Aikido Nara

Week 2 in Nara, Japan. January. Wednesday night, 6:40pm: My stomach is rumbling. I’m a bit nervous. I’m wearing two layers of pants, and my big winter parka. Its 10°C but I’ve never felt as cold as I do here, even compared to the depths of Canadian winter. I dawdle a bit, delaying the short […]

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Impressions of Busan – Part 1

Korean drama playing on the TV. An old man watching beside me, seven little empty plates and metal chopsticks on his table. She comes over and I point to the first item on the menu, characters I can’t read. Soon, this charming little hole-in-the-wall restaurant run by my new favourite two ladies becomes a nightly routine […]

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This creative life

Doing a PhD (or any kind of creative endeavour, really) is like signing up for a continual ass-kicking. Yup, you’re gonna get your butt whomped. Hard. You pour your heart, your ideas, your energy and your time into this project which spans months or years, which frankly, in the end, may or may not pan out […]

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The enchantment of Nara

Day 0: It’s 5pm and the sun is setting. The blue sky that I arrived to is now fading to light hues of purple and pink. I’m on the bus leaving KIX (Osaka) airport, looking out the window at ocean and highway. Eventually all I see is my own reflection. Two hours later, I get […]

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Beijing 2015

Beijing. A whirlwind of colours, contradictions and engraved memories.  Here, I feel both at home and far away from home.  I blend in and stand out. All at the same time. The development here moves at a dizzying pace. Shiny new marble buildings. Air-conditioned shopping malls. Entire areas torn down, renovated, rebuilt. Seas of luxury […]

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Soul work

I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between mind, body and spirit.  I’ve read multiple books, research papers, TED talks and done a lot of self-reflection on my own life and the experiences I’ve had so far.  What I’ve synthesized over this diverse range of knowledge is this: We don’t want to feel pain.  […]

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