And then.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

japan 11 08 Shukubo in Koyasan

Veggie Breakfast ( note jackets!)

Veggie Breakfast Up Close ( the tofu was wonderful, made there from sesame seeds )

After Veggie Dinner ( the monks also make are very good sake!)

japan 11 08 Shukubo in Koyasan

Zen monks try Toddler Holding ( these fellows were great)

Japan 11 08 Shukubo in Koyasan

Beautiful window in Koyasan Shukubo

Beautiful window in Koyasan Shukubo with goofing off relative

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Japan 11 08 Shukubo in Koyasan

Koyasan is one large seminary of Shingon Buddhisn that has kept its lantern burning since 816.
In tiny Koyasan there are 117 temples including 53 shukubo or temples that provide lodging accommodations and dining.
This is the temple where we stayed. It was similar to staying in a ryokan however services like the preparation of futons and dining service was done by young men preparing to be Buddhist monks.
Lots later!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Japan 11 08 - To Mount Koya

A few days after my arival in Tokyo we set out on a journey to Mt. Koya, " old Japan as you think of it". It is a full day trip from Tokyo via train, tram and bus.

I cant help wondering if M., who has in her first year and a half, crossed the Pacific four times, visited San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Venice Beach, Jackson Hole, London, Copenhagen AND is a pro at day trips in Japan and sleeping on the floor, will have a wander lust when she grows up. Frankly, having traveled some of these trips with her, I would bet money on it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tokyo 11 08

AMAZING chrysanthemums.
I was so privileged to be in Tokyo during the Chrysanthemum Exhibit at Sunjuku Gyeon.
Above, starting from the top, you see 3 exotic varieties distinguished by the structure of the petal. The are Ise. Chiji and Saga-gihu as I am sure the most studious M. could tell you as well.
After that comes the trailing chrysanthemum - again M. checks then out - that is trained to make small flowered chrysanthemums to look like " wild fowers on the cliff. This is called Kangai style ( cascade style.
Finally the truly amazing plants directly above that have one stem and spread 10 feet across. It takes a year for this one root to produce hundreds of flowers in a dome shape by a unique technique of pinching and trailing.
This style was first created for Sinjukku Gyeon in 1884 and is the "thousand bloom: chrysanthemum seen throughout Japan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

tokyo 11 08

J. says there is always something in Tokyo. Indeed! On the first night there, we came upon a one block street fair. The lanterns and booths lead up to a small temple that was celebrating the upcoming holiday honoring 3 and 7 year old girls and 5 year old boys. The temple, crammed between two other buildings, was the place for special, glittery offerings made on behalf of the children.

Mickey was not an honoree but clearly celebrated by the children at this small fair.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tokyo 11 08

With no apologies except to my dear friend Rebecca, who can justifiably call me" one of those grandmothers", the following posts from Tokyo will surely star the adorable and unquestionably intrepid, Miss M.
This from the first day of the visit.

Japan 11 08

just back from Tokyo, lagging myself behind.
It was a wonderful trip that started above, waiting in the wrong Starbucks, one of two within a busy block, to meet up with J O and M. It was the morning of November the 5th and as I walked in Silent Night was playing. Not sure just when Christmas starts up in Tokyo but it was in full swing upon my arrival.
Have many pics to post and will very soon especially of the world's most adorable toddler.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Dimensions on NPR and I Tunes Podcast

On Thursday Tashi and i were ably driven by Tom up to Ukiah CA for an hour long interview on New Dimensions. The topic was Gross National Happiness and our book. The interview will air on NPR. Because of post production and scheduling this will not happen for some months but a shorter interview, a podcast, can be found on I Tunes within about two weeks.

Justine and Micheal Toms, the heart and engine of New Dimensions, made this experience that could have been daunting just plain enjoyable. They are as fine as you would expect of people who have been " changing the world one program at a time". check it out!

Off now for Japan and back around the middle of November. Lots of toddler pics sure to follow!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

the Learning Center Work October 08

TLC at The Learning Center

The Learning Center Work October 08

Of the three families that I shot for The Learning Center, all of the mothers were single. One had the support of the father of the child, the others were left by their husbands to fend by themselves in raising the child or children. One whose husband left when she was mid pregnancy, told me things were better now that a local agency had helped get the wages of the ex garnisheed. Before that things were "really bad".
While the type of jobs may vary, all of these women work hard and long hours. Weekends are by necessity filled with household work. There are no vacations for any of them ever.
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