Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Transitioning phase has begun!

(Recently completed 1st kyu test in Aikido in Madison, WI)

Already October! The leaves are fluttering all about, people are raking their lawns, geese are gathering, and of course pumpkins are appearing all over the place.
While fall has been lasting for quite some time now, the frost is coming and the trees will soon be bare. 
Recent haiku I thought of while walking down the sidewalk the other day (10.17.17)

"Like children running-
I welcome the blowing leaves
with open arms!" - Makoto

I have begun signing my poems with the pen name 'Makoto' because my initials 'MU' are the same as my fathers, and the same as my sisters. I always enjoyed these initials because in japanese the workd 'MU' means 'nothing'... how appropriate! So, although it was never an issue, I felt it was time for a pen name. How did I acquire it? It was a gift. It is a japanese name meaning 'truth or sincerity'. 
The best things in life are given to us... I value this gift as it is a wonderful name with a meaning that gives one cause to always strive to do what is right, to keep one's intentions sincere. 
After my father passed on, I was up in the Pacific Northwest and I went to visit the Shinto shrine, Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America run by Rev. Koichi Barrish. What a wonderful place to go see!
Sensei Koichi Barrish agreed to do a ceremony honoring my late father, and I also made known to him that I was seeking a new 'pen name', and if anything spoke to him during the ceremony that was appropriate that I would be  honored to receive it from him. I don't want to get into all the details here, but it was truly an incredible experience and brought much needed closure for me as well as a profound sense of peace. Walking the temple grounds afterwards and taking in the gorgeous river that runs through the backyard I felt what a special place that is. There is a true sacredness in the domain of nature as it should be,  something that you can feel in our very bones by spending time in places that have less of a human print on them.

Now on my final year of architecture school, I am forced to look ahead into the not too distant future and wonder- what next? What perfect time of year to have such thoughts...the changing of the season corresponding to this huge transition beginning for me. I have been in architecture school for the past 7 years. It has become such a norm to me that thinking about life without school in it actually feels kind of strange! I am excited for this next chapter of my life, and looking forward to the experiences that it will bring. My time has been split between Aikido, School and Work, with very little trail running actually taking place these days. I find you can have three things in your life, any more than that and you just end up dabbling... if you truly want to get good at something, you have to pare it down to three. Life can be interesting in that many times, you don't even get to choose these three...
You sort of come up for air one day and find them there. If you are lucky you get to choose maybe one...but two? You are blessed. Choose wisely, how you spend your time defines you.

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