Zen and Now

Time slips away

Well here it is almost one year since landing in Nihon. It will be one year when this is posted. However for now there is still a few days to go as I start this. Pretty amazing when thinking about it. I am still on the high from passing my San-dan exam. That was a personal big deal to me, having failed it before I left. It was kind of the signal of how things progressed afterward. A rough start to the sail down the coast, too late in the season to make a ocean crossing, weird weather patterns dictated staying in Mexico longer than plan as well as a longer trip there. Then problems going to the south Pacific and ultimately problem sailing to Hawaii and having to abandon ship. My baby, part of the foundation of my dreams. I accepted what I had to deal with and kept moving. We made it to Japan, on July 1st 2013
We moved in with Okasan while we settle in. With the big help of her and a surprising amount of compassionate friends we slowly made ourselves a new home. Even with a fair amount of controversy from family I started kyudo study again. Practicing at two location near Okasan. It is good I did not wait. As I was only able to work with Nogami Sensei a couple of times before we moved. He did set me up with another sensei at a location near to us. Shortly afterward he passed away.
Sept 1st we moved into our new home. A small older house in a somewhat countryside area. For us it was perfect. Remodeled, small yard, extra room for my studio and or guest. Nearby a train station and shopping. Not too far away where a couple of Kyudojos. One of which accepted me right away. The other, well it worked out for the best at the accepted place anyway. So no need to reopen that wound.
Slowly slowly step by step this got taken care of paperwork, registering, boating license, bikes for transportation. Even some music started happening which for a while I did not see as something that would come about. For the last three months I have been playing once a month with different people for a charity benefit. No money is involved for me, but I am getting known and meeting people. That is a big step. This last event I got to play with a celebrity, that was very cool. I was given a solo and pulled it off nicely I was told. Glad I did not lose face. I was concerned as doing “walking bass” is a weak spot for me. My goal for this up coming year is to be comfortable playing “Blues Piano”. There are always a lot Bass players, harmonica players, guitar players at these events. However only once has there been a keyboard. I have a basic knowledge on piano, I need to practice and expand my cording and working both hands.
So as things now stand. My little zen garden has developed from an overgrown weed patch into something of peace and simple beauty. I am working a couple of times a week doing some misc yard work for a friend. I have been offered some boating work, teaching and delivery by the same friend. 
And Now:
Another thing that was pursued once here was setting up some martial art class and meditation. Although small I do have a a regular teaching spot at the local community center. Teaching Chan Meditation and Kung Fu one class each a week. I am thinking Kobe is a good area to have a class, only thing it is a long train ride. I do know some people there now, if I can find a location and get at least three students it maybe be worth it…next project.
I was told today I have been offered if I want it a position as a city worker doing gardening and misc work. The details I have yet to find out, but steady work in good. Updated word on this is I am good to go, now just waiting on a call to come in. So with this, working for Aoki Yachts, Aoki gardening work, the culture center jobs, and social security and LZ’s part time work we can hopefully pay off our bills and start saving again. That would be a real blessing. As we know “time waits for no one”
I also have been told as a sailing instructor for Aoki Sailing school, I will have free use of a boat when I want for personal use if a boat is free. Extra cool, now I get to sail and not worry about having my own boat. I can explore that later, for now I can do some day sails around the area!
I finished teaching my first class as an instructor for sailing the other day, all in Japanese. It went ok…mostly. I need to increase my vocabulary, but basically it went well. Sometimes I have to think of other ways of explaining things beyond words. By the end of the season I should have improved greatly.
Overall things are good here. I do not miss the states really at all. Well except Alameda in the winter Here as I still do not like the cold, but i made it through and know what to expect now. Really not too bad. With all the political, and police crap going on in the states. I am so happy to be away from there. I do not know if I could live comfortable there again. I hope I do not have to find out. I know I can not afford it money wise. It would have to be Mexico or the like. Ensenada comes first to mind. Fairly near the boarder but not too close. The people are nice. I met some Tai Chi people so there is that connection. I could see merging with them and also starting a Kyudo club. If I was a Renshi…
I have met a few like minded people and started a few friendships. Not really one to hang out in the States so do not miss that or need that from people here.
So goals for 2014-2015:
Go to Nagoya
Play keyboards
Do some ceramics again
Start a new savings account
Improve my Japanese by 50%

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