Monday, September 29, 2008

Farewell Martha/Purple T-shirts

Martha's celebration of life was Friday night. Something like 12 ONE members came to perform for her friends and family. Matt, Jasmine and I came early enough to be there for all of the speeches. I learned so much about Martha that I didn't know, since I only knew Martha the drummer, not Martha the friend, wife, mother, gardener, dancer... every piece brought into greater focus the picture of a woman I knew only from one angle. After all the speeches we played three songs that Martha knew. I played very badly at first, and started feeling very self-conscious... but the last song was Kokyo which I've known well enough and long enough to let myself go. We were trying to have fun and celebrate Martha's life, so we'd chosen Kokyo as an upbeat festive ending. Then we invited her friends and family to come up and drum if they wanted. A lot of them did... just playing whatever they felt like. I'm having trouble expressing how fitting it was as a sendoff for Martha's spirit. It was a big, loud, outpouring of passion.

Saturday night we had our new members party. A lot of us became members over the summer (with the institution of the community membership), but we had to wait a while for the celebration... the timing ended up a bit strange given what we were doing the day before... then again maybe we needed the party even more.

Only ONE members get purple t-shirts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Last year, I created a concept plan for a playground for the Professional Center for Child Development. Today I saw the playground in use for the first time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Crash and my Sanshin

Saturday was my first day back, and I couldn't stay away from my taiko friends. Even after spending oodles of time together, Karen was still willing to pick me up so we could go see some other Odaiko New England members perform at an outdoor event in West Boylston.

It was great to see them. They did such a good job. I had fun, broke my sunglasses, and got a sunburn. After hanging out for a bit, Karen and I headed home.

We were casually chatting, passing Brandeis, not far at all from my house... when a red car traveling the other direction got kinda close to the center line and then swerved the other direction, flying over the curb, up a steep embankment, hit a tree, and landed with a bang on the edge of the road. I called 911 on Karen's phone... eventually the driver got out of the car on her own... Karen and I helped her get her things from the back seat, trying to encourage her to come away from the car since there was a noticeable gas leak... but something was wrong with her leg, so it didn't seem easy for her to walk... there was an off-duty fire fighter on the scene... the police, fire, ambulance all showed up (at least I think there was a fire truck there)... Karen and I were concerned with the woman's welfare, but we also had to talk to the police as witnesses... In the end, it seems like the driver of the crashed car will be okay and no one else was involved.

The rest of Saturday was mostly asleep.
Most of Sunday was asleep.

This morning I woke up, still a little unsure of where I was initially. (I can't shake the feeling that I'm in a new place, instead of at home. This isn't all that surprising given the fact that over two and a half weeks my lodging changed something like 9 times.)

Unfortunately, when I woke up this time, I started thinking about all the things I need to get done. I have a lot to do. I have a LOT to do.

But this morning I decided to procrastinate by playing my sanshin.

"Sanshin?" you ask.

It's an Okinawan musical instrument with three strings that are played by plucking. The name sanshin literally means "three strings".

When I was at the Kodo apprentice center, one of the apprentices (Masa) taught me a couple of lines from Shima Uta, a very well known Okinawan song. So, before I left Japan I bought a sanshin.

I would definately rather play my sanshin than get caught up on billing my clients.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Home: Happy, Sad, and Disoriented

(The Japan trip is in a separate blog... but here is my final entry.)

We made it back, safe and sound.

We said goodbye to Yoko in the train station.
We flew across the world with Victoria, and said goodbye to her in JFK airport.
Then the ONE four rented a van, and drove back to Boston.

Karen and Joy were so nice that they dropped Matt and me at home before returning the van to the airport. It was super duper nice that we got to be home with our cats right away. It was so late I can't remember what time it was... around 2 am?

With jetlag, it didn't feel exactly like bedtime, and there were a few things to do around the house: making the bed, closing the windows, some cat petting to do... it took a while before we were in bed.

I woke up a few hours later. The morning sun was sneaking in, lighting up the room. I could see clearly, but I had no idea where I was. For a moment, I wasn't even sure who was in bed next to me. I actually said "where are we?" to my sleeping husband before it all came together. We were home. I was waking up in my own bed, next to Matt, and the trip to Japan was more than a dream.

A while later, two of our three cats came to snuggle with us on the bed. I was so sad to leave Japan, to say goodbye to so many wonderful people, but there were some things I missed.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Off to Japan

I'll be back on the 19th.