September 2015 Archives

Genesis Art Teacher Training

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I've been enjoying Liane Wakabayashi's intuitive art classes for several years and when she invited me to join the first Genesis Art Teacher Training, I jumped at the chance to learn how I might be able to use this as a quiet creative activity with my social circus work. 

Genesis Art uses a beautiful deck of cards with paintings and titles created by Liane. During a session, students work on one of many exercises to produce a drawing, painting, or collage. During the creation process,  if the student feels "stuck" or at a comfortable stopping place, it is time to compare the work to a card drawn at random. What are the connections and similarities? Where are there differences? Does the card's colors, composition, figures, symbolism, or title give inspiration to adjust the drawing? At the end of the session, students gather with their drawings and cards to talk about the experience. The cards and artwork are a gateway for discussion of topics that we often slide past without much depth.

It was a great two days. Seeing the tools and techniques from the teachers point of view was eye opening. I think my own use of the cards and the exercises will change as a result. There are many ways I can apply these ideas in my work and I'm excited to explore more with Liane's techniques.

Midlife Lifestyle Style Change

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Our current home and our soon-to-be home.

So many personal plans have been happening behind the scenes and now that dates are set and everything is moving forward at a brisk clip, I can finally tell you about them. 

Long story made short:

  • We are permanent residents of Japan;
  • Tod's quit his job;
  • We are moving from the city to 田舎.
We applied for our 永住権 in January and received it just a few days before leaving for India in early May. Permanent residence allows us freedom to work at any job in Japan and to stay for as long as we like. No more visa renewals.

The freedom of permanent residence also means that you don't have to work any job at all and that is what Tod decided to do. After we returned from India in July, he resigned from his job. He's currently working out his notice and will say goodbye to his officemates on October 2nd.

And then we're moving house. Sayonara, Tokyo, we are going to the rice fields of Kamogawa, Chiba. We're not moving at random. We have (new) friends in Kamogawa - a community ready to catch us if we stumble in the rural lifestyle. Akiba runs the Hackerfarm; Chris and Elli are the pioneers who started the community; there is a large cast of characters who are living around there and doing interesting things. Lots of geeks, tech people, farmers, musicians, and artists. It's a creative, busy, and beautifully green place.

What are Tod & I going to do there? Well, Tod is taking some time off to recover after 20 years of corporate work. I'm going to follow a "same same but different" path as I build a new circus-y business.

My original return ticket from Japan, circa 1998, when we were only planning to be here for three months. Now in the trash. We are definitely not going anywhere.

The last few months have felt risky and exciting. Would these dreamy plans come true? Well, it is all happening as we hoped and I feel like we're being handed a gift with a big bow tied on it. I can hardly wait to unwrap it and see what's inside the next phase of our lives.

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