Day Zero – Why am I on this plane?

Today, I opened my diary for the first time since I returned from Japan 11 weeks ago. It helped me to travel back in time and although I don’t recall a lot of details of the flight, I can certainly feel how I felt then and there.

Notebook 1.2

So now I am sitting on the plane, the engines are running and we are literally in… the… air… now. […]

As I blow into the nozzle of my inflatable travel pillow, I am asking myself what I am doing here. It won’t be the last time. The honest answer is: I don’t know.

It is a sunny SF morning, the SF bay is blue & beautiful… I see a container ship, emtpy. San Mateo Bridge.

Anyway, this time I am less excited than usually when travelling to Japan. Why? It is a big thing! It is my dream come true. Or what I think my dream is.

All I knew is that it would be a different world. And it began with a feeling I’ve never had before:

Notebook 2

This feels like a real journey, like real travelling. It is a journey, a path and I don’t know what to expect. All I can do is take the next step. And another one.

I’d like to think that the medieval garden designer and Zen monk Muso Soseki (夢窓疎石, 1275-1351) is likely to have felt the same way before leaving on one of his many foot pilgrimages through the forests and back roads of Japan.

You can read more about him in the book “A Zen Life in Nature” by Andrew Keir Davidson. I highly recommend it, I think it is one of the best books about medieval Japan.

Day 39 – My way to work near Myoshin-ji in Kyoto

My daily 13-minute way to work is one of the best times of the day. The air is fresh from the Arashiyama mountains and Narabi-ga-oka hills, the sun shines friendly on the new day and I am happy to be alive and to learn more to become a better gardener. 

I pass the Myoshin-ji (妙心寺) temple complex every morning and remember that I was here with my dad when he visited us in Tokyo for a week. I cannot believe that this place is part of my everyday life now. 

By the way, I take these pictures often single-handedly with my left hand while riding my bike. No time to stop if I want to be on time at 6:25 in the company…