Well, folks, it's been 96 days since my return and I must say I am shocked at how this trip has stayed in the forefront of my consciousness. At first I thought it might have to do with the fact that I have had a lot of work to do with my follow-on plan. I've organized over 500 pictures, created a couple of slide shows, given several presentations, and talked about the trip with almost all of my students. They loved the pictures and had many questions. But even in my free time I think of the trip. I think of the people I met and of the friends I made. I think of the temple at Asakusa and how I want to know more about how temples work.
I also desperately want to convey the message of how there is more than the American view of this world. Now, don't misunderstand me--I love the USA, I believe it's still the best place on Earth to live and I am grateful for the blessings I have here. We are the wealthiest nation in so many ways in my opinion. I'm not knocking anything about this country but the US isn't the only place on Earth. Sometimes I feel everyday folks forget that there are billions of others who have their stories to tell, their truths, their wisdom and culture to share, and I long for more exposure to that. This trip has created in me a hunger for seeing more of the world.
It has also created a longing to foster the conversation of acceptance and tolerance for people of other cultures and faiths. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. I think that's a quote but I don't know who said it but it has come to have deep meaning and value to me as I met Japanese people and even other Americans and made connections and formed relationships. We are connected.
So this is just some of what rattles on in my head on a daily basis but I'm not complaining. They are great questions and interesting topics and I had hoped that some of this would happen as a result of the trip. I am open to possibilities........