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Unexpected  予期しなかったこと

It was unexpected.

A week into our stay on Texada Island, when we were enjoying our freedom and peace, it suddenly happened.  Well, actually, when I think of it, there was some weird uneasiness that afternoon….

Neil and I set out to walk Kafka (a biggish mutt dog) and Taitai (a pug).  Somehow, Taitai was reluctant to walk.  We thought he might have sore leg or something; we decided to walk back to our cottage and put the dogs in the car.  We might as well drive to Blubber Bay where our old Kuma used to love to go.  When we got to the intersection, we changed our mind.  We needed to stop at the grocery store anyway, so why not go to Gillies Bay.

We parked the car at the Gillies Bay beach, and the dogs jumped out of the car.  Before  we knew, Kafka sprinted away, dashing off at an enormous speed.  He found a deer.

Kafka became a fireball.  Neil shouts, “Kafka, NOOOO! ! Come back! ! Kafka, come back!!” He can’t hear.  He is not the Kafka we know.  He is a mass of instinct, a glistened instinct. The deer has nowhere to run or hide.  It runs to the ocean.  Kafka follows.  Oh….the deer is still young….  It really has no chance.  Although Kafka is eight, he is very fit, he is full of energy.  He is an excellent sprinter.  Out of desperation, the deer jumps into the water.  Kafka follows and jumps.  Kafka is not a good swimmer, but trying is his best.  Taitai follows.  The deer swims further out in the water.  I ran on the sand toward the water calling Kafka.  He heard me, and looked back.  Thank God he came back.  Neil grabbed him by his chest and threw him into the car.  Taitai is still swimming.  I can see the deer’s head popping out the waves.  I ran back to the water and called Taitai. We threw him into the car.

An old man who lives nearby was watching the whole thing.  He said that this particular deer had been wandering around for some time now. It looked like it had some mental challenge and was abandoned by its mother.  It was all alone, he said. “Poor thing, but what can we do….,“ said he, and dropped his shoulder.

We were struck with shock, both Neil and I could not voice a word.  In the water I couldn’t see its head any more.  Please live….please swim….please don’t drawn…..I kept staring at the water praying.  The water was still.

It was an innocent life.  There was no reason to die.  It only happened to be there when we arrived.  That was the only reason it had to be chased and die.  We should have never changed our mind, if we had gone to Blubber Bay, the poor deer would have been enjoying the peaceful afternoon.  Oh… I’m sorry, little deer.  I wanted to cry.

Life is so unfair.  Every birth is miracle.  All life is precious.  Why did the fawn’s own mother abandon this poor deer?  Just because it was disabled…..  Why did it have to be left alone, and chased by a dog like Kafka who is neither daring nor hungry, who has never experienced any hardship in his life.  Poor deer, you must have been so scared.

I’m so sorry….











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Beautiful Words  素敵な言葉

One Sunday in August, when we wandered into a church in Squamish, the minister asked the congregation this question. “What is faith?” It sounds religious, but it can be taken in a broader non-religious sense. Of course, it could be “I have faith in God,” but it could be “I have faith in my child,” or “I have faith in my strong good fortune,” etc. etc. You could have faith in all kinds of things.  But, he said, faith is not merely a belief. Believing and faith are totally different. He said, in order to say you have faith you need to have three factors, 1) capacity to trust, 2) willingness to commit, and 3) courage to act.  All three.  Even if you miss one out of three, it is no longer “faith”.  So, I suppose it means something like this….if you think in terms of husband and wife relationship.  If I have capacity to trust my husband Neil, commit myself to make him happy, and actually do things that make him happy, …..(like buying him an ice cream cake), then, I have “faith” in our relationship…? Even if I am totally committed, and completely trusting him, if I don’t do anything in action to show him, then, I don’t have “faith.”  Even if I buy tons of ice cream cakes, if I don’t trust him from the bottom of my heart, then I don’t have “faith”.  Or, even if I bought him ice cream cakes and trusted him solidly, If my commitment is wishy washy, then I don’t have “faith”. 🙂

Hmmm…… These three words, “trust, commitment, and action” were ringing in my ears for several days.  When you think about it, it certainly is true especially at a turning point of one’s life and at different stages of relationships. It’s actually a helpful guideline. For example, in my current stage, just retired and entering my new chapter, if I try to be conscious about trusting my new goal(s), make a commitment to follow through, and courageously act what I believe is right, I might actually be able to accomplish something meaningful…..

Many months ago, our leader in my Healing Pathway practitioners’ group gave me valuable advice.  When I was apprehensive about something, she suggested that I say to myself these words, “invite and trust.” It means, ‘Don’t worry, I should invite the unknown, and trust that I will be guided through.”  Isn’t it wonderful?

I am so happy that I have come across such beautiful words at this time of my life.  I am looking forward to seeing what unfolds in my new chapter.


先日ふらっと訪れたスクアミッシュの教会で、牧師さんが、Faith「信じている」ということはどういうことだろう、と問いかけた。神様を信じている、我が子を信じている、強い運勢を信じている、などなど色々な「信じている」状況があると思う。でも彼によると、単なるbelieve(信ずる)とfaith (信じている)とは全く異なるというのだ。「信用する心の器」(capacity to trust) そして「コミットする意思を持ち」(willingness to commit) さらに「勇気を持って行動に移す」(have courage to act) この3つが重なって初めて faith「信じている」という状況が生まれる。そのうち一つでも欠けると「信じている」ことにはならないという。つまり夫婦関係を例にとって考えると、夫のニールを信用する心を持って、夫のニールを幸せにするという決意(コミットメント)があって、それを行動で表す。。。(例えば彼の大好きなアイスクリームケーキを買ってあげる?)その3つができて初めてFaith ある夫婦関係と言えるということかな。決意があっても信用していても行動で表せなければダメだし、行動があっても芯から信用していなければダメ、またはコミットメントがフラフラと不安定だったら、これまた心底信じている夫婦関係とは言えない。


「先がわからなくて不安な時は ”invite and trust” という言葉を思い出してね」と随分前だけれどヒーリングタッチのリーダーであるシャロンが私に言ってくれたことがある。これも素晴らしい言葉だと思う。Don’t worry, invite the unknown, and trust that you will be guided through. 「心配しないで。未知なることを招き入れよう。そして必ず道が示されると信じよう」


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Retirement リタイア

I have retired from my job as of August 31. Today is September 1, the first day of my new chapter.  I tell you it’s a strange feeling, happy but sad, relieved but nervous….kind of feeling like losing connections to the world….weird feeling.

I was 18 when I first taught piano and was being paid.  So I have been working for 42 years already.  Piano player/ teacher, Japanese language instructor, administrator/marketer of an English language school, student advisor at an international high school/ college, import-export/marketer of building products and foods, organist, church administrator and music director… many many different jobs. I also took extensive courses and degrees in order to advance my careers in music, language education, and business administration.

When I think back of my working life, I wonder if I left every career incomplete. I also wonder, what would be the parameter for a “success”? If the parameter is “income,” everybody will agree that I have failed. If it’s “accomplishment,” I might have accomplished OK to a degree, but not nearly to the level of some people. If it’s “name recognition”, I get a failing mark.  I was pretty good at marketing products or concepts, but really, not good at all marketing myself.  Well, I am so introverted.  But….It’s OK.  Past is past.  I cannot go back to those days and re-live my life differently.  Instead, I would love to thank all these people who gave me a chance to work, a chance to shine, who were so patient, who kept me close and watched me, who showed understanding, who encouraged me, who advised me, and who told me things I didn’t want to hear.  I have immense gratitude for both the societies of Japan and Canada.  I indeed have received so much from so many people and organizations.

I now have to return what has been given to me, to the next generation.  I have to do something to repay the societies. That would be the goal for my new chapter. Interesting how thinking about one thing seems to attract and bring all kinds of coincidences…. One of them was the words I came across, from the book I picked up last time I was in Japan, called “与命”(Given Life) by an old but still active medical doctor named Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara. He says in this book, “Life is time given to you, for you to live in this world.”  “What do you mean by using your given life? It means to use your time for others.”  Powerful words…. Dr. Hinohara is age 105 this year, still working in the medical field. “Using my time for others”…..I should make this the goal for my retired life.  Happy to be retired, happy to enter my new chapter, but a bit nervous.