I'm going to make this quick because Orientation A just ended, and I have a bus reservation for 2o'clock, and I want to "have a kip" before I get out of this 5-star hotel. Also my "a" key is not working... I didn't bring my USB keyboard so I am just gaman-ing it up here in Tokyo.
Ori A was a whirlwind, and really deserves an actual post. But something else just happened that pulled me back a bit from duty shifts (seriously, one from 12 to 2am, then one from 8 to 10am?) and kind of made my day, so I'm going to do that one first.
When I spoke bout my pilgrimge plns, I pointed out the bracelets I am frequently wearing. Since they are wooden, I don't consider them fancy jewelry of the sort that is frowned upon in school. When kids asked me what they were, I just said "o-mamori" which means protective charm, and most kids have one of those on their school bag or something else, so that’s a familiar concept for them. The pale colored bracelet always had a very simple knot, but the darker wood one had a special Buddhist knot, that looked like this:
Well. After showing no signs of wear for as long as I had it, the knot loosened and then came undone in early June. It seemed sort of symbolic, for my knot to come undone at that time. I tied the ends up to keep them out of the way, and I thought I might either get it re-tied (liiiike at a temple along the pilgrimage, maybe?), find out how to re-tie it myself, or retire it and get a newer version somewhere.
Until such time, I would just wear it as-is, all come-undone. Sometimes we just have to function, even broken, right?
Today after we cleaned up the info desk and closed down the rest of Orientation, I wandered bleary-eyed downstairs to score a free lunch on the leftover breakfast tickets. I went with another Ori assistant, whose general candor makes me laugh, usually. At the bottom of the elevator, he turned to a man standing nearby and began to ask him some indecipherable question.
The man turned out to be a monk, and he told us a little about his teacher, and what they did, and spoke to their philosophy for a moment. I felt genuinely glad to hear about it, because really, we all need to be reminded that the world is bigger, that stuff if more important than our free breakfast, our check-out time, and our shift schedules.
As we bowed and thanked him, and moved to leave, he gave us each a bracelet from his rm. I’m wearing it now, it still smells like incense, like peace or something, like the calm aura he had.
We took photos and scampered off to second breakfast, where I took a photo of the bracelet.
So, that’s all. That just happened.