Greetings from Kyoto.
I am writing from our apartment in the western foothills of the city – a “new town” built in the 80s, with curved modern towers separated by green walkways and stands of bamboo. The weather is unseasonably cold and overcast. The cherry blossoms elsewhere in the country are in full bloom, but are still struggling here.
Last week, while in Kelowna, we got a call from an ER in Kyoto. My wife’s father was ambulanced to the hospital in the middle of the night, heart struggling to get oxygen. He has been battling stomach cancer for a few years so this news took us by surprise.
In 2020, we flew to Japan with the intention of spending time with my wife’s mother, who was in the final rounds of her own long battle with cancer. Unfortunately, she passed just 9 days after our arrival. It was the very beginning of the pandemic, and the hospital was locked down. The kids did not even get to see her in person before she passed.
In 2021, when we got the call that my dad was sick, we did not want to take a chance that he would miss seeing the kids, so we pulled out all the stops and conducted an emergency internal move under pandemic conditions and flew back to Canada. He passed just 11 days after we arrived (technically we were still in quarantine), but he was able to see the kids three times before the end. I wrote about how lucky I felt in the LRC.
Now it is 2022 and we have another elderly parent in need. We were planning on spring break in Vancouver and Squamish but made the last minute decision to fly to Japan, just in case.
We have been here for a week. Before we got out of our 3-day quarantine, my father-in-discharged himself from the hospital. We have since met with him and shared meals together. He looks frail since we saw him last, but complains like a healthy 74 year old. But due to complications with his cancer, there is not much that can be done with his slowly failing heart. So we will spend time with him.
The sun will come out in the next couple of days, and we will be able to walk together in the park under the cherry blossoms at full bloom. They will soon fall – we all know it – but we are gladdened to see them while they still flourish.
Enjoy the moment, be mindful of those around around you. Mettā to you all.
Nothing on the blog this month. It has been a bit hectic.
I gave a talk at Langara College to some young developers. They asked for career advice. Among other things, I shared this term which captures it beautifully: “proof of curiosity” Link →
In early March I was in San Diego for a work retreat. We had a trainer give us a workshop on Wardley Mapping. I did a little writeup of this very valuable tool for strategy. Link →
Search engines bubble example Link →
“but why aren’t millennials buying homes and having kids??” Chart →
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
The last time I was holed up in this Kyoto apartment I listened to Andy Weir’s Artemis, which I liked in general, but I don’t think it measures up to his wonderful The Martian. I remember staying up until about 3am in a San Francisco hotel listening intently to the final chapters of that book. So far Project Hail Mary feels like it could be another Martian.