All those flowers you paint
I want them in my future house
In the library room
cookbooks, Roald Dahl
in the kitchen
secret chef mouse
pretty herb pot-plant
colorful spice rack
and a kind husband
returning home to his favorite
rising in the oven
In the living room
a barefooted dance
on sun-warmed Persian carpet
the one my grandpa wove
especially for us
My Japanese Winter
“My heart is in a constant state of thanksgiving.”
Before the snow…don’t be fooled, still V V V cold.
Keeping warm with healthy Japanese food. This is actually a summer noodle (somen) chicken and vegetable soup prepared by my lovely friend and neighbor, Hiromi-san.
The first snow. That’s my house and car in the foreground.
Prayers under the kotatsu.
The calm before the storm (literally).
Heater allows for smoothie-bowl breakfast obsession to continue. This one is simply 3/4 cup of yogurt blended with 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried blackcurrants and topped with banana and cereal.
This one was more sorbet than smoothie: 1 cup of frozen mango chunks blended with 1/2 cup of freeze-dried blackcurrants and 3/4 cup of coconut water finished with strawberries.
More ingredients in this one: 1 banana, a big handful of spinach, a few frozen mango chunks, 1/2 cup of soy milk and 1 strawberry, blended together and topped with QIA cereal, ViBERi blackcurrants and an additional strawb.
And for dinner? Pre-cooked edamame. These cuties are so good. They’re sold everywhere in Japan and just require you to pour hot water over them (to defrost) and they’re ready to eat!
Last but not least, a super appropriate painting in my JUNIOR high-school, to close.
And now, a warm bear hug to my new and old followers for the continuous support.
Chuu! (Japanese kiss noise).
Tuesdays with Morrie
I’ve never had the blessing of a constant elderly person in my life. This is because, when my family migrated to New Zealand from Iran, me and my grandparents became separated by seemingly infinite miles. Growing up, I envied my friends and the close relationship they had with their nana and pops’ – in particular, Kiwi grandmas! Compared to the old people in Iran, these women were so healthy, care-free and always occupied with baking biscuits and pavlovas.
When I grew older, learnt English and became exposed to literature and media, my yearnings intensified. The grandparents in the books I read and the movies I watched were almost always offering kind and valuable guidance to their grandchild. Where was my life-changing, my eye-opening advice?
Eventually, I must have reached a point where I let go of the resentment and accepted my life, for the absence stopped bothering me as much.
Reading Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, reminded me of that intense longing I had consciously (or subconsciously) buried inside. Tuesdays with Morrie is a light read, a short book (I read it in one sitting) but SO full of love. Love, guidance and wisdom. From an old man to a young man and ultimately, everyone.
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” (p. 43)
“ . . . If you’ve found meaning in your life you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can’t wait until sixty-five.”