Thursday, July 14, 2011


Discovering the differences between my cultture and the Japanese is a daily experience. Yams are not sweet potatoes here, for one. The hotel showers are not enclosed. The whole bathroom is the shower. Sounds strange but its actually very convenient and reasonable. Pajamas are provided instead of a robe. The taxis are lovely colors, bright green, turqoise, and aqua. In Tokyo there are people everywhere.  The people are gentle and very willing to be helpful. They seem to go about their day in a most efficient manner and there is little chat on the trains or streets. People do not yell at each other that I have seen and mistakes or requests are taken care of as best they can manage.. Trains and buses run on a schedule. A lovely country.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I'm headed to Japan with a carry-on full of food. I'm not confident that I can find my choices there and being unable to find food I'm willing to eat is not an experience I want to repeat. Try looking for meat substitutes in Spain. Or Southwest Virgina.

A creature of habit, I love to see the world. Those two facts about me are contradictory. It's hard to keep your routine when you can't speak the language. I'm not complaining. I'm just owning my own inflexibility. If I were a good traveler my carry-on would hold maps and guide books and walking shoes.

Hotel beds are important to me, almost as important as my food. I love a good mattress with lots of pillows and cool sheets. I'd like a view from the window. I'm a spoiled traveler I guess. Okay, I can do without the view but I don't want a too soft or a rock hard mattress.  And a gym.

Japan. I never imagined I'd be there. Google Translator is my new best friend. I'll send pictures. And let you know about that mattress.


Love is so darn complicated.

Mature love is a whole different story than a young, beginning love. One of the most difficult characteristics is that you can love someone who is absolutely not good for you. So you have this incredible feeling, this wish to be oh-so-close to someone and everytime you get close something awful happens.  Something hurtful. Painful. Gut-wrenching. Perhaps the person betrays your trust. Maybe s/he talks trash about you behind your back. Maybe they pull away. Sometimes we love the wrong person. Because without trust and safety, love doesn't flourish. Oh, you might not stop loving for a long time, maybe never. But without trust love can't help you soar and be the best you can be. Love without trust brings sadness. I believe you can love without trust, but it's not a pleasant experience.

Then there's love and intimacy. Sometimes we love from afar, not really involved with the person we love. If you love someone who struggles with addictions, or someone who repeatedly betrays you, then love from a distance may be the only safe option. That's a limited love. There's little joy in that love either.

Love without acceptance is common. I'll love you if you lose ten pounds kind of love. Can you love someone and criticize the heck out of them? Absolutely. You can love someone and blame them, be jealous of them, and any of a number of ridiculous behaviors. The love isn't the problem. It's the blaming, criticizing, and ridiculous behaviors.

But a stand-up kind of love, that's rare. When the person you love does something humiliating for them and you walk up to them and take their hand. When they make the most embarrassing goof in the company of people you respect and you kiss them on the cheek cause you know they didn't do it on purpose.

It's a wondrous thing when you get it.  And when you give it.

Trust and intimacy are critical for the fullest love