friendship

An Unexpected Friend Part Two

Remember my friend Yasu? Last night, her and I went to our pottery sensei’s house to shape our creations. This is the final part before our pottery gets cooked in an oven. For dinner, Naho sensei served us the most delicious Japanese curry with chicken, carrot, eggplant, potato, onion and radish in the most loveliest handmade bowls (after dinner we had Japanese matcha). I especially LOVED her boat-shaped bowl. I thought it incredibly charming. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. A simple compliment on it in my broken broken horrible Japanese and it was mine. An unexpected friend, numero dos. This morning I served home-made muesli in it for myself. This afternoon, I will visit Naho sensei with a bag of oats. I am going to teach her how to make the same muesli for own.
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There Is Something You Must Always Remember

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
― A.A. Milne
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“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
― Jon Katz
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“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
― A.A. Milne
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“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
― E.B. White
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“Our deepest wounds surround our greatest gifts.”
― Ken Page

An Unexpected Friend

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ―John Joseph Powell

I was introduced to Yasu unexpectedly. One day, after living in Japan for over a year, I came home to a box of chocolates on my doorstep. A letter was attached to it. It read:

“Ms Anisa

I am Yasuko from upstairs.

When I was tired from moving work, you gave me a dessert. That was very delicious and thank you so much for that. I wanted to always talk with you.
But I will move on April 30 to next village.
The new address is Nishiawakura village.
If you don’t mind, could you hang out with me sometime?
I am really bad at English, but I hope we could be good friends.”

The dessert she was referring to was actually a blueberry smoothie that I made for my neighbors after seeing them gardening on a hot day.

When I finally met Yasu and asked her why she hadn’t introduced herself earlier she said that she had been too shy/scared. Can you believe it? One year of loneliness, living below my now best-friend.

Alas, we have done much since the letter: smoothie-bowls, food outings, yoga-classes, dinners with her family and yesterday, pottery class followed by a home-cooked Japanese dinner and my black-rice pudding for dessert. On the latter, her father told her mother he absolutely didn’t like it. He said this in Japanese but I understood regardless (hehe) but, no matter. It must have been an unusual taste though black rice and coconut milk is readily consumed in Asia. Yasu’s father reminded me of the many times my own father has made inappropriate comments in Persian thinking no one (but us) can understand him when they (the non-persian speakers) can easily read his facial expressions or sense his intent! Oops hehe.
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Move Move Move

With all the dreadful earthquakes hitting Japan, I’ve been thinking about how important it is to MOVE NOW. I’ve come to realize that if we wait for the “right” time we will be waiting forever. There is no right time. There will always be a better time; when you’re in a better place, more financially stable, healthier, fitter, stronger, with a clearer state of mind etc etc and that is an endless chase. So wear your nice suit and your best skirt, tell your crush/partner/spouse and loved-ones just how much they mean to you or your colleagues, local baker and next-door neighbor, how much you appreciate them. Use your expensive crockery yourself, don’t save them for a special occasion. Today is the special occasion. And if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. Life is short. So cliche or not, make the most of your life and move NOW. Though your move(s) doesn’t have to be huge nor melodramatic, it doesn’t have to be migrating to a new country or changing your career (though it can be). Movement can also happen in small steps. For each of us these are different. They can be baking a pie, a quiet walk in nature or building a chair. In the words of Miranda July, “don’t wait to be sure. Move, move, move.” To which I want to add: love love love and create create create.

Pictures from top to bottom: morning walks before work in my very rural and very pretty village, Mexican night at Kaori’s with brown rice and slow-cooked boar meat, Persian bento game on point with mayo-free Persian salad olivieh (recipe HERE) and last, a Kiwiana delivery by Anisa sensei for the other senseis.
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