About Me

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California born by a Cuban mother, married to a Japanese man, and have lived in Japan since 2004, minus one year living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have friends and family in many places in the world. I dreamed of traveling to many distant lands, creating music and dancing to it, meeting interesting people, and discovering treasures in the most unlikely of places.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Past, Present and Future

My stepmother, Lidija, called me last night. She said that my grandma had a stroke. She can't move half of her body, and she can't talk.
My mother's mother and father I often worry about. They have been getting older.
Lidija recently had a baby.
My brother's wife is pregnant.
He and his wife just got married.
I just got married a year ago.
I miss my family.
I feel like at this time, past and present and future are at a crossroads.
There are many people being born. People getting married. People near death.

I am painting a painting for the Geijitsusai, an art and music exhibit.
It is called memories. It is a memory of my mother's mother when she used to rock me, and all the memories of her life behind her, like a map. We are being watched over by a sparrow.
She loves sparrows, and so do I. When I was a baby,I used to sleep at her house. Early in the morning, the sparrows would come to play in her driveway and the roses below the window. They would wake me up with their joyful chatter. So at 5 AM in the morning, I would wake up and run to her bed and say,
"Mama Nene, Mama Nene! Los pio pios estan cantando!!" which means Mama Nene, Mama Nene! The pio pios are singing! (Time to wake up) To which she would sleepily respond, "Go back to sleep, Sofia! Its 5:00 in the morning..." I would go back and watch the birdies for hours until she woke up.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It is so nice to hear the music during preparation for lunch. It is very pleasant classical music, the from the movie "New Cinema Paradise". It reminds me... I have to go and eat lunch with the students! Yum!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Retelling what we have learned

The students are prepairing for their Gakushu Happyou Kai or, literally, the meeting for telling what they have learned in school. They practice almost every day for a few hours.
One of the things they are learning is a traditional dance of the village, the Kagura. The dance is a call to the Goddess Amaterasu, calling her to a beam of light that they create through the dance. Its a pretty cool idea, and the dance itself, although it looks easy, is actually pretty hard to master.
This dance and music remind me very much of an indian Pow Wow. There is a drum, a banging board, and a bamboo flute. The dancers hold a sword in one hand, and a bells on a stick in another. The dancers cut the air or do complicated foot movements while shaking the bells. It is an interesting dance to learn, and it makes me want to know more about Native American dances, and other native dances, in order to compare what is similar or what is different.
I am looking forward to winter, when the Kagura is danced every Saturday in December, from night until morning.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today the wind rushed over themountains, as if chasing its big brother, the typhoon. It brought the smell of the ocean from far away to this mountain village and my junior high school. I miss the smell of the ocean in the mornings.