sushi that saved my anniversary

A rock sat on my chest for days leading up to the 7th anniversary of my marriage. I was in no mood to celebrate it and was half afraid he’d find out. As with a couple of Valentine’s Day ago, I might use it as a chance to discuss what’s going on, or what’s not going on, in our marriage.

He took my hand as we walked towards the restaurant. “Are you excited?” he asked. We were going to Shiro’s, the best sushi place in town, allegedly founded by an apprentice of Japan’s most renowned sushi chef, Jiro Ono, the one featured in the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

“Are you excited?” he asked.
I pursed my lips.
“You’re not happy, are you?”
I shrugged, and we crossed the street.

We asked for Omakase, the “chef’s selection” style where we sit at the bar in front of the chef, who will serve you whatever they make. Shiro’s Omakase is “open ended”, which meant that instead of having a fixed number of sushi, you may ask to stop whenever you’re full. Or, in our case, keep going until you’ve finally had enough. It’s not an “all you can eat”, mind you. You’re charged for every piece.

Out of a sense of respect I didn’t take any pictures of the two albacore nigiris that started our meal. But the next sushi was a translucent fish that resembled a piece of white jade. The desire to capture that beauty overcame my shyness with the camera.

“Happy anniversary!” husband said.
“Yes,” I smiled and nodded.
“As you were saying, you’re not happy?”
I was surprised he’d follow up. But yes that was something I wanted to get into.

“Well, you know, we don’t really talk to each other any more. When we do it’s always practical and functional. We barely talked to each other over the weekend even though we were together.”
“And because of our little one too,” he added.
“Yes. We don’t have anything in common, we want our alone time and then we don’t have time for each other. We don’t do anything together.”

That was as far as I got. As it turned out, you can’t complain about your marriage when you’re grinning from ear to ear, because you’re tasting sushi that’s unlike anything you’ve ever dreamed of. Fish gently draped over rice that melt in your mouth. Blue fin tuna that looks familiar enough, but makes you question if all the tuna you’ve had before had been injected with gelatin. I am ready to never eat sushi anywhere else ever again.

As husband’s eyes beamed yet again with surprise and wonder at the I don’t know what fish, and I’m involuntarily swaying left and right like a flower being visited by fairies, I realized that we were doing something together right now. We were having a first-in-a-lifetime experience together. There’s something to be said about that.

snorkel in the sea of feelings

Now that I love snorkeling, I think it’s a great thing to do in the sea of my feelings and emotions. I used to go into it like I’m trying to sort out my closet but without a plan. If I snorkel though, I keep breathing, I don’t touch anything, and I keep my eyes wide open just to look and to watch. I stick my head out to check my surroundings. And if I start to get physically uncomfortable or tired, I get out. Stay curious, stay alert, stay safe!

Thank god for nice people

Each of us participate in creating the experience and perception of the world we each live in. Someone who has been met with more kindness will see the world as a kinder place. This past week I’ve been treated to a lot of gratitude from clients and it feels amazing. They could have been thankless, take advantage of me and I would still bend to their every wish (because I’m an ISFJ who must do things right and do things well). So those who take the time to write a short (or long in one case!) message that expresses their gratitude beyond the usual “Thank you”, I am glad and grateful for them in return. Not only have they given meaning to my job, they are making the world a better place for me. And I’m sure they value many others in their life too, which means they are doing the major work of making the world a kinder and friendlier place.

poem: Genie in a Bottle

For Moms

Grant me non-bleeding nipples
Grant me a well fed babe
Grant me Freedom
from the breast pump
Before I go insane.

We fear the imperfect
We mistake the Ideal
as Natural
We worry we fret we believe
In battle.

Baby formula!
You’re a genie in a bottle.
For if I can’t survive the now
There’s not going to be a tomorrow.

 

The Day I took my Past to the Park

One day I took my tainted past to a secluded park. I’d stopped working on it, pushed it to the back of my mind, where it became the ghost of my shadow, a secret too painful to keep. Now I laid it on the grass, a coward’s confession to a non-verbal audience.

All the while, however, the sky stayed sunny. The breeze did not avoid me. Squirrels did not start throwing stones at me. Trees rustle, birds chirp, as they always do. Their unanimous non-response startled the voices in my head, a quiet coup to their self-righteousness.

My recklessness, my mistakes, my so-called ruined-ness, now looks no bigger than a fly on the buddha’s shoulder. It hopped on the wind and rode away.

Quiet pooled around me like water, dissolving the cracked, dried stains of my life and carry away with it my fossilized tears.

an invocation: Your Highness, Come!

(when you sit still/meditate, and look for your yearning, and let that grow into a vision…)

Your Highness, Wings of Magnificence, Dancing Priestess of Artistic Expression, Come! Fly over my ship so that I can follow you! Let me ride on the moving island that is your stretched out wings and soar to our hearts’ desire!

I’ve felt you doing jumping jacks inside my heart, knocking atoms into a mexican wave all the way to my shoulders. I’m ready, I’m ready! Break my skin and grow me some wings!

Let me grab you by your claws and swing into a long-awaited life-saving airlift from the dirt of life to which I had banished myself, when I used to devalue my life based on society’s lies. Let me bury my face into the hairs on the back of your neck for comfort. Let me lose my hold, tumble and roll across your back as you play, I’ll be okay.

Because I’d rather be wild and scared with you than see you caged, or watch you die. Because even when you turn midnight blue and cry tears of pain and exhaustion, I’m no longer crying alone. And we know that wings open and close, just as flowers do, just as seasons change. Because when our heart beat as one, finally we know, finally we are. It is a feeling of forever. A forever power. A feeling of profound peace like your life is complete, while at the same time finally ready to live.

Your Highness, Feathered Creature of Freedom! I beg you to wake now and burst into the sky and make a storm of rainbows with your plumage! Come be my guide and let me make you a priority! I’m not really sure where you’ll take me but I want to go. Because you are the essence of me I wish to fully become. Unapologetically.