So these won't be your typical Tokyo photos. I had plans, big plans for visiting Tokyo. Visiting trendy neighborhoods full of creative shops, hitting all the fabric stores, finding more books that our local Kinokuniya can shake a stick at, so much more. They just weren't meant to be. And I've realized that's okay by me. By the time we made it to Tokyo, my eight year old daughter who hates traveling, was pretty much done with the whole vacation thing.

She made it through, not without getting sick a few times. It did mean I had to let go of all the crazy, realistically unrealistic plans. It also didn't help that when we did get out, I forgot you really, really need good maps to actually find the places you want to go. Look at that lovely street grid ... not!

By the end of the trip, I was looking forward to a few good hours of contemplation time on the plane. I knew I'd learned something about myself and my expectations on the trip. But I had also realized that back in the US, there's something amazing going on in the craft world that I hadn't noticed before. It was really inspiring and exciting. I couldn't wait to get home to ponder it. And I still am.

There certainly were some incredibly creative ideas flowing around the design and craft world in Tokyo. The picture above was taken at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT museum. There was an incredible exhibit called Design AH! Here's a little blurb about it which is quite a bit heady. All I can say is the visitors were eating it up!

The exhibition theme is "Design Mind." Along with clairvoyance and creativity, the physical ability to unconsciously determine the adequacy of the things around us is an integral element for carrying on with our daily lives. Here, we call the capabilities honed by these two aspects as the "Design Mind."

There's also this strange dichotomy in Tokyo between nature and urban-ness that is especially apparent during the cherry blossom season. We timed Hanami perfectly.

It seemed as if the entire city would pour out into the parks to enjoy lunch alfresco. Even the widest angle photo doesn't even begin to capture the sheer quantity of blossoms so I managed to snap a video this time. Let me just say that path went on and on and on. The blossoms never seemed to stop!

My latest revelation about our trip occurred just yesterday when I went back through my photos of Tokyo. I think you can see the common theme here is me missing nature.

I was so longing for my garden by the end of the trip. Even though we live in a city, albeit a tiny one compared to Tokyo, I can't wait to dig in my vegetable garden on the weekends. I realized I need to embrace that more in the coming year.

 We made it home and are so happy to be back. I do miss Japan already but have found ways to admire it from afar again. In the meantime, back to the interesting observation about the craft scene in the US. We seem to have an advantage of trying anything and just playing with our work and seeing where it takes us. Not that other countries don't have that, it was just strangely apparent while I stepped away and looked back towards home.

It's always nice to appreciate what's at your feet. And it's got me thinking again ... which was something I was missing before this trip.


Lari Washburn said...

Hi there! I think I know how you feel. Expectations are so insidious. I'd like so much to learn to go with the flow more. It would be good for me and my work. It looks like you did see some lovely things and connect a bit with nature. And are just now beginning to connect with what inspired you there. And despite her hesitation about travel, just think of the experience you gave your daughter! We are going to Italy for 2 weeks on Friday, and I have all kinds of hopes that I will recover from the burnout I've experienced lately...but who knows!

Katrina said...

Oh, the little beloved ones in our lives. And how they teach us repeatedly to surrender. And how that can be so very challenging. But ultimately, it can be liberating too. To completely let go of our (very meaningful) desires and just be present with them. Oh! Hard. But very deep. (Hi you, getting caught up over here. As my own little one keeps me from blogs more than I'd like.)


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