Yuta’s Visit & Daffodils Smile

“We just can’t know what we don’t know”

Words of the journalist


Since I’m not quite done with the frogging-story I’d promised to share this week, I’ll tell you about our time with Yuta. His  stay with us reminds me of my own years of roaming and the people who allowed me into their homes when I didn’t know much about being a guest or hanging out in other cultures.

I made my first trip to live in Glasgow for a year when I was the same age as Yuta, 20. The Chinese grad-student who sat next to me on the flight from Vancouver, British Columbia to London was kind: She let me ramble. She answered questions. She never turned away or made me feel like the lost-kid I was.

The stuff I said and thought back then should be embarrassing, and I used to grit my teeth at the memories. Continue reading “Yuta’s Visit & Daffodils Smile”

“Ask Me” a poem by Esther Elizabeth–and a Tribute to Ponong


“The noblest and the wisest thing to do is to cherish others instead of cherishing yourself.

This will bring healing to your heart,  healing to your mind, and healing to your spirit.”

–Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying


In memory of Uncle Berto (pictured), Uncle Dionisio–and all the kind people who accepted me as an awkward visitor–and shared their lives.

We human being are a lot alike. Some build houses while others discover cures for disease, but anywhere we roam we’ll meet people trying to find happiness, love, and how to charm their way into a child’s smile.

The more we travel, the more we understand how much we are alike. One human being is a lot like the next despite how much we can feel (and appear) separate and different. I can remember thinking–super-naive–that people in other parts of the world must get along better than my family and people in my hometown: I imagined brothers and sisters working together, and was certain they would never go months or years without talking. In other countries, families stayed close and didn’t hold grudges like we Americans.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Continue reading ““Ask Me” a poem by Esther Elizabeth–and a Tribute to Ponong”