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Mieux découvrir la France qui est mon deuxième chez-moi.
I've been living in Paris for 30 years and have lived in Japan for two years. When I’ve had vacations in the past I've almost always gone to visit family in Germany, Spain, and my hometown Seattle. Now I’d really like to travel more around France to get to know my second home country better, and also to spend more time in Holland and Italy, and to travel in the European countries I haven’t visited yet.
Now that I’m fully bi-cultural, I’d like to expand my experience and perspectives by becoming fluent in Japanese, further immersing myself in Japanese culture, and returning to live there one day.
For me creativity is like oxygen: following my bliss is surfing the flow in a creative process. I’m curious about a very wide range of subjects. If I want to look up the etymology of a word and have to wait to do so, the wait drives me crazy.
While I’ve exhibited in top international galleries and have recognized achievements, that’s not where the importance of my work lies for me. I love getting into a flow and stay there, love having my hands in baths of photo chemicals and the magic of seeing a final print appear after days of working in the darkroom to transpose the image on a negative into the image I’d imagined. The magic of art is moments like sitting in a city bus listening to a cleaning woman sitting next to me who’d struck up a conversation with me talk about how it touched her and the meanings it evoked for her, (and then learning she was the mother of my best friend when I was about 8)! The magic of art has also been teaching it to violent young male offenders in prison and the intimate conversations it opened up between them much to their astonishment. And the magic of art is returning from a famous photography event in Arles, France where a number of important people in the photography world had given me portfolio readings which I’d found uninformative and frustrating. I got into the bullet train to go home feeling sad and disappointed but there was a group of young men from the ghetto who spent hours reading the photos in astonishingly accurate ways which led to fascinating conversations and a lot of hilarity. So in two words: process and exchange.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I’m just beginning participating in couchsurfing. I’ve been participating in Workaway as a host for the last four years. When I was a child we always had foreign exchange students living with us and I really loved spending time with them and hearing stories about their countries and cultures so hosting on Workaway was just a natural thing to do because I’m still passionate about meeting new people from all walks of life and about cultural exchange which has become more important than ever.
The reason I’m not hosting on Couchsurfing at the moment is that I’ve been taking care of severely traumatized dogs and my cat who has gone through some difficult times; it’s deeply disturbing and disorienting for them to have people coming and going so it’s best for me to host people for longer term visits.
I plan to be participating in Couchsurfing as a guest because it’s about time for me to get to learn a little more about my second home country and the countries around me.
The bests things in life are hanging out with my dog and cat, and enjoying a good meal with friends.
- martial arts
- meeting people
- being in nature
- japanese culture
- japanese language
- slam poetry
- medicinal plants
- writing poetry
- walking in the forest
- walking in the city
- french cheese
- zen meditation
- writing a novel
Music, Movies, and Books
Music: Eclectic but especially French rap, country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, middle eastern-mostly classical Egyptian, African music, r&b, rock.
Alison Krauss. Dolly Parton. Fababy. Sexion d'Assaut. Jimmi Hendrix. Farid el Attrache. Anouar Brahim.
Movies: mostly drama, never horror. I'm a sucker for good romcoms and romantic drama. Four of the movies I've re-watched the most times are: Man on Fire with Denzel Washington, the 2007 version of Hair Spray, Joyful Noise, and The Usual Suspects.
I've been listening to Astrakan Café by Anouar Brahim every night before going to sleep for 14 years. I catch him in concert when I can.
Books: I prefer female Japanese authors, and especially their short stories.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
One of the most amazing things I got to do was spend two years photographing all of the zen temples and gardens during each of the four seasons.
Teach, Learn, Share
I love to teach learn and share especially from people who've been through extreme suffering and recovery or who are in recovery.
Other artists and creatives, especially young people for whom I can pave the path a bit by sharing my experience and wisdom.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I've been a storyteller since my early teens, weaving together anecdotes from my personal experience which is quite unusual and from all sorts of sources in a meandering way that leads to a sometimes off the wall moral of the story but always one that leads to deep reflection.
I have a keen sense of observation and a slow meditative way of looking at things so when I visit with people even from small towns, often when I point out something which I particularly like, they are astonished to see something they’ve walked past all of their lives without seeing.
A wacky dark sense of humour.
Countries I’ve Lived In