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by Anastacia Tolbert

oh mother moon

looks like you’ve got a story to tell
tell us.

tell us at least half.
light our eyes like stars—

pause our busy & our blue rays.
give us something to tell our neighbors.

tell the news. tell our children.

whisper one version here.

one version there.

let us come together & cipher it out the next day.

let us all say i know… she told me too.

Having just witnessed a lunar eclipse in the heavens of Japan, I feel changed.

It isn’t the kind of change that one would wear like a new scarf or sassy hat, nor is it the kind of change that happens rapidly like walking into a building in daylight and returning to a parked car in darkness. It is a simmering crock pot kind of change…or, picture the late 80’s when teen agers wore pleather jackets, penny loafers and white socks and got in long lines and did the “tic.” One upward then downward motion of the hand and wrist slowly moving to the elbow, then the upper arm, then the neck and head, then miraculously to the next person. Yes. This is the kind of change I am speaking of. Crock pot 80’s dance change.

Last I wrote I was still getting settled. If I told you that I was all settled, everything made sense and all was in perfect order I’d be the biggest blogger liar ever. What I can say is that I feel grounded. I feel less anxiety about NOT being settled. Most of my sad moments have to do with missing my comforts…have to do with me being a spoiled American. Has all to do with missing my family and friends. Has to do with not being able to communicate with strangers. Has to do with me not being able to visit my favorite café on the daily and not being able to hug a familiar face at least once a day. I am not settled but I am planted.

I am learning about Japanese culture and the Japanese language through O.J.L.T. (On the Job Life Training). I have visited several places. Each place having its own distinct energy. I can successfully navigate my way around a restaurant, train station or bathroom. I have learned by trial and fire what not to do in terms of my body language and without compromising the woman I am. I have—changed. I have worn others slippers and managed to put into perspective certain things I had an aversion to or didn’t understand fully. I have fallen in love with Tori Gates, Buddhist and Shinto temples, Japanese folklore, literature, herstory and pride. I have grown accustomed to bathless bathrooms, tiny kitchens and the most beautiful trees. I am fascinated by laundry and the story each garment blowing in the wind holds. I have learned to accept that streets are skinny and people on bikes are big. Fear of death is not a popular notion here. Fear at all is not a popular notion. I have changed.

I need this talk of fear being what some call in the states false evidence of illusions appearing real. In my heart I want to be the woman on the bike zooming side by side a semi on a road no wider than a bowling lane fearlessly. (Okay so not really but you get it.)

I am entering a new chapter in my life. I remember being 21 wondering what kind of woman I’d be at 40. I remember I said I wanted to achieve the following: 1. Beauty inside and out 2.Career happiness 3. Traveling 4. Writing daily 5. Vegetarianism 6. An activist of some sort 7. Young looking 8. Great mom. If you asked me now what I want for myself at 40, some of those things on the list would definitely still be the same but I would add so much more. This whole 40 business has been simmering for a long time. Between welcoming in the New Year and welcoming a big birthday, my life to do list is as follows (certainly not a complete list yet):

Be present and mindful
Celebrate/Honor/Value the people in my life (old and new)
Move forward past pain and judgment
Deepen my sense of joy
Empty out the tiny residue of fear(s)
Breathe cleansing breaths often
Laugh more
Drink more water
Follow up with myself/love on myself the way I follow up/love on others
Take time to sometimes see myself as a child of the universe not an adult of the world
Hug more
Receive love
Verbalize my thoughts more
Climb Mount Fuji
Honor my writing time
Read more books (all subjects)
Yoga (Yes I still hate downward dog)
Spend more time with the elders in my life. I need their wisdom.
Spend more time with the teens/kids in my life. I need their wisdom.
Dance more
Not cut my hair for a year
Less coffee (yea right)
Meditate more
Learn the Japanese language
Recycle my own nuggets of wisdom
Burn negative thoughts.

As you read this stand up and get in line. Get in your 80’s teen mind frame. Get your arm ready for 2012. This tic’s for you. May it catch you and keep you until I write again.With love and gratitude for each of you.

Missing you fiercely,


Anastacia Tolbert
About Anastacia Tolbert

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