Thursday, March 22, 2007

Back in Santa Monica: 22 March

Okay, so maybe I’m not immune to jet lag. The weird thing is, I’m going to bed at 4a and waking up at 1p, which translates to 6p-3a in Thailand, and 8p-5a in Japan, nowhere close to my actual sleep hours. Guess there’s no rationalizing jet lag!

I love that I departed Tokyo at 4p and arrived in LA at 10a, earlier that same day. I went back in time!

Although…time is just an illusion.

It’s lovely to be home. I was a bit worried about forgetting how to drive, having been away for a month, in lands where they drove on the opposite side of the road and in the opposite side of the car, and especially because my car is manual drive, but it’s like riding a bike. Or, I guess, like driving a car. I was driving west this afternoon, and the ocean peeked out at me as I came upon a hill. This never fails to warm my heart, comfort my belly, and make me smile. I am most at home near, on, in the ocean. Mmm.

I told yall that I was a mermaid in a past life.

In the past, when I’ve returned from a trip, I’ve experienced sadness and reluctance about leaving the new land/is-land I was visiting. I’ve experienced confusion and dismay upon my return home- finding that everything is still the same, nothing has changed, almost as if I’d never left.

Last November, I traveled to Turks & Caicos and for the first time, I wasn’t sad to leave. It wasn’t because I didn’t completely enjoy my 2 weeks in my Caribbean fantasy world; it was because I find peace and happiness and validity and presence and beauty in every moment. We’re simply floating from and experiencing and existing in one moment to the next…whether at home, on vacation, at work, alone, among loved ones, happy, or sad.

It’s all just in through the nose, out through the nose.

With my return from Asia, for the first time, it doesn’t feel as though I never left. Things are comfortably the same, but freeingly different.

The rest of my time in Tokyo continued to be freezing, but also beautiful, funny, fun, inspiring, perfect. My new Budokon sisters and brothers are all so amazing, and to have met and shared time with them is more than I could have asked for during my short time in Japan. A big congrats and welcome to our 8 new Senseis!

It was fun being with Cameron day in and day out for a few days. He is so in love with Japan- the people, the language, the culture, the country. And why not- there’s so much kindness, thoughtfulness, respect, propriety, beauty, perfection, tradition. Everything is done mindfully. We walked across a sewer gutter cover, and he said if he could, he would take that home and hang it on his wall as décor. It was that beautiful.

I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that the women are quite beautiful and that people ask for his autograph left and right, too. ;)

We stayed in Daikanyama, an uber hip and trendy (read: expensive) area, in a traditional style room with tatami mats for beds and communal old school Asian bathhouse-style showers. I people-watched and wrote in cafés (even one called Mermaid Café), clouded in cigarette smoke drinking tea that cost 700 yen (= $7) per cup. I visited the areas of Ebisu, Shibuya, and Meguro. I almost got lost on the Subway because I was directed to take the Green line, when there were 3 different shades of Green lines. Good thing for my internal compass. I think a little Japanese boy developed a crush on me; he would alternately stare at me and run behind me to slap my butt. I was pleased to learn that the proper way to eat Soba noodles is to Sllllurrrrpppp!! them loudly. For my last meal in Tokyo, I inadvertently ended up in a Thai restaurant, which I found beautifully fitting.

On my flight back, I sat next to a couple who have been married for 43 years. Happily married. Blessed with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. I spent hours talking with them about life, love, family, and travel. It was beautifully inspirational.

As I waited in the Customs Line at LAX, I locked eyes with an adorable little Japanese girl. She smiled and gently bowed to me. I bowed back. It was heartwarming.

And as I write to you now, my sweet, sweet dog is softly snoring and sleep-stirring next to me.

Every moment is beautiful, my loves. I look forward to in-person wais, namastes, hugs, and kisses. I’ve posted pictures online. If you don’t receive an email linking you to them, please email me and I’ll send it to you.

Sawadeeka, Sionara, Aloha, goodbye for now. Be well, and I’ll see you on the mat.

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