Friday, July 8, 2011

Taking a Break

While this post is listed under Q's name, it is from all three of us to let you know that the Wabisabi sisters are going to take a break from blogging.

A year and a half ago we sisters started Wabisabi Mama as a fun project we could work on together that would give us the opportunity to share our thoughts and experiences as young mothers. We've loved having this space and the friends that we've made.

But recently we've been feeling over-burdened. Q has returned to work (exciting theater project with Dog & Pony DC) and undergone IVF (unsuccessful this last time round, so it's back to the drawing board); M is trying to balance career, fitness and family; and D is in the midst of some extensive home renovations, leaving all of us with a desire to simplify and streamline our lives.

We've been questioning why we blog on Wabisabi Mama. While we've certainly relished having this public forum to write a little more philosophically about parenting and life, to explore the beautiful and creative aspects of motherhood, and to chronicle our attempts at living a Wabisabi life, if we were to be completely honest, there has also been a drive to put our best feet forward and pat ourselves on the back for being good, mindful mamas and trying to gain some recognition from the community at large. And that is not good enough motivation to do something this time-consuming, is it? All the time we devote to writing and maintaining this blog isn't really serving us right now.

As all three of us sisters are working to grow our families, balance work and parenthood, and be truly present in our children's lives, we've all found it difficult at times to work on our blog. What began as a project that the three of us could work on together started to feel more like another obligation -- one that is mostly pleasurable but sometimes feels like a chore.

A few weeks ago, Q came across this post on Progressive Pioneer that really struck a chord with her. She found herself envying Amy's courage to stop doing something that was so successful and that she found so much pleasure in (blogging) because it was ultimately interfering with her work as a mama. After Q discussed it with us, we all found we were sharing similar feelings.

So... we're going to go on a little hiatus.

It's hard to take a break from something that we've put our heart and soul into. We've made some wonderful friends through our work here. We hope to be able to maintain those connections. But for right now, it is time to step away and focus on some other things. I'm not sure if this means we'll be back here occasionally, or if this is the end. We'll have to take it slowly and see how it goes.

Thanks to those of you who have supported us on this journey. Please stay in touch!

Mamas M, Q and D

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Tanabata is the star festival that is celebrated in Japan every July 7th. It is the night when the two stars, Veda and Altair meet in the night sky. I wrote about the Japanese version of the mythical story behind this celestial event in this post last year. During our childhood vacations in Japan, Tanabata defined summer: the delicate bamboo branches decked out with hand-written wishes, the street festivals, paper lanterns, people walking around leisurely in their yukatafirecrackers and sparklers, and kusudama decorations. The past couple of years I wish that I could recreate that atmosphere for Mayumi, but it is just different on a small scale. And I just haven't been very resourceful about finding bamboo branches to decorate...

All the same, today we went to the Japan Information and Cultural Center for a kamishibai story time. Maya wore her yukata and loved hearing the story of Orihime. They had crafts and snacks and it was like enjoying a piece of Japan for a few hours.

Hope your summer is turning out to be magical and that on this night, when lover stars meet across the night sky, your wishes come true!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hope you all enjoy celebrating the birthday of our nation.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Meditation: Grappling...

I was living, but I was not living my life. So far as I could see, I was going nowhere... Without a loved life to live, I was becoming more and more a theoretical person, as if I might have been a figment of institutional self-justification: a theoretical ignorant person from the sticks, who one day would go to a theoretical somewhere and make a theoretical something of himself - the implication being that until he became that something he would be nothing... ...I had completely lost that feeling that I should make something of myself. Aunt Cordie's voice troubled my mind, but it told me I didn't look down on my humble origins and didn't yearn to rise above them. .. I began a motion of the heart toward my origins. Far from rising above them, I was longing to sink into them until I would know the fundamental things.
~ from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, Chapter 7

I suppose there is something about that sentiment (to return to one's humble origins) that challenges our (American?) notions of success and achievement. We should work hard, live productive lives, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make "something" of ourselves, right? But what does that really mean?

I find myself constantly re-examining my own life to confirm that I am, indeed, living and striving for the "fundamental things" that are really important and bring true happiness. I know I'll never have fame and recognition in the eyes of the world, but for a long time that is definitely something I wanted, and there is a very real (and selfish?) part of me that is sad about not having that. At the same time I have a lot of peace about certain decisions I've made (to be a stay-at-home Mom and put my acting career on the back burner) and the focus I want in my life. I'm trying to internalize the idea that we are all God's children with inherant worth, regardless of the awards and recognition we've amassed or the achievements we can list on our resumes.

Afterall, that is the crux of living a Wabi Sabi life - taking the time to truly live in the moment, to recognize and enjoy simple pleasures for what they are, to detach from ideas of status and just BE, and to love and appreciate the people around you.

Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
~Thomas Merton

Friday, July 1, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (inspired by Soulemama).
A single photo--no words--capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.
Have a wonderful weekend!