I have no images to add to my musings here. But I am in Kyoto now, experiencing one of the most rewarding aspects of being an older researcher in very foreign culture. The Japanese are full of paradox; boisterous/quiet, of the now and also of the past, both intertwined into their busy lives. Kyoto must be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For an older woman who silently fears getting lost, it is becoming an empowering time for me here, as I navigate buses, busy streets and empty side streets. Temples abound. They are not tourist traps in any sense, but form a real part of Japanese life, as do the shrines. I'm privileged in being allowed to share these spaces of reflection with Japanese lady, who truly values Japanese traditions in a modern world.
I have been moved to tears by the stillness of ponds, delighted by the subtle taste of simple vegetables, overwhelmed by the kindness of young people as they show me the correct street or take me to a bus stop.
I could live here, I'm finding something I thought I'd lost several years ago, when I left my island home.
How do I sustain this sense of spirituality when I return to the UK?
This is showing me how much I need to touch Nature, feel silk, be kinder.