I write to you from the Kyoto Tower Hotel. We had a bit of a mishap. More on that below.
When I left you last, my father-in-law, the reason we had come to Japan, had just passed. Thus the first few days of this month were consumed with the rituals of the multi-day funerary proceedings. I should really write about that process now that I have gone through it a few times. In the end, it all went smoothly. Just how it should, and how he wanted it. We spent the next few days going over happy memories, and concluding that everything that happened did so in a satisfactory way. It was a healing process for those left on this side of the bardo. The next step is the interment which we will do in October when it gets a little cooler.
Once the funeral ended, then started a new whirlwind of activity. We decided to clean up and move into the apartment he left behind. (This is our 10th move since 2020?!) From there the kids can go to school, and we can start work on wrapping up the estate. The apartment has one less room than the house we have been renting, so I went off on a hunt for a nearby co-working space to rent an office for my early morning and late night calls.
Then the Gion Festival happened. After two years hiatus the festival is back and a ton of people came out to see it. Kyoto’s premier festival Gion started in 869 as a sort of purification ritual. And it was happening just down the street from us! So we took a few walks and checked it out (link to photos below) but did not go to the parade and avoided the densest crowds. (Things still aren’t really pure enough as Japan enters its 7th wave of the coronavirus).
Summer holidays were supposed to be a trip to Iki to see old friends. But with the father-in-law passing, we needed that time to prepare the move and also close out some of his stuff in Nagoya. We took the opportunity to have some fun and visited the aquarium and science center. I lived in Nagoya from about 2007 to 2010, and that is where my oldest daughter was born. Thus, twelve years later I dragged my kids down Memory Lane visiting all the old neighbourhoods and apartments. It felt really good to travel again, even if it was in the spaces between errands.
So, this was a month of transition and of good memories. I haven’t gotten much reading or writing done. But it feels like we are soon to turn a corner and can actually settle for a while. These last few months have been all about ambiguity. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view, and that makes me excited for the future.
Oh, and about the mishap. So today, the last day of the month, was the big move. Right after picking up the van in the morning we had a surprise “side quest” to the ER (I suppose trips to the ER are always a surprise), so did not have the time to clean up the apartment enough to sleep in it. So, despite having both a rental house and an owned apartment, we are staying in a hotel in our own city. (Insert Uncle Roger Haiyaaaaa here). Anyways, everyone is okay and I was able to somehow get everything into the apartment. So… success? 🤷🏽♀️ Here is the view from the hotel →
Stay cool and hydrated,
6 months an upāsaka. I have been on a program for the past half-year. Thought I would share for those who may be curious
Twitter thread of Gion Matsuri the day before the start Link →
Photos from throughout the Gion Festival Photos →
Pics from Nagoya Photos →
The Nova Incident by Dan Moren (0% Complete)
I actually haven’t started this book yet. It is next in my queue. I am a big fan of Dan Moren, who I have been listening to for years on The Incomparable podcast. This is the fourth book in the series, and I have pre-ordered and read every one. Watching his journey as an authour has been inspiring to an aspiring author like me. And he is so authentic. He is a fan, he is one of us, who went on to become an actual real-life published authour! And not just one book but four! On top of all of it, he seems like a really sweet guy. So I am rooting for him always, and am looking forward to this instalment of the Galactic Cold War series.