Miami Valley Pottery

Ever since our thanksgiving trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio, I have been itching to write this post.

I was introduced to Naysan’s work before I was introduced to Naysan’s person. For an entire month, I basked in the pleasure of using his beautifully hand-crafted earthenware in Soroosh’s home. In the mornings, I drank hot coffee out of his cozy mugs and in the evenings I ate various delicacies from his alluring dinner plates. Though Naysan’s creations were not the only crockery available, they were the only ones I chose. Why? Because as I later explained to the Artist himself, something about his work made my gastronomy experience, magical. I’m serious. It was as if I could taste the love, the passion and the hard-work.

It was during this time that I was also reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic book. So, I was firing (excuse the pun) with ideas on arts, crafts, and overall creative-living in general.

When I finally visited Miami Valley Pottery and came face-to-face with both Naysan and a room full of his work, I was in awe. I still am. Here was a man who had dared to enjoy. To have followed his calling (in a materialistic world where most art and artists are not approved), trusted it, and lovingly and diligently brought it forth both for himself and the world around him to enjoy. And in doing, he became successful. Successful in the sense of living an amplified life, an expanded life, a happier life and a hell of a lot more interesting life than most. As a thriving young artist, Naysan and his everyday creative life inspired me to be more.

Here are a few pictures of his works, including a snap of his bathroom >.<
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To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it. ~Oshoimage-3-png-5
Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. ~Bahá’u’lláhimage-4-png-18
So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? ~Elizabeth Gilbertimage-6-png-10
In this wonderful new age, art is worship. The more thou strivest to perfect it, the closer wilt thou come to God. What bestowal greater than this, that one’s art should be even as the act of worshipping the Lord? That is to say, when thy fingers grasp the paint brush, it is as if thou wert at prayer in the Temple.~’Abdu’l-Bahá

Blessed is The Spot

Friends, I am SO happy to be home, to be with my family, to be driving, to be drinking pure tap water, and to be in an English speaking country! I am so grateful. NZ is truly magical! But I dearly miss Soroosh :(
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A beautiful rose in my parents’ garden.
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Back to where it all started (this old picnic table)! My momma’s homemade muesli with blueberries, bananas, watermelon and unsweetened almond milk.
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Oh how I missed Rapaki! Gosh I love NZ’s nature walks!
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“Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow, where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.”~Baha’u’llah
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A personalised freshly squeezed juice from Green Spot at South City Mall.image-5-png-13

My New Favorite Movie

28880id_002_w1600161019_mov_tampopo-men-jpg-crop-cq5dam_web_1280_1280_jpegFriends! I have officially seen my most favorite ever movie. It’s called Tampopo, it’s Japanese and it’s extremely funny. And charming. And saliva-inducing. Oh man. This film is the shizzlemanizzle of all movies. It is a black and white 1985 film which has been given a new 4k restoration in the past few weeks. I liked it because it had something for everybody. From steamy sex scenes, to ramen close-ups to Tekken fighting. Though I must say, being an old film (and Japanese) the film did contain several unPC (nonPC?) scenes. I’m talking animal cruelty and borderline child pornography. That sounds bad… it wasn’t that bad. Well, I don’t think… Either that or I am a horrible person for laughing.

My love and I watched Tampopo at The Belcourt here in Nashville. So, I’m guessing if you want to see it, you’ll have to look up your local artsy theatre or something. I also enjoyed it because I could understand 50% of the Japanese. Go me!

What else? Tomorrow I’m leaving. I’ll be soaring Nashville to LA to Auckland to Christchurch with very short stops in between (yay!). Please wish me a safe flight and be sure to keep reading for before long, I’ll be posting A LOT of NZ scenery.

PS Tampopo rates 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, just saying.

The Sun Came Out

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This is why autumn is my favorite season. image-1-png-20
Just casually driving past FIVE helicopters HASHTAGMERICA. image-2-png-18image-3-png-17image-4-png-12
This is Yellow Springs, charmful small-town USA.
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“And one day the sun will come out and you might not even notice straight away it’ll be that faint and then you’ll catch yourself thinking about something or someone who has no connection with the past. Someone who is only yours and you’ll realise that this is where your life is.” (Brooklyn Movie)image-png-29image-png-30
I freakin’ LOVE this candy! One for me, one for Lavanya!

My Problem With America

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I have been doubting my worth a lot lately. It could be a prolem with my own self-esteem. Or, as I’ve began to think, a nasty bi-product of my surroundings. There is this ancient Japanese expression which goes: “an apprentice near a temple will recite the scriptures without tuition.” Which, as I’m sure you gathered, basically means, we are greatly affected by our environments.

America is so darn materialistic to me.

This attitude, this strong emphasis on “success”, achieved solely through 1. an esteemed tertiary education, 2. the “right” career, and 3. moneymoneymoney is so upsetting. It makes me miss Japan greatly. For even though the Japanese are perhaps the number one work-oriented society, when it comes to “success” there is room for everybody.

I once watched this great documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” on one of the world’s greatest sushi chefs. This is what Jiro says in the movie:

“Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably.”

As far as I’m aware, Jiro didn’t study at Harvard. Nor was he a lawyer or an accountant – not that there’s anything wrong with studying at Harvard, or being a lawyer or an accountant. Just that Jiro reached his success through different routes than the restricted three mentioned.

Because of this idea, ALL jobs in Japan, from government officials to persons whose only role is to shred unwanted paper are respected. All work is given great value and all work is praised. Where you studied in order to land your current position, what connotations your job title possesses in this day and age, and how much moolah you make, are not the only measurements of your success.

Which is why I’m suggesting we re-think these conservative pathways I keep encountering in the West. Instead of a renowned University name or a “prestigious” (according to whom?) job title and the amount of cash in ones bank, what about pondering how our careers and/or actions affect others, in what spirit do we conduct ourselves and for what purpose? What are our true intentions?

Which is better? A Harvard graduate with the sole motive of shallow wealth and hungry power? Or a “poor” painter, potter, cleaner, or waitress (the list goes on…) working in the spirit of service? In the spirit of love. In the spirit of creativity. In the spirit of justice.

‘Abdu’l-Baha, beautifully describes this concept when he says: “[A]ll effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity.”

So. I am successful because I love my work. Because it often positively affects others. And because I put my entire heart and soul in it. And that’s it. That’s all it should ever be. Because that’s all that has ever mattered.

 

Piglet Noticed That Even Though He Had A Very Small Heart, It Could Hold A Rather Large Amount Of Gratitude

Today we’re driving up to Ohio for Thanksgiving. It will be my very first Thanksgiving. I’m so excited and of course, very thankful. Autumn has been beautiful here! Now, I am looking forward to experiencing some American winter winter and soon, a sure-to-be beaut NZ summer. I say bring on the road trips and the Kapiti ice-creams! Yeah!
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My very first breakfast in bed! Hashtagspoilt.
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Soroosh and I had the pleasure and blessing of hosting the Bahai 19 Day Feast at his Parents’ house. It was a wonderful night. I will always remember it. Speaking of Bahai, I recommend you see the video below if you’re interested in learning more about my faith:

It Is Only With the Heart That One Can See Rightly; What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye.

I want to do everything on earth with you.
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Happy family of three (haha).
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Do you see what I see? Hint: body ink.
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Guys, this night at the symphony was definitely the best night of my life. Really. It may seem melodramatic but it truly was the happiest I’ve ever been. Everything was perfect. Just like the movies. Ah, I am so lucky. My heart is bursting.
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Pumpkin pie smoothie bowl from Daily Juice.image-7-png-4
And for me: mango, banana, spinach, maca, avocado and coconut milk.
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The best backward skater you ever saw! And the cutest ;)
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Peace! (I’m still Japanese).
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After my first fall LOL.

I Heart American Healthfood Stores

The other day, Soroosh asked me, of all the places we’ve been together, where would I like to go again before leaving nashville. So I screamed, WHOLEFOODS. Also, Trader Joe’s. American health/organic supermarkets are SO much better than any I’ve ever visited ever. From NZ to Australia to Japan to Europe, Merica is the best. The best. I want to live in their (the supermarkets’) shelves. Right next to the turmeric coconut water. Or the Nigerian cacao nibs.
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Wholefoods has this amazing buffet section where you can fill a plate or box with a HUGE assortment of hot and cold healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan dishes. They also sell pre-made stuff like brown-rice sushi and quinoa rolls etc. It truly is heaven. If I needed a reason to live in America, this would be it. I could eat healthy and organic everyday and I could do it without a single effort.
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Unlike Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s isn’t entirely organic but it’s still a really fun and upbeat healthfoods market. Gosh, sometimes (haha) I love Americans!
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All of the over-Instagrammed protein bars. Yep, all of em.
image-2-png-14Mmmm sunflower seed butter!

There Is Mushroom In My Heart For You

Getting mushy. Why not.
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Distance is annihilated and prevents not the close and intimate association of two souls that are closely attached in heart even though they may be in two different countries.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)image-1-png-11
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Guess who made what? ;)
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And last but not least, the single worst picture you will ever see. Are you ready?
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