happy, in any way you can. If you have to run away from home, do it. If you have to go to the beach everyday, do it. - Abraham Hicks Dear Friends, 1) It’s incredible how memories wash over us like waves. Vibrational waves. You can feel them, and often they physically move you. 2) Earlier…

beach

Shizuoka: Everything is Good and God

Everything is good and brown. I’m here again with a sunshine smile upon my face. – Jamiroquai (Space Cowboy) Dear Friends, Years ago, VP and I saw Jamiroquai perform at a music festival in Finsbury Park. For more than an hour, under a clear evening sky, the crowd jumped, danced and sang until hoarse. It started drizzling, and…

The Creation: Hakone

Praise for the rain that waters our fields, and blesses our crops so all the earth yields; from death unto life her mystery revealed springs forth in joy! – The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God When you arrive in Hakone from Taipei or Paris or Ocala or Berlin or Palo Alto or whichever city…

Getting Away Part 1: Then and Now

Hop on the bus, Gus; you don’t need to discuss much; just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free. – Paul Simon (50 Ways to Leave Your Lover) Then: In April 2004, I was teaching English at a language school in Caçapava, Brazil. The owner of the language school was a hard-as-nails woman who didn’t…

“The World’s Alright With Me”

Simplicity is beauty. Choose a day as your day of simplicity. Speak little, and listen with attention. Eat simple and natural food. Create time periods for not doing anything – just walk, look around, live the moment. – Brahma Kumaris Dear Friends, Yesterday was payday. Any payday’s a good day, but yesterday my check was…

Jamaica: Not Just Sun, Sand, Sea

Two days, I spoke to my mother on Skype, and after hearing about her trip to The Blue Mountains, I begged her to write it down and send it to me. My mother’s voice is soothing and warm like ovaltine, but her words are richer. Please see her trip in detail, in her own words. Jamaica: Not Just…

A Letter to My Future Expats

Konnichiwa Friends, You don’t know how much it excites me that quite a few of you have sent me emails requesting more information regarding living and teaching in Tokyo. It would be so great to have my own little expat community here (maybe we could name ourselves something cool and Jam/erican); however, lest you think it’s all…

Letter from Tokyo: Shinjuku

Dear Friends, Yesterday was my first day of teaching at the school, and I absolutely loved it. My two students, in individual, back to back eighty minute sessions, were so sweet and eager to learn English that it made me come home on a high. Really. I might have even skipped a bit. It was great to see how pleased both men were…