Monthly Archives: December 2013

Fuji-san Appears on Time

Mt. Fuji

This past September I traveled through Japan with my parents. My mom and I were heading back to Tokyo for our last few days. My mom was very excited by the possibility of seeing Mt. Fuji from the train, the closest we would get to this famous and sacred mountain.

We loved riding the Shinkansen, which is an elegant and efficient mode of travel. A little trivia: the seats are designed to swivel on their mounts, so you can turn them around. I loved knowing this. We even availed ourselves of this feature a few times, so we could face each other while we zipped through the landscape.

Riding the hikari Shinkansen

This was our last ride on the Bullet Train, and we are zooming past everything. It feels like we’ve reached the future. My mom gets more and more excited about seeing Mt. Fuji until she overcomes her own sense of propriety and asks a group of 4 women traveling together when we might see Fuji-san. They confer with each other and stop the conductor to ask him as well. Finally they arrive at a consensus: 2:45 p.m.

We continue to stare out the window, as if our eyeballs fixed on the horizon could make it materialize. At 2:32 (more or less), I catch a glimpse of what appears to be a volcanic dome, rising from the ground. I stand up and wave my arms at the demure group of ladies, pointing out the window. “Fuji-san,” I say to them. “Fuji-san.”

“No,” they tell me. They point to their watches and shake their heads, disappointed that I do not seem to understand how things work in Japan. Everything runs on its schedule, and the mountain will appear when it’s the right time. My mom and I continue to press our faces to the window, catching our breath as the mountain grows larger and larger. There are hills that occlude our sight, so it comes and goes. And finally, we reach the plain with an unobstructed view.

We turn to our Japanese travel companions and they smile at us, assured that it is now the proper time and Fuji-san has made its appearance. All is right with the world.

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One Year Ago

gold and Black Sun

Happy blog birthday to me. I’ve posted 53 times in the last year, averaging once a week. I started this last year with the intention of it helping me find my voice. I wasn’t sure where it would go. It still feels very nascent, and I’m fine with that. There’s lots of room for me to go where I want. A lot of my focus has been on the 52 Photos Project, which has been really fun – combining my love of photography with my love of language and words.

Today I just wanted to share this photo I took on Christmas Eve (above). The light felt so thick, as if it had heft, and I had no idea when I pointed my camera in this direction that it would capture that honeyed sky.

You can get the idea here:

sunset and reflection

And here:

reflecting pool

Thanks for coming along with me on this ride. I’m looking forward to what 2014 will bring!

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52 Photos: Holiday Traditions

Icicle and red globe

This week’s prompt: Holiday Traditions.

Last week a man asked me how my Christmas preparations were going. I cringed, took a deep breath, and confessed to him that I don’t celebrate. I told him I don’t like telling people that, because I don’t want to ruin their enjoyment of the holiday. He took it with good cheer and I felt okay, this time.

I was struggling with this prompt, because Hannukah was so early in the month, it feels like it was in another season. Besides which, I can only seem to muster up enough effort to light candles. And this year we got gelted into buying some chocolate coins.

Happy Hannukah!

8th night

For the second year in a row, there has been a small holiday event at the park down the street from us. We are quickly coming to love this tradition, which includes the fabulous Beaconettes, a choral group from Beacon Hill in Seattle, who take familiar songs and add their own twist for extra enjoyment.

Beaconettes exposed

I don’t have any pictures of my own, but we cap off our festivities every year by going to the show Homo for the Holidays. It really does feel like family, and every year we return to laugh ourselves silly.

I hope you all are enjoying the day and holiday, no matter what you find yourselves doing. Thank you for reading, for cheering me on, and for being who you are. That is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

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52 Photos: Polka Dots

This week’s prompt was polka dots. I roamed far and wide, spied with my little eye and finally came home, to this:


Which, I might add, in addition to be fantastically polka dotted, is a great spatula. Since I’m not feeling full of verve, let me direct you to this lovely piece: A Brief History of Polka Dots. Especially this:

“Polka dots need not be emasculating,” said Anna Akbari, wardrobe consultant and founder of the styling business Closet Catharsis. Akbari, who teaches a course entitled “Fashion and Power” at NYU, added that men wearing polka dots “demonstrates that they pay attention to fashion, that they’re fashion-focused.” Other renowned male advocates of the polka dot include Marc Jacobs, with his “Dotty” collection and Dot perfume (jasmine, orange blossom and honeysuckle), and the artist Damien Hirst, notorious for his sterile, vertigo-inducing dot paintings.

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