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  • Writer's pictureJan Avellana

I went for a walk around campus this morning to get rid of some of the angst I've been carrying around captured this...this is from a mural we completed several years ago, done completely voluntarily out of love. In full it reads, "Friendships blossom in love." And in this year of difficulty, I am reminded that there are things and people that are worthy of love and devotion, and things and people that are not. I am reminded that God can redeem tiny bits of good and that it can be enough, like manna flakes falling from Heaven. I am reminded that God gives me just enough not often for the whole journey, but for my next step and that portioned provision is out of love, not miserliness.

So much writhing around down here on planet Earth. I bet God is glad that summer is almost here too, lol!!! What are you reminded of today?

  • Writer's pictureJan Avellana

I have just 10 more days left of school (not counting the day I go to turn in my key!). So I'm feeling joy inside, but so, so wiped out at the same time, hence the face, lol. There are many miles to go before I sleep, and deadlines galore as I make my slow way to summer. I'm also in transition as I head back to the regular classroom next year--I decided I'd be happier there though I don't know yet what grade I'll be teaching. Pray for me please!

Summer! Glorious summer! Soon we will be in Japan, spending 5 weeks in Japan with my family, wooed by the caw caw caw of the crows, eating every good thing in sight and walking 10 miles a day! I'll take you on many of my adventures and maybe even throw in a video or two :) as I take on Tokyo by myself on some days, wandering little neighborhoods alone.

One of my favorite places to wander through is Jiyugaoka. There is a french vibe to that place, with little boutiques and cafes and one of my favorite stores in all of Tokyo called "Today's Special". They are sadly closed in Jiyugaoka now, but I found another location in Hibiya that I'm planning to go to check them out! They sell kitchen items, stationary, gardening items and a range of other lifestyle and homeware goods. It's a feast I tell you, a feast!

I also love to shop in Futakotamagawa in Setagaya in Tokyo. There's a bookstore there called "Tsutaya Electrics"

and though it sounds techie and boring, trust me--if you love books and bookstores and cafes, run don't walk! It's amazing. I could stay there all day sipping and reading and just oh, bookshopping.

Finally, another retail favorite of mine is called Akomeya in La Kagu in Kagurazawa . The whole shopping street is quaint and lovely, but La Kagu is where I let myself wander in lust. It's another lifestyle store, but this one has a restaurant downstairs and everything, so you could really make an afternoon of it!

Of course there is so much more to do than just shop in Tokyo, but these are some of my special places that call to me as I wander Tokyo on my own. I'll share with you more in future posts as our trip draws nearer. Sigh. Tokyo, I'm in love.

  • Writer's pictureJan Avellana

This was the toughest week I've had in a while--but I'm still alive, I'm still here and I am resilient AF. I want to talk smack about all of it. I want to say all the things about the person I dealt with last week that are stirring in my mind and heart. But I know it's not useful, helpful or good for me to give life to those words--not saying I'm brushing the experience aside and saying it's all good--HELL TO THE NO. Oh, I'm processing all of it believe me, with safe people that I love.

So in the place of a wicked rant, a poem:

I ate a lemon today.

I squeezed it first

to soften it, rolled it on the counter

and then I cut it,

just so into wedges--

I sucked every last bit of juice,

chewed through

each pocket until they burst

in my mouth,

sweet, not sour--

and spit out the seeds over the kitchen sink,

savage like,

letting it drip from my chin

and fingertips,

letting it soak my shirt

pocket where it squirted.

And then I ate another one.

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