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Persimmon Season in Japan

October 14, 2018





 One of my favorite things about autumn in Japan are the persimmons. Whether they are hanging from bare trees or drying on the side of countryside homes nestled between rice fields and mountains, I love their cheerful bursts of color and their sweet taste. Today we had the opportunity to pick persimmons and to prepare them for drying. Dried persimmons are known as hoshi-gaki. After peeling them, cleaning them, and dipping them in boiling water we strung them on long strands of rope. They will hang outside for four -six days and then they will be ready for enjoying as a sweet autumnal treat. 

Indonesian Offerings

September 8, 2018




Early in the morning when I would sneak out to walk in the rice fields, I would watch the local woman preparing the offerings. Bright pops of petals from the local market or their own gardens, hand-made leaf containers, wafting incense, and morsels of food for the ancestors. Carefully, lovingly placed in front of entrances, spirit houses, and other special spots. A fresh start to the day. A new set of offerings each morning. Did they think about family stories as they artfully arranged each one? Or were they running through the to-do list for the day ahead? Were they exhaling away worries or were they praying? 

Ubud, Bali
April 2018

Bile, Bigotry, and Bad Answers

August 13, 2018




Each time we move we spend quite a bit of time explaining to new bosses, teachers, principals, and sports coaches that our family will be taking time off to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays. We have never encountered any problems with this until today when someone told my husband "If we give you special liberty for Jewish holidays, then that would mean we would have to do the same for Muslims". Yes, someone actually uttered this absurd sentence aloud and let these toxic words explode into the air that is already so heavy with nastiness. Each day when I listen to the news, I find myself wondering are we in a weird time warp. Is it still the 1950s? the 30s? the Middle Ages? Are my Jewish children safe? Are our Muslim neighbors' children safe? Are any of our children safe? I want to vomit while also screaming obscenities and causing physical harm to those who spew hate. I know this is not the sane or calm response but that's what bigotry does. It gets your blood pumping and forces the bile to bubble up from a deep space within your core and it doesn't feel good at all. 

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