Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

The last posting really inspired me. I want these gifts to keep coming. Is it selfish? I don't know. I think all parties prevail. Mom continues to see the world. People share their world and special places with her. I  think, in a way, it gives people the opportunity to celebrate a special place with a special someone. Cause my mom was amazing! I continue to celebrate her and give her new gifts of experience and love.
So I have concluded that this project must live on for a period. Please review the blog thus far to get the idea of the project. Should you like to have an Ojo Rojo marble to place somewhere meaningful send me your address and I'll send you one. Please take photos and share the where and why you chose that particular place.
Today I am taking a my mom to a Tropical Botanical Garden. We are going to look at the gardens, have a picnic and read a good book.
Happy Birthday!
To her Future Travels with You!

Kagoshima to Germany,Austria,Hungary,Bolivia, and Belgium

Looking back on family history my great great grandmother came from Belgium to Mexico. While in Kagoshima Japan I met a woman in a hostile from Belgium. She got back to me this past August. My mom is leading an exotic afterlife. I must say, I'm a bit jealous.
        "You gave me a little Ojo Rojo to bring back to Belgium.
I kept it for a while, not knowing where to leave it...
So it stayed with me and went to Köln (Germany, Winter Holidays), Insbruck (Austria, Carnival), Budapest (Hungary,Easter Holidays) and finally on my last summer trip: Bolivia.
I didn't take pictures every time, but I did in Bolivia, as I knew where I would like to leave it once back home... it was time to let go.
You will find the pictures in attachment.

The place I decided to leave it is in a park (Tervuren), in a tree, next to a bench and in front of a pond; in front a restored watermill that is now a social project with a cafe and cultural center (Het Spaans Huis).
I have known this park forever, this is where we used to do iceskating in the wintertime, where I learned to ride a bike, where I go walking the dog,.. it really is a lovely and paeceful place, just outside the city.

I am sorry that it took me so long to get back to you, I hope I didn't reopended a closed chapter...

I wish you all the best, thank you for trusting me back then, in Kagoshima.
If you ever come to Belgium, you are welcome to stay with us.


Isla del pescado, Salar de Uyune, Bolivia

Isla del Sol, Titicaca lake, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The pond and Spaans Huis, in front of the tree, Tervuren, Belgium

The tree on the right, Tervuren, Belgium

The tree, Tervuren, Belgium

The view from the tree, Tervuren, Belgium
View from the other side, Tervuren, Belgium

In the tree, Tervuren, Belgium

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Epilogue cont..

With the passing of my mom I have reconnected with her brother, my Uncle. He went on a trip to France. My mom were to boarding school in France for two years with nuns, all in french. Learn french or fail. My mom was tri-lingual. Hopefully some one will discover her versatility here as well.
Hi Jenna -- spent three days outside of Paris with friends south of Limoges. They have a country place there…. One day we went to Mont Gargan, a hilltop over looking the Vienne valley… it was certainly an “aha” moment… Back in Paris now, for another 10 days or so…. xoxox CvR
 beech trees line the alley leading to the top
the chapel ruin at the top
the view
the resting place....so perfect
in a chink in the wall, just to the right of the bottom of the right hand window


Funny how life sweeps you up. I need to learn how to slow down more often, tend to the things that really matter.
Remember Ken, whom I met my first night in Ito?

I gave him an Ojo Rojo mom marble to place somewhere in his native Denmark. He emailed me quite sometime ago. He placed her in a stunning location that I know she would have loved.

Hello Jenna.

Remember me, danish guy from Ito onsen?
First of all I want to say sorry for taking my sweet time getting back to you, but when you gave me a glass pearl to take back home to Denmark, I knew I wanted to do it properly.
My initial idea was to place it somewhere inside the theatre, but I abandoned that thought rather quickly after I started working again. That place is just too busy. So many people in and out all the time, lots of taking, debating, and heated discussions. It just isn't a calming and peaceful place.
My second choice was the botanical gardens, where the old city also is located. It's a big and beautiful park, but the old city isn't the real old Aarhus Town. It's houses that have been brought in over many years, from all over the country, to form a sort of living museum that depicts what life was like 150 years ago. It's all very educational and touristy, and not at all authentic Aarhus, so that idea was discarded as well.
Then I remembered you and I talked about how local people hardly ever go to see their own local superattractions, in my case the Queens summer residence, Marselisborg castle. There is a memorial park in front of the castle, dedicated to the people who gave their lives in WWI, which also has a great view of the bay.
So I went there today after work, not completely sure what kind of spot I was looking for. The park itself is quite large, and has a lot of trees and green open spaces. There is a large monument in the middle of it, which I went and had a look at during my search, that almost looks like a greek auditoruim. I never knew we had such a fantastic momument here.
To the left of the path leading up to the memorial, I spotted the perfect tree. Two big branches grew from the trunk and had formed a nice little saddle between them, and that is where I placed your mother. She now rests in the shade, under the canopy, while she looks out over the bay and the ships that are constantly coming and going. Behind her is the forest and castle of Marselisborg, where the Queen and her family had arrived yesterday. When the flag is flying, the Queen is home.
If you want to find the spot on google maps, search for Aarhus, Mindeparken, and find the circular monument in the center. The entrance is on the straight path when walking NW from Niels W. Gades Vej. The tree is on the left hand side, just before the steps. There is a bench underneath it, which is white in my photos, but red/brown on google maps. 
I want to thank you for trusting me to do this. I feel very honoured. I hope your trip to Japan has brought some kind of closure along with it, and that you will return there sometime in the future, not on a mission, but for your own pleasure. The japanese people are without a doubt the sweetest, nicest, most well in order people I know of, and as long as I am healhy and able, I will probably make a trip there every year.
My email is always open to you, so don't hesitate to write me if you feel like it.
Anyway, here are the photos from my day. It was a bit hazy and grey today.

All the best,
Ken Jorgensen

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Meiji Jingu temple and grounds

Another one of the major sacred sites of Japan.  The main purpose is to revere Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken for their admirable virtues. They guided Japan into what is called the Meiji Period where Japan came out of isolation and took on western ways. The Emperor and Empress made sure that much of Japanese culture was maintained while the absorption of western culture was taken in. 
The grounds consisted of beautiful gardens am a shrine.
An entry
A resting spot.
Too bad a photo can't trap a smell.
Awesome door
Twisting trees
And lots of turtles that I think are particularly cool. I had a small amount of mom's ashes left. I tossed them in to live in the scared spot with the turtles. She belongs.

I came to Japan to honor my mom. And I think I did a pretty good job. She deserved it and so much more. Mostly this trip has reminded me of the courageous way she lived the last year of her life with great courage and acceptance and enjoying every moment she had left on this earth.
Enjoy today I know I will.


Woke up early and went to Tuskiji market. The famous fishermen. I could not get up early enough to get to the tuna auction, but I saw plenty of cool things
Big tuna head
Big fish = big knives
Unagi, yum
Clams? Pretty regardless
A whole lotta
No idea but looks cool
Knives knives and more knives
I got a few treats. The new green teas are coming out so there are those and all sorts o green tea flavored goodies. 

Atami and Tokyo

Leaving Ito I realized my trip is almost over. So sad. There is still so much to see and experience. When on my travels I had a contact here who was an email only friend of my mom's. When I had questions on rituals, needed help making a reservation in Japanese, or needed translations she was a great help. We met in Atami for lunch and some shopping. 
For lunch I finally had unagi (eel), which I love. And the soup had eel kidney in it. I can check that off now. 
She took me up a mountain and a team ride to see Mt Fuji but unfortunately it was cloudy. But I did get a peak of it on the train ride to Tokyo. Oh well, just another reason to return. 
The shop and some great marketry woven patterns that the area is known for.
It was really nice to meet her and thank her for all her help. Just having a constant contact was very reassuring. I gave Mitsi a marble and asked her to do something special with it. She told me she is going to carry her everywhere she goes. I love this for so many reasons.

Back to Tokyo where I started. I called someone I had met when I was here 3 weeks ago and met him and another guy for dinner. Another new and yummy experience- okonomi-yaki. Prepared and then served to you on a hot brittle in the middle of the table. 
It was really great to see someone I had seen on my first days here on my last. And to be able to say hey since the last time I saw you I saw 17 place and circumnavigated to whole island and it was so magical!