Good morning from a cottage in Japan with an update to say “no update per se“. Thanks for all your sweet notes and good vibes… I’m eating all the snacks and hanging out with our rabbit, scribbling in journal and completely excited…
I want to wear matching outfits with him, I want to write books for him, I want to teach him all about his ancestry, I want to turn him on to all sorts of music and books, I want to be the dad who welcomes him and pals home from school with snacks and hang out space, I want to support him on anything and everything he wants to do, I want to let him be whoever he wants to be, I want to be an example of kind￼ness, empathy, intrepidness￼, courage, and sweetness. I want to introduce him to so many cultures and ways of life and be an example of respect, tolerance, advocacy and friendship.￼
I have stacks of maps and globes and art supplies and so many musical instruments and no TV. We have soft places to rest and projects going everywhere from pickles to paintings￼.
I will (try to) always be present, (almost) always put his needs first and prepare him for a wonderful life￼ with patience & unconditional love.
His mother is magnificent, sunny and happy every day of this journey, full of energy and ideas… Until yesterday working in the garden, making things on the sewing machine, playing piano and singing for him, reading nonconventional texts about taking the best care of him, going slow, staying calm, eating well and… Yesterday we even had a dance in our tiny kitchen￼￼. Hooray dopamine.
Btw, Contractions started yesterday late afternoon (JST) so, as we measured the interval time, ￼I made her a classic “japanese standard” dinner before taking her to the hospital… (hearty miso with daikon, brown rice, salted plum, pickled carrots, kimchi, grilled salmon, edamame) / noting: I will be that dad who makes the cutest bento lunches for the kid!
Oh, & I might have to invent my own alternative scouts organization to organize mellow camp outs at the goat farm￼ / “no badges, no saluting, just good times“￼#WeedScouts￼￼
So… Here’s a picture of amazing Ryoko two days ago at paternal grandpa Ichiro’s nearby grave asking for a little bit of support.￼ A bit of a talisman as of course during the pregnancy, we haven’t been out and about but take frequent walks to go clean his grave, light incense and talk about the beauty of it all. Yes, complete life reinvention.￼
PS As it all goes, maternal grandmother who is 88 and full of laughter goes in for a surgery today… World keeps on spinning spinning spinning.￼
All the vibes all the vibes #Grateful #Patience￼
Now I need another coffee and to go hang up the umeboshi in the sun. ￼
Ryoko is doing all sorts of sewing and other creative work in preparation for baby as well as general use for summertime household management. Amongst her barrage of creativity comes these majestic “zori” sandals made from materials we had around the house. Big for me, smaller for her (obv).
Just another food round-up from Tsuchida Cottage. Of course, we are cooking at home, groceries get delivered (and some from garden/yard). We have a little convection oven. Added in a few Japanese words just case PS “washoku” is word for traditional Japanese food – usually fish (grilled or raw) and various side dishes, while “yoshoku” is Japanese-i-fied foreign-inspired food which has become Japanese (i.e. croquettes, om-rice (omelette on rice), hamburg, fried shrimp, spaghetti). Also a few ramen, pizza and other hybrid style meals in here. Carry on. No big deal.
Musician and pal Dan Mangan shares a birthday (april 28) with my sweet wife Ryoko (he’s a year older) and while we were in birthday mode for wife, and in the the kura (barn) studio, whipped him up a friendly video with various records and posters of his and other amusements for his, and possibly your, amusement.
Bonus: here’s me and Dan and (at the time) Mayor Gregor Robertson at a charity street hockey game in Vancouver (Five Hole for Food) in 2011(?)
Happy Birthday to my ray of sunshine Ryoko! Every day is the most wonderful fun with you. Let’s enjoy tea, cake and picnic today (& kiss :)).
Ryoko’s birthday came, of course, in the midst of the pandemic and all that, but, we did some great activities starting with lunch at Mac’s goat farm the day before then we drove to Setouchi to (socially safely) pick up a custom made cake by the same baker who made our wedding cake which we really didn’t get to eat. Then enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch with the parents (who live “inside the wall” with us).
That night, sparked the candles in the cake and I sand (what I am sure is a magnificent version of) happy birthday etc. etc.
Ryoko’s birthday on April 28 was of course in the midst of all of the *global meltdown pandemic* whatever but, we managed a few fun activities, rather safely and all that… Including (on April 27) going to our pal Mac’s goat farm for a special lunch and visit. Evidence follows: Mac makes this sort of hybrid “Italian/Tuscan style with Japanese ingredients style” food and well, we let them serve us what he wants and it’s always fantastic and comes out in various courses at a leisurely pace, finishing with goat milk cheese cake! Of course his farm is where we met so it’s a very special place for us and we feel very much at home, plus I can check in on my artwork which hangs in his market which, by the way, had gone through a little bit of a rearrangement making it a bit more spacious and organized. We look forward in years to come to put on some music and arts festivals and welcome our friends from around the world and around Japan back for more fun. In the meantime though, had a lovely lunch and memories including some choice selections from Buddy Mac’s epic record collection.