Thursday, March 17, 2011

Trying to prevent my own nuclear meltdown!

I don't mean to make light of the serious nuclear plant situation in Japan.

I am sitting in the dark, trying to calm down. Trying to find resolutions to the causes of the stress I'm feeling. I refuse to just feel stress and succumb to it. Although it all feels like it's crashing down on me, I will try to focus on one thing, let the fear coast and then try to detach and find the source or a solution. If that won't happen immediately, focus on something else...

Yesterday afternoon I was in such an idyllic state because I'd spent a lunch in the company of some very interesting people. Also, being able to have time with Terukina-sensei, my sanshin sensei from Okinawa, and his wife is just simply heavenly good. I'm flooded with memories of all of my wonderful time spent in Okinawa...

And the practice was not quite what I expected, but still such a nostalgic blast back. The stories and explanations, his style of teaching. Such quality and truly humbled. Even if he wasn't a National Living Treasure, I know I'm in the presence of a true artist.

The end of the night as I was trying to lock up, the feelings of dread and panic started to set in. Then I had a stupid accident where I completely soaked my lyric book, tickets, CHECKs and cash!!! I've been drying them out all night. I need to make deposits so that we can pay some bills this weekend!
This is only a fifth of what I did!
And then a few other things happened that just rendered me completely mentally drained and exhausted and starting to feel really like I was alone, which is ridiculous since I'm not in this alone!!! I waited for Sterling to come home, and sure enough, as soon as I saw him, I started to tear and just needed a long hug. It was midnight, we were standing outdoors, he was trying to unload his car from his two long appointments this evening.

I managed to set up the heating dish to start drying out the money and put my list of things to do away and just lay with him and let it flow. We talk about not stopping feelings up because they can manifest in physical problems.

After I had finished trying to make sense of my feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion, he looked grim. I had to ask, what was he thinking. He just quietly said, this stress is not good. He went on to remind me that there are other teachers who are also wanting to count on me for productions in the future, that because I'm the type that won't say no, years and years of this kind of on-going stress is not good. He paused and said, now if you were also developing yourself in these areas, that's another thing, but it looks like you're just busy with administrative tasks.

I had to think about that. No wait. Scratch that. I will think about that, LATER. I do recognize that I am in a position to get things done, but it's not leadership or recognition that I seek, but really, just what he said. To learn the arts, to learn more about myself. I can hear the argument that performance in art is part of the process. Perhaps, but I think if I could for a while, I would want to be an artist, deepening my understanding and skill for the art's sake, and not because I could share it with an audience.

Also, I realize that there are streaks of envy in me that I have to acknowledge, but not let consume. My inadequacies and feelings of regret (why didn't I study harder, why didn't I come back with my Yuushuusho certificate, why couldn't I feel more confident in Sensei's belief in my ability while I was in Okinawa?)--these also started to plague me last night.

This morning, I must focus on specific tasks that must need to be done, but I do need to incorporate some of the corrections and suggestions that Sensei made to Lynde's and my "solo" for the show on Saturday. If only that's all I had to worry about!

I know there are people who are willing to help if I ask them. I just have to find the tasks that I can truly give up--or just make sure that I'm not the only one with all of the information!

Breathing and keeping my biggest fan close by for hugs and words of encouragement, and relying on friends are what will get me through today. There is a Rehearsal/Welcome Party tonight that still has some loose ends. Wish me luck, and send me calm vibes. This is part of the journey, this is part of the journey, part of the journey...

Terukina-sensei has what's called a "Yaruki Shinkun" - tenets of the heart that help in developing one's self in uta-sanshin, as well as in life.

It goes something like this:
(thanks to my friend, Jodie Ching, who provided me with the translation)

(Loose translation: lessons of the heart)

If you try, you can do it.

I will do it.

Have courage.

Have confidence.

Do not let things distract you.

Do not stop until the dream is attained.

I will do it now. 
It may not completely fit where I am today - I need the social support more than the internal drive, I think, but I'm trying at the beginning. If I try, I can do it. I will do it. I suspect Courage and Confidence will need to kick in about tomorrow, hee, hee!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Part of the Solution

It's quite late... but needed to post something...

Hindsight is 20/20, that's for sure. Much things can be gleaned from going over the past and re-tracing one's steps. Through examining how things contributed to misunderstandings or compounded a sensitive situation, perhaps it's very easy to see how a different action or reaction might have led to a different outcome.

Everyone has differing perceptions. And perception is reality. So how many realities can there be? Multiple. It's a wonder we can have successful relationships at all, given it's possible that we are all interpreting things differently!


Since we cannot control or demand another to see something our way, simply because we believe it to be true, the next best thing is to listen intently and with the desire to connect with the other person. By understanding another person's perceptions, so might we learn to have more compassion, empathy, and even patience.

When speaking to a dear friend about regrets I had tonight, and areas that I felt I needed to take responsibility for, she gently offered back, think of it now as being part of the solution.

I am hopeful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Returning to Okinawa (NaBloPoMo #28)

Four interns: Teppei (top 2nd from left), Sei (top 2nd from right), Atsumi (top right), Chiho (front 3rd from left)
Alas, the interns from Okinawa are wenting.... It was a short/long period. Sweet young adults, sincere and soaking in what they can...

I unfortunately did not get to know the two interns from LTSC as well, but the two who were at the Okinawa Association were simply the best. Did they do much work? No. That was a point that was not lost on any of us. However, what I think they did get was the chimugukuru - that Okinawan spirit - of the Uchinanchu community here in Los Angeles. From all the ladies who would take them out, shower them with gifts, take them to their homes... to the younger members of our association that went out of their way to gather for dinner, karaoke, late night donut runs, shopping and even a film shoot... to the families that hosted them and treated them at fancy places.... They certainly met an array of folks. It touched my heart to see members and leaders of our group really step up and show our interns such hospitality.

There's something about watching young 20-something students who are still growing up, still trying to make sense of the world that brings pangs to the heart as well as a general excitement and anticipation at their potential and the thought of the growth they will encounter.

I really wish I could have spent more time with them, but my life has changed much in which my time is occupied differently. I mourn that part of my life sometimes, like times like these, but know that I did what I could and that I hope that I was able to make an impression on some part of their lives.