Smoke Over Toribeyama – 21st December 2022

If this is the last time I see you
Remember the love I had for you
Recall the tender times, the loving touch
Hold it for a second
But don’t be afraid to let it go
I may be a ghost in your rooms
Always close, felt but not seen
Be as you always were
Because that is what made me love you

*title from Toshida Kenko

We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: evidence of our willingness to give. We play roles doomed to failure before they are begun.

Joan Didion

Today I’m feeling:
Today I was happy until I got a little bit stressed. Amy was calling me during the class because our electricity got cut off. When I got home, I started to feel exhausted
Today I’m grateful for:
The electricity people who restored our electricity quickly after we paid our bill. It looks like we may have been without electricity overnight, but luckily, they could restore it in time so that when I got home, everything was okay.
The best thing about today was:
Sending four of my smarter kids off to do a little project task and asking them to design another task for the rest of the class to do. They were a little bit incredulous at me asking them to do this and one of them, Sheena, jokingly said: “oh so we’re the teachers now?” I kind of said yeah! Actually, it’s more like the kind of work they used to do previously when they were doing integrated study and the level I have to teach them at now, it’s too easy for these kids, just these four, maybe a couple of others. Anyway, they seem to enjoy the challenge and I keep pushing them a little bit harder. Unfortunately, it means I have to teach one class, but two different groups at two different levels all at the same time which is a little bit challenging for me though I think it will be better in the end.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
So, out of my control today was the fact our electricity got cut off because the bill hadn’t been paid. I thought that I had paid it back when we were in Phuket at the beginning of the month but it looks like either the payment didn’t go through or I ended up forgetting to finish it off because there were too many problems with the app and the payment system. So in the middle of my class, Amy was calling me over and over and over again because she was at home with no electricity. Eventually, I returned her call and I tried to find information on my phone about when I paid the bill, but I had kids hassling me for their work and taking care of them and I was getting a bit stressed trying to multitask and then Amy calling back again and asking if I found it. And finally, she called me back and said that she paid the bill, but she wasn’t sure if they were gonna have time to come and turn the electricity back on and she was obviously a little bit upset. For me, I was remembering something I was reading this morning which was ‘if there’s a problem that you can’t fix stop worrying about it and if it’s a problem that you can fix, then stop worrying about it’ and this was a problem but ultimately it was quite an easy fix so I tried to stay calm even when Amy still had an angry face when I got home. Everything is good now though. Crisis averted.
Something I learned today?
I should check that all the bills have been paid every couple of weeks just in case there’s any problem. I learned lots of other little things today, but this is one I have to remember
Where do you get your news?
I watch some commentary programs on YouTube and follow some writers in Substack but in general, I don’t follow the news enough to know what is going on everywhere and don’t see any need to. Most of it has no impact on me and if there’s something important that I do need to know about then someone will tell me.

I took this picture because….where the hell did these all suddenly come from and why are they here on the edge of this pot!?

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