Updated: Oct 8
Going Home! Oh Sweet Freedom!
That’s right! I’m going to be going home on vacation! I’m writing this post as lay on my soft squishy bed at home. For the next 17 days I’m going to travel around California and forget about the apprentice life for a bit. Thought it is a vacation I will be busy at work, visiting friends, working with Bonsai clients and doing three demonstrations! It’s okay though because I’ve always enjoyed working with customers so it’s still a vacation for me!
It’s been over 8 months since I’ve been home and I’m curious to see how I react to it. I’ve started to get a custom to living as an apprentice and this new found freedom may come as a shock to me! For 17 days I get to pick what I want to eat, work as much or as little as I want. It’s the little things that we take for granted and forget how good we had it before. I mean, really, if I wanted to take a shower right, I’d just do it… Isn’t that great!!! Not to say that it’s been bad at Aichien, it’s actually been great! but a break and a change in scenery doesn’t hurt either. You know what, I’m going to go get a hamburger right now… I will literary stop halfway through this post and get into the car and go get a burger…. Isn’t that great!!! ;o)
Going home this time marks the finish of my first year as a Bonsai apprentice at Aichien. It’s a strange paradoxical feeling because it seems so short and long at the same time. Perhaps the shortness feeling is because there is so much more to learn and know and the long feeling is because I’ve been away from home. It’s difficult to explain…
Mr. Tanaka has taken care of me all this time and taught me more then I could have ever imagined. He’s also been very generous at times and I could tell that he was concerned about my well-being. The day I was to leave he asked “Do you need money when you go home?” It was nice of him to ask. He then bought me a carry on bag so I could bring some of my pots home as well. He did not have to do that but was kind enough to.
Many people (enthusiast and professionals) have told me that I’m lucky to have ended up at Aichi-en and looking back, I feel very much that way. There were times where I didn’t feel that way though, but that’s just the apprentice experience I suppose. It has definitely changed my perspective of Bonsai and the Bonsai life in general. It has made me stronger as a person and the stresses of today don’t seem as big a deal as they use to be. Granted nobody said it was going to be easy and I didn’t expect it to be either. Overall I feel great about the last year and I think I was able to get some good information out to people as well. I hope to continue learning more and sharing more info in my second year at Aichi-en.
If you’re not busy and you’re in the neighborhood, please come visit the demos I will be doing in the next couple weeks. I like seeing old friends and making new ones if we’ve never met!
Midori Bonsai Club – Thursday March 15th, 2012 at 7:30PM
Midori Bonsai Club meets at:
Social Hall, St. Edwards Episcopal Church 15040 Union Ave, San Jose, California
During this meeting, I will be sharing my experiences of the apprenticeship and answering any questions visitors may have about trees or about life in Japan. The Midori Bonsai Club is the reason why am in Bonsai in the first place. The membership has always been kind to me and have been very supportive of new and old members alike. If this club didn’t exist, I’m not sure I’d even be in Japan now.
Napa Bonsai Club – Monday March 19th, 2012 at 7:00PM
Napa Bonsai Club meets at:
Napa Senior Center 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa Ca 94559
During this meeting, I too will be sharing my experiences in Japan and answering questions about Bonsai and my apprenticeship. I will also be presenting a slideshow of photographs that I’ve taken in the last year. The Napa Bonsai Club was the first club to have me come up on a regular basis to run a study group. Napa Bonsai is trying to bring Bonsai to a higher standard and I am glad I played a part in that. I am very thankful to them because they have helped me hone my teaching skills, during my work there.
On top of all of that, we’re in Wine Country!
Marin Bonsai Club – Tuesday March 20th, 2012 at 7:30PM
The Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Ross, CA 94957
During this meeting, I will be demonstrating on a Juniper that they will provide to me. I will also be answering questions about bonsai and my life in Japan. The Marin Bonsai Club was the first club to have me headline their annual show. It was a great experience and the membership is incredibly enthusiastic about Bonsai. It’s always fun to drive to the Marin Area because of the costal view there.
…of course it’s not all demos and work, I’ll be having plenty of these!
Thanks for reading and supporting me!