Monday, September 19, 2016

And so, I'm back

And so, I'm back, because recently I've remembered this blog, and realized I had missed it. :)
Because in the past, I guess I was somehow expecting that maybe, we'd get more readers, more comments. That we'd find a way to help. A way to add a tiny drop of beauty and peace to the community ocean.
And now I think I may just need to share some thoughts.  Sure, I'd still kill for a comment or two. For new opportunities or ideas to pop up. For new ways to share. ;)
But mainly, I've been missing Sachi's posts. I'be been missing these little criss cross posts born of a friendship bound across the oceans; I've been missing the wisdom and refinement of my Japanese friend. And missing the sharing of my own little thoughts.
Also because the net has allowed me to discover a few beautiful people.
You don't always know well the people you see. With the net, you get access to thoughts unshared in daily life. And this unveils the true beauty of  some souls.
So I am back. To share my thoughts and feelings. And to read yours.
Because the littlest acts of benevolence already make a difference. I have learnt that in this past year.
Lots of love to you all.
Val

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saying my good byes

Dear all,
I obviously have a love/hate relationship with this blog!
I write less and less here, I miss my point, my friend Sachi is too busy elsewhere too, very few people come across this place or leave comments (thank you, dear Nancy, for your lovely support)...I'm getting discouraged and I see no point in pursuing this little adventure. It has been like that for quite a while, too.
Then I check at the previous posts and think, 'oh, what a shame, what a waste'.
There is probably something wrong in the format, or the design, the concept or whatever. If not, I'd get the urge to write more here and I would take better care of this little space.
There is so much I have to do, I still dig the idea of writing a blog. But this is probably not the right place for me. Or maybe my life is too absorbing. Or maybe I'm beginning to find more disappointment than fun in blogging/on the web...Or maybe I need right now to move to something else.
I'm becoming more and more of a minimalist. I do think that clothes or objects you haven't been wearing/used for months on end are not right for you anymore. They have served their time, done their purpose, you have outgrown them...
I think this is sadly the case for Beautify...Pacify.
I'll leave this little space open for my friend Sachi, who might want to come back here or use it as she likes. If she does, I'll be so happy to come back here as a guest. Who knows? We'll see. But for now, I'm saying my good byes. Thanks to those who have left comments or been kind enough to read our posts. Maybe I'll meet you again on another blog. Nancy, be sure I'll keep visiting your sweet blog. Sachi, you are a true friend and I'd love to see you create a new blog. :)
I'm off to new adventures. I think the real world is calling me away from the web and its giant network.
Lots of love. Namaste!
Valerie





Monday, January 5, 2015

A new year

A new year, a new beginning,
This is at least how I feel
These new months of january
Are!

I wish you all a beautiful
New beginning:
The continuity of all the good you've had,
The renewal of all that needs to be.

Checking my few favourite blogs, I see
Bloggers picking their favourite word.
I have picked mine: outside!

I've read an enlightening article recently:
OK I knew I was rather an introvert, but well,
It all confirmed it, and even more!
I've been thinking that an introvert
Might need to focus more on things outside of
Himself/herself. I don't know if you'll agree,
But I feel it is healthy to help our weakest
Qualities bloom, so as to achieve this gentle,
Delicate balance. It also happens that
I've decided I'd take my family out more
This year: little outings, little trips,
Nights out, days out, a concert here,
A play there, a movie, a lunch out...

I believe I need a breather this year, my family does too.
We've had lots of good in 2014, we've had losses too.
I believe I need and want to step out of my comfort zone
A little more often. I want the air, the fun, the open space,
The horizon, the happy sounds of happy crowds.

Here's to being outside/stepping outside/going outside more.
Wishing you a year full of beautiful outings, large and small!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Satori-no-Mado (window of spiritual enlightenment)


October in Japan is in the midst of autumn, when many people look forward to visiting somewere beautiful where they can view the changing autumn leaves.  Where I live, the leaves have just started changing color.  Though it is getting cooler, we can still enjoy the clear blue sky and warm, comfortable sunlight with an obento (box lunch) on sunny days.

The other day I found an advertisement for Japanese National Railways inviting people to come to Kyoto.  They put out the same kind of advertisement every year, and I admit I am always tempted to go.  The ad I found on the train used some symbols of one of the temples in Kyoto, which are vrey famous: the "Satori-no-mado" or "window for spiritual enlightenment", which is circular, and the "Mayoi-no-mado" or "window of the life of person", which is square. The ad really made me feel like spending a day sitting in front of those beautiful windows.  "Satori-no-mado and Mayoi-no-mado"


Especially, in front of Satori-no-mado.  A circular has deep meanings: the universe, wholeness, harmony, and many others.  Perhaps we can create a "Satori-no-mado" in our mind, so that we can find beauty and peace everywhere in this world.

I hoe you all have beautiful, peaceful and happy autumn days.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sharing Beauty and Peace

To dear Val and my dear readers,
I apologize you for my long, long absence from this blog and also I would like to express my gratitude to Val for allowing me to keep writing my part here.  As Val mentioned in her post, I created another blog in Japanese in April, although I have not been able to update it yet, due to a family problem.  The main reason I started the Japanese blog is to share the concept of "Beautify and Pacify", FACE TO FACE.

Sharing positive thoughts and viewpoints is valuable, especially in this confusing world.
Having read all of Val's recent posts, I really reaffirm my connections with her.  I found myself nodding my head as I read each post.  Beauty and Peace ARE always here, in an every single thing we do in our everyday life, and it depends on ourselves whether if we find them and enjoy them or not.  I really feel them through taking care of my mother who has been in the hospital.
As Val and Nancy say, every choice we make IS the key to make our world beautiful and peaceful.
I hope to continue to move on to our/my purpose, both on this blog and on my Japanese blog.

*****

Lastly, I would like to share some photos with you from an event called Children's Day (or sometimes Boy's Festival) in Japan, which is held on May 5th.  It was for celebrating boys but now it has become a day to celebrate children in general.  The event has already passed and though my photos are not timely, I did tell you I would talk about it just before I took my long absense, so I'm glad to be able to share these photos here.




On Children's Day, dolls for boys (patterns after warriors and heroes) are set up (abpve photo).
Also, if you come to Japan in May, you will see carp streamers  everywhere, flying in the blue sky.  Carp have the strength to swim up waterfalls. So, from ancient times, parents have prayed for the success of their children in life.  Traditionally, the event was for boys, but towards girls or boys, the thoughts of moms and dads have been the same: Happiness, good health and success... They all come from their deep LOVE!!!




Sachi

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Run, run, little mama

That is somehow what I could tell myself, so often.
These days I've had a lot more work... at my work!
And that feeling of frustration has started creeping back...
Like I already mentioned , I was on parental leave for 3 years. And although I had the opportunity to experience how undervalued the status of stay-at-home mum is, I couldn't care less, and it was probably one of the best times of my life.
Back to work, I'm feeling, these days, how hard it is sometimes to be obliged to work out of my home (even if I like my job) when I know I am missing on a few things at home precisely.
My job is great, but it is also time-consuming and brain-sucking. It weighs on my mind and more than once, it keeps me from doing these extra activities, this homeschool work, these fun and entertaining expeditions that I know would be great for my kids.
Run, run, little mama...
Try to squeeze in as much time as you can, open up as much brain space as you can, to fulfill your kids' needs, to expand their views and knowledge, to take care of their health and ensure that their minds and bodies are blossoming the right way. The right way for them.
I could do more.
I love doing more.
I love doing nothing, too, with my kids. Gazing at the sky. Talking silly. Singing.
That is a luxury. Finding time to read with themat night is awesome. It is worth it. It is also so hard to find that time, when there is still work to be done. And sleep to catch up with.
There is always something else/more to do.
The race is hard, sometimes.
And the strangest thing is, I love it, and I dread the day when I stop running.
So run, little mama, run.
And be still, whenever you can, so that the race is swifter, and the time is sweeter.
A special thought tonight, to all the mamas, of all colours and ages and places.
They're all the same. They mean so well. They do so much.



Friday, September 12, 2014

You've got to know where to look

In this blogging community, there is a handful of blogs I love checking up on. There is my friend Sachi's blog (she recently shifted to Japanese and alas, my Japanese isn't good enough yet!). There is Nancy's blog, there is Kami, there is Kristel, Nikola. And a few others, dedicated more specifically to cooking or handcraft.
They all tell a story, full of sweetness, passion, ups and downs, inspiration. In them I see beautiful women, this kind of real beauty made of resourcefulness and sensitivity.
I love checking on them regularly, like checking on a friend to make sure eveything is fine and hear about the latest news from their life.
Wait...there is also Kelle and Rachel. This week, these two have posted something that rings a bell and finds a way into my own heart, because it is my inspiration, the touchstone of my blog.
Your life is beautiful, Rachel says.
Loving, even when it's hard, is the payoff in parenting, Kelle says.
I read those two posts and saw the same thing: there is really a lot of beauty in our lives, but sometimes it is not exactly what we would expect it to be. Sometimes it is there, behind a huge messy heap of daily chores, or in the early rain. Sometimes it is at the very root of what we could get tired of. Because it just needs to be seen and accepted in a different way. Because stress and hurriedness act as the most opaque screen ever....and when you stop and do open your eyes, it all starts flowing and overflowing.
I believe it really requires us to stop. Stop in our tracks, even if we don't have time or don't feel like it.
Though I never was in touch with Kelle or Rachel, though I think they never saw any of my comments, I am dearly attached to their blogs. There is a part of their life that graciously meets mine: the way they constantly surround themselves with beauty, a beauty you have to look for sometimes, or just embrace some other times. The beauty of the instant, in the way you can grasp the moment, yes, this tiny little moment, even if you're having a bad day. This moment of grace, of love, this little snippet of pure joy that's asking to be cherished and remembered.
As Kelle and Rachel, and Shannon, reminded me, yet again, beauty is not automatic, it isn't always easy, it is what you decide it to be. YOU catch the moment. YOU create the beauty around you. I mean the beauty of life, of course...