Shisa: Under The Watchful Eyes Of Okinawan Guardian Dogs…

I’ve been exposed to Japanese culture a great deal throughout my life; a byproduct of studying Okinawan karate for 33 years. And yes, I can easily say that there are important differences between Japanese and Okinawan, but for the sake of this post, we’ll lump them in together. After all, all Okinawans are Japanese but not all Japanese are Okinawans. Moving on… During my youth, I had the opportunity to be exposed to, and study, some of the Okinawan culture long before I actually travelled there. And one of the first things I was exposed to was Shisa dogs.

The year was 1996 and I was about to graduate from high school. It was as tumultuous time for me, since I had no idea what direction my life was taking and no clue as to what I wanted to do with myself. I was starting college in the fall at the insistence of my parents, even though I was being thrust into a program I didn’t want (computer programming). All I knew at the time was that I was at the peak of my martial arts skills and I wanted to continue to study THAT. This is something that would be made difficult by the fact that I would be living an hour away for school. But Sensei and I worked it out and we agreed on a training schedule that would accommodate my needs.

I stopped by his house on graduation night, since his son Guillaume was my best friend and would be graduating as well. While I was waiting for Guillaume to come down the stairs, Sensei approached me with a small bundle and handed it to me. “For you,” was all he said. In his usual custom of keeping things simple, he handed me a small, black trash bag that was knotted at the top. I could tell there were moving parts inside, but little else. I asked him if I cold open it immediately, to which he replied I should. I tore open the bag to find two small porcelain Shisa dogs inside.

I’ve had them ever since, and it allowed me to study their origins and purpose. Bear in mind that dial-up internet was barely a thing at that point, so my research had to be genuine and hands-on. But I managed. I learned some interesting things along the way. For example, some refer to them as lions and some refer to them as dogs. Sensei always called them dogs and by virtue of that, I’ve always referred to them as dogs, as well.

The Shisa dogs I keep at home

The pair fo dogs Sensei gave me for graduation are simple porcelain and semi hollow. I keep those at my office, since they’re smaller 9about the size of tennis balls) and fit on my office’s windowsill. The ones pictured above are the ones I purchased myself in Okinawa and are about the size of candle-pin bowling balls (the ones without the finger holes). The ones above are made of soap-stone and are quite heavy. I foolishly purchased them in a shop in Naha on Okinawa. Sensei nearly lost his mind when he saw them, considering my suitcase was quite full.

These dogs originate from China and actually have Buddhist origins. They usually come in pairs and stand guard on rooftops or at doorways/gateways. They be standing forward or off to the side (as pictured above) but the mouths are always facing outward. The thought is that the open-mouth dog (on the right) is roaring to ward off evil spirits while the closed-mouth dog is inviting the friendly spirits. What’s nice with the ones pictured above, is that there’s no mistaking which dog goes on which side.

Since these dogs were brought in from China before Okinawa became part of mainland Japan, their introduction was separate in the two places. The Okinawans use Shisa dogs in their day-to-day culture and you’ll see them in front of most buildings, including temples, homes and businesses. They’re basically the equivalent of gargoyles. Just an interesting part of the culture I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy during my martial arts journey. ☯️

Bravery And Fear may Not Be Separate

Everyone likes hearing tales and stories of bravery or knowing someone they consider to be brave. In those situations, most people would utter phrases like, “they’re SO brave…” and “I’d never be able to do THAT! I’d be too afraid…” And the latter is particular, because most people seem to associate bravery with the lack of fear and this is about as incorrect a thought as one could have. Being brave or displaying bravery doesn’t mean that one isn’t afraid. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s start with my preferred habit, which is to define what is is I’m talking about. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “bravery” as, “the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear or difficulty.” A pretty straightforward definition, but I want to point out a certain aspect of that definition that sticks out and digs to root of what I’m getting at today. The definition by no means indicates the absence of fear. It does, however, define it as being strong enough to confront one’s fears. And THAT is the important difference.

To be brave doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. fear is a normal and expected response to something that is worrisome, stressful or dangerous. It by no means suggests that if you’re afraid that you can’t be brave. Bravery (or valour) kicks in when you make the decision to confront that danger despite that fear. This can apply to a significant number of aspects of ones life, including work, interpersonal relationships, medical situations… hell, just stepping out the door in the morning. Some folks have something called Agoraphobia, which is the fear of spaces outside the home.

But if one can find it within themselves to do a thing regardless of the fear it incites, this would be bravery. Not the absence of the fear itself but the ability to confront or embrace it. Some good examples I can provide would include in 2015, when I started getting my eye injections. I don’t think I need to explain that the prospect of having someone slide a needle into my eyeball with the intentions of injection a medication into it definitely had my lizard brain saying, “Nope. Not happening. get us the fuck outta here…” Obviously, the prospect of eventually going blind outweighed my fear and I confronted it, and I continue to get these injections every seven to eight weeks.

In the beginning, I had plenty of people commenting and telling me how brave I was for going through that and that they’d never be able to, because they’d be too afraid. Bloody hell, you think I WASN’T afraid??? I sit through something that’s usually reserved as a bad scene out of a horror movie. Of course, I’m afraid. But I confront that fear. The result is that I come out of it with a maintained ability to see clearly, which allows me to do the little everyday things like retain the privilege of operating a motor vehicle and doing my work without special accommodation.

Another good example is testing for black belt. I’ve always trained very hard in karate. I’ve always been confident in my knowledge and abilities in karate. By that logic, testing for black belt shouldn’t have been an issue. But I would be outright lying if I said that I wasn’t scared shitless in the days leading up to the test. But I knew that if I wanted to continue my education in the martial arts that I had to take the added step. The result is that I was able to continue on my martial arts path, start teaching and continue this education, even today.

Granted, the inherent danger associated with those things are passive. Think about a firefighter who rushes into a burning building to save someone trapped inside. Do you think for one second that they aren’t scared? The fear is very real and the danger associated with it is very real, as well. Every time a police officer performs a traffic stop, there’s always a fear that they may be confronting someone violent and dangerous. There’s a CONSTANT fear. But they do it anyway. Now, this is the other end of the stick, of course. But the concept still stands.

Bravery doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It simply means that you find the strength within yourself to confront those fears and do it anyway. That’s where you’ll start to notice that you can accomplish far more in life. And you’ll be happier. No one wants to be controlled by their fears. And everyone can be brave. All it takes is the strength to step out that door the first time. And once you do, taking it one step at a time. ☯️

Letting Sleeping Ghosts Lie…

So, my October 13 celebration/grieving was a bust… My wife warned me that this would happen. Another testament to how one should always listen to one’s spouse. Typically, I would have a home office in which I could write, stream some shows and be alone with my thoughts. This usually allows me to reflect and think back on my past experiences and what has brought me here. This year, since our basement isn’t completed, I had nowhere to go besides our living room. And that seemed to fall short for what I’ve usually done in the past.

Once supper was served, I was able to coax my son Nathan with the promise of holding on to his device if he completed a couple of homework tasks on it first. He agreed I got him squared away in his room with water and snack. Check. The youngest, however… Our evenings are typically on the quieter side since Alexander is usually pretty calm when his older brother Nathan isn’t in the picture. But for some reason, either because there was a full moon I was aware of or some stars aligned against me, or perhaps we can simply go with my usual belief that life doesn’t care about one’s plan, he was a roiling Tasmanian Devil of energy and was destroying everything in sight.

By the time we managed to get him to actually go to bed, I was physically and emotionally exhausted (not from him) and just wanted to go to bed. Which I did. Like an old man. Then I slept for over 11 hours, leaving behind the last instance of celebrating the day I completed basic training and took to the field. I’d like to say it was a restful sleep, but I woke up the next morning feeling as though I had been struck by a freight train. This is a testament to the fact that one can potentially sleep TOO long.

I did get one silver lining on Wednesday, which came in the form of an old troop mate reaching out to me: Randy Tabada. Y’all may remember Tabada, if you read the post I wrote back in February of 2020. If you didn’t, you can read it here. Tabada was a member of my troop during basic training. Our bunks were across the aisle from one another and he was one of the few select people from our troop that I actually spent time with, outside of the training environment. When he came back to Regina in February of 2020 to take some courses at the academy, I had the opportunity to share a meal and fond memories with him.

It was wonderful to get his phone call and reconnect with him. We discussed a number of outstanding issues that we’ve both been facing and we agreed how it was a little sad that out of a troop of 32, neither of us really had contact with anyone besides each other. I recall making an effort to reach out to everybody prior to our 10-year anniversary with the intention of organizing a reunion. I sent out a feeler email to see who would be amenable to getting together. The negative response was almost unanimous, which was a little sad.

At the end of the day, I didn’t get to observe my special day the way I would have chosen. Such is life. Although my intention is to rediscover myself and find out who I am outside of my previous career, I knew there wouldn’t be some climactic revelation or fireworks involved. But given that I’m now a veteran, it would have been nice to reminisce in my own way, one last time. Especially since my intention is to prohibit Fireball (or most other forms of alcohol) from ever entering this house again. I’m a veteran. It feels weird to say. It’s a title I usually always associated with my grandfather, but one that I’ll carry with pride. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to step out into the world and discover who I am. Or rather, who I may become…☯️

Be In The Now…

It’s important in life to recognize that life exists only in the immediate moment. That makes it equally important to live in that moment. I found a meme online that got me thinking about all of this and it went a little something like this. Bear with me, as I’m translating indirectly from French…

“If you want to be sad, live in the past.”
“If you want to be worried or anxious, live in the future.”
“If you want to be in peace, live in the present.”

This is not mine and to be honest, it was a meme and I can’t source it. I’m sure I could research it and try to figure out where it came from, but unlike providing information on something Diabetes-related as I often do, I don’t believe it’s necessary for the message I’m trying to convey. And just to be clear, this doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be PREPARED or PLAN for things. It simply means that your thoughts and your essence shouldn’t exist outside fo the immediate moment.

This is where you are. This is where you exist. To allow yourself to live outside of that context brings suffering. And that’s the last thing you need. Take the time to appreciate where you are. Soak in the environment. Take on the scents and sounds of your life. And take note that if any of those aspects don’t make you happy, you have an inherent responsibility to do something about it. ☯️

Let It Go And Let There Be Light…

In 2009, I closed up shop on life as I knew it. I closed my karate dojo, quit my job and left my friends and family to pursue a life-long dream and come out to Saskatchewan to start a new career. Basic training was tough, but despite several different types of adversity I made it through with flying colours and started the journey I thought would last the rest of my life. Today is the anniversary of the start of that journey. For years, I’ve observed a tradition on this day that involves toasting to my brothers and sisters.

This toast would take the form of one shot of Fireball for every year of service I had accumulated. The first few years were reasonably okay and it was a nice way of recognizing my comrades and celebrating without being able to be with them. After all, we were posted all over the country, so doing anything specific is difficult. But right around the fifth year of celebrating this day as a personal holiday, it started to get a little bit tough. I don’t think I need to explain that having five shots of Fireball whiskey in a row makes for a bit of a rough night.

Despite that fact, every year I’ve stubbornly held out. All the way to ten years, where over the course of a few hours, I would celebrate by taking ten shots. Is anybody else’s liver hurting yet? Needless to say, the following year I needed to find a different means of celebrating. But this year, things are different. In April, I started a new job. For the first time in my life, I have a permanent home. My children were born here in Saskatchewan. My wife is from Saskatchewan. The memories and experiences I’ve gathered during a decade and a half of being out here far outweigh any of the difficulties I’ve faced in recent years.

So I’ve decided that this year is the last time. Time to move forward with life. Memories and experience are simply that and how can one be expected to move forward if one is constantly reminded of what was lost, right? It’s been difficult to ignore that the rough seas I’ve been navigating over the past three years were out of my control, caused by someone else and even without any measurable benefit to the party in question. Some people just like to watch the world burn. But if I don’t let go of my hate and start moving forward, all it will do is contributed to my own suffering, which if you haven’t been paying attention, the elimination of suffering is kind of my jam.

So here’s to my brothers and sisters. I hope you all stay safe out there and continue to fight the good fight. My fight is not over, it’ll simply be in a different arena. Time to find out who I am outside the uniform and pursue new dreams. Time to find some peace. ☯️

Embracing My Inner Nerd…

I don’t know if the term “nerd” is still widely-used or not. I know that for a while, being a nerd was cool. It sure as hell wasn’t when i went through school. Regardless of the term’s current standing, I’m quite proud of my inherent ability to absorb and process information, and the fact that I was always a little more on the cerebral side than some of my peers. So please accept my humble apologies if referring to myself or others as a nerd offends anyone. That isn’t the way it’s intended, but this is the way of the new world; normal things will often offend. That’s all I’ll say about that. Moving on…

I got my first taste of superhero lore when I was barely five years old, when my father sat with me and we watched the original Superman movie that was released in 1978. Ironically, only three months after I was born. But we didn’t get to watch it until it was released on video cassette (the predecessor to DVD’s, for you young’uns). I remember being fascinated by what I was seeing; a man who could fly, shoot beams from his eyes and couldn’t be physically harmed…. Superman has set the standard against which most superheroes are held.

I spent my youth collecting comic books, reading traditional books and delving deeply into the superhero genre. I was doing all of this through the years when Thanos was the antagonist in a comic line entitled “The Infinity Gauntlet,” which was followed by two sequels, “The Infinity War” and “The Infinity Crusade.” What we’ve seen in the MCU is based on The Infinity Gauntlet, even if they called it Infinity War. Despite exploring all these different stories and superheroes, Superman has always remained my favourite and despite differing reviews, I have loved ALL of the movies and series.

About a month ago, I decided to celebrate my birthday by walking into the value mall down the road and perusing a used book store. I sold off the remainder of my comic book collection a few years ago when i thought we might be moving and needed some extra cash so I was delighted when I came across a batch of graphic novels just sitting there in pristine condition. I decided that a fine gift to myself would be to allow the purchase of a few graphic novels to be read for leisure. I spend so much time reading and studying things, sometimes it’s nice to let your head cool and simply read something for fun.

This is where I got my hands on this little gem. For those of you who aren’t versed in comic lore (and I can admit that I no longer am), DC comics decided to refresh itself in 2011 and scrapped all its current existing title for their top characters and revamping them based on the outcome of a key storyline. They called it the New 52 and it saw a number of well-known characters be re-invented and have an altered appearance, altered power set and in some cases, slightly different origin story. I haven’t read a great deal of them, but I remember mixed reviews.

Most companies occasionally feel that change is good, especially if things have gotten stagnant or boring. But most of population don’t like someone messing with an old classic, like Superman. Despite that line of thinking, I have to say that I’m greatly enjoying this graphic novel. Without providing any spoilers, this storyline provide a look at a raw, rougher Superman who is at odds with the law and the status quo. Most importantly, he isn’t all-powerful and completely immune, which makes him more relatable as a hero to normal people, I think. If you haven’t been reading these, I highly recommend it as your next option. For fun, if nothing else.

I usually use my lunch hours at work to read. This is a good way to let my head cool, change gears and refresh myself before dealing with the afternoon. I usually bring a novel of some sort, science fiction or fantasy. I’m still reading the Wheel of Time. But this time around, it was good to revisit a familiar hero in a somewhat familiar environment and think back fondly to those warm, comfortable afternoons on the couch, watching Christopher Reeve show us that a man can fly. ☯️

Just A Little Something…

Not all of my posts need to be ridiculously long. No, they don’t. NO, THEY DON’T!!! No, YOU shut up! I may be a bit tired… Which is premised by the fact my post is going up at 6:30 pm instead of 6:30 am. Sometimes, the day gets away on me. We do what we can. Enjoy the short bit of inspiration. ☯️

Work Hard, Play Hard, Everything’s Hard…

You know, I wrote a post yesterday about how a person’s energy levels tend to be lower during the colder season due to the change in weather and the fact that the average working person is exposed to less sunlight due to the shorter days. And then this morning I found myself just as blah as I was yesterday. And it makes me wonder, is this life now? Waking up and existing in a perpetual state of fatigue, all the time? Some weeks, it certainly feels like it.

Throughout my life, I’ve heard the expression “word hard, play harder,” which is supposed to represent that although it’s important to put a solid effort into one’s work, it’s just as important to put the same effort or more into one’s leisure time. That’s IF you have leisure time. So, what if you don’t? The old adage about working to live and not living to work doesn’t always seem to apply, nowadays.

Typically, I tend to feel as though the weeks are flying by. When Monday morning hits, I wake to an alarm, make lunches, get dressed and ready and blast out the door. I usually like to think that I always hit the ground running, occasional blood sugar issues or mid-week slumps notwithstanding. And although some days seem to feel a bit on the long side, by the time I get home there’s supper followed by household chores and then it’s either a workout (if the energy and motivation is there) coupled with bathing the kids and getting everyone to bed. If we’re lucky, there’s an hour, sometimes two, where we can sit back and watch something on television or read a book. All of this happens prior to the blessed release of one’s head hitting the pillow for what’s ultimately never 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Wash, rinse and repeat until Friday…

Weekends are usually better by virtue of having 8 to 10 hours of one’s day freed up that isn’t spent at work. But having both boys at home at the same time rather nixes that freedom and whatever chores weren’t completed throughout the week need to be taken care of. Nathan is usually pretty good at accompanying me outside if I need to mow the lawn, bring recycling to the depot for deposit or have errands to run. But any “down time” usually involves bringing the boys to a park or taking them outside to play so that they burn off some of the excess energy that all adults are so jealous of. I swear, if I could find a way to bottle Nathan’s energy and take it as a supplement, I’d be downing that shit like tic tacs! But I digress…

My point here, besides passive-aggressively complaining about how busy I am, is that no matter how busy you get, significant effort should be put into ensuring you have some down time for yourself. And to be clear, this can include time with your spouse and family as long as you’re able to relax and let your head cool. I’ve previously written about the importance of having time specifically by yourself. And that’s still true, but the idea in today’s post is that even when it seems like there’s no time to relax, you need to find time to relax. Hand in hand with yesterday’s post, it’s an important way to ensure that one’s energy levels stay consistent and you don’t get overwhelmed. Food for thought… ☯️

When You Start Lacking Some Pep in Your Step…

We’re slowly starting to creep into that time of year when it takes the sun a bit longer to decide to grace us with its presence. Just a short month ago, I would leave to work just prior to 7 a.m. and the sun would already be blinding me on my transit down the road. However, if I take this morning as an example, I stepped outside and walked to the car and I felt the distinctive chill of the season seep through my layers and the sky was still dark. That first little while that this starts happening can be disconcerting and confusing, especially if you leave work late enough that the sun has already started to go down.

The view outside my office window

Depending on the environment you’re in throughout your day, this change in season can wreak havoc on your system. And no, I’m not just referring to the presence of pumpkin-spiced everything… I promise I’ll stop picking on those who enjoy those treats eventually; I just need to get a few shots in before the caffeine levels in my blood make me more reasonable. MOVING ON! My point is that some folks are fortunate enough to work in an environment where they can actively see the daylight. Some are not so fortunate and may work in a remote environment or an enclosed office where access to daylight isn’t always possible.

It should come as no surprise that the daylight plays an important role in a person’s health. First and most importantly, access to sunlight helps our bodies to naturally produce Vitamin D. Since I intended this post as an opinion piece and not necessarily an educational one where I’d have to cite sources and shit, I’ll keep it light. But the reality is that Vitamin D is necessary for all sorts of things like good bone health, stronger immune system and certainly not least or last, it helps with managing Diabetes. That last one is a touch important to me, as you might imagine.

Sunlight plays an integral role in the body’s function, including proper sleep patterns and managing your circadian rhythm. That’s your “internal clock,” which helps you to manage getting to sleep and waking up. So you end up feeling all sorts of fucked up, when you wake up for the day and it’s still looking pitch dark outside. Most people don’t have a regular work day where they wake up with the sun streaming through their window while soft violin music plays.

For all the reasons I’ve described above and much more, it’s important to take some preventative steps to ensure the colder weather doesn’t get you down into the dumps. Once you’re in the groove, these steps can become overall good daily habits. Here are a couple of things you can do to try and ensure you keep your energy levels on the up-and-up:

1. Starts Your Morning With Exercise.
This is the best one, and something I wish I had more drive to maintain. I will FULLY admit that I’m terrible at doing anything, first thing in the morning, other than reaching for some caffeine. But doing exercise first thing in the morning gets you or blood flowing and oxygenated and will help you to hit the ground running far better than any cup of coffee you may grab. My wife is an absolute champion at this, usually starting her morning with a rigorous exercise routine she follows. During the pandemic winter, I used to walk my spin to the bus stop then walk anywhere from 5 to 10 kilometres. The result was the cold air woke me up and brutalized me before facing my day.

2. Drink Some Water.
I’m a huge fan of caffeine for a variety of reasons. So I can’t honestly say with a straight face that I do this one, but there are studies that show that gulping down a glass of water first thing in the morning will jump start your system and help to wake you up. I have no idea if it works or not, since I guzzle caffeine minutes after waking. And don’t ask me what studies I’m talking about. I don’t have enough caffeine to remember where I read them…

3. Get Outside And Take A Walk.
If you don’t work in an environment where you can see the sun, then go to where you can access it. Get some fresh air, take a walk and get some natural light on your body (and no, I’m not condoning stripping down and sunbathing while at work). Twice a day, I’ll take fifteen minutes to take a short walk outside, get some air and move around a bit. It makes all the difference and helps greatly with productivity. Most jobs entitle you to breaks throughout the day, so you should take advantage of them.

4. Control Your Blood Sugars.
It’s obvious that you should be doing this anyway, but maintaining balanced blood sugars will help keep your overall energy levels up. Nothing saps your energy faster than having an extreme high or low, followed by balancing it out. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that usually leaves me feeling like all I want to do is sleep. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is not only a good idea for Diabetics in general, it can go a long way towards keeping you energized and moving throughout the day. Especially when in conjunction with everything else on this list.

There you have it. I’m no genius and none of this is reinventing the wheel, it’s simply common sense. But not everyone thinks about these things so maybe this will spark some ideas for the cold weather ahead. Especially here in Saskatchewan, the morning blahs tend to hit all that much harder once there’s snow on the ground and the weather reaches -50 degrees Celsius. That almost guarantees wanting to stay curled up in bed, despite whatever steps you may take. But life happens and facing the day is a necessity. May as well try to make it a energized and motivated as possible. ☯️

Don’t Push It, Let It Come To You…

Writing is a kept skill. If you don’t write often and consistently, it’s a skill that will dwindle with time and you may find yourself lacking if you have to draft something pertinent. When it comes to authoring a blog, trying to o provide daily content to keep people engaged and reading can be a challenge, especially if inspiration and ideas tend to run dry.

Considering the number of posts I’ve written, I’ve challenged myself to always provide something daily. This has been reasonably easy, considering I try to cover any topic related to Buddhism, Diabetes, Health & Fitness and martial arts as well as generous sprinkling of some opinion pieces that don’t always fall under those categories. And after posting well over 500 daily posts without missing a day, I’ve learned one important lesson: you can’t push ideas. You need to let ideas and inspiration come to you naturally.

As children, imagination and inspiration are the dominant ways that we process and interpret information. This can be proven by taking a quick look at my 6-year old son, who can make a solid box out of plastic LEGO’s and consider it to be a vault, a fortress, some kind of a square spaceship or even a weapon’s array (which was premised by one of his cartoons). On the negative side of it, a brief creak of a floor during a nighttime bathroom trip will suddenly turn into some malevolent presence seeking to do harm, despite logic arguing against this.

As we get older and leave childhood behind, we tend to draw on knowledge, experience and logic for our inspiration and ideas. But some of the world’s best authors have created the best stories and manuscripts based on the free-range imagination they had as children. I think that for the most part, this is because children aren’t trying to force an idea in order to formulate it on paper (or on screen). This is one thing that becomes more difficult as we move forward in life.

Because I like to share credit, I always have an open invitation for people to share their thoughts, ideas and inspiration. And I’m going to go ahead and invite any of my readers to do this, now. If there’s a topic and/or idea that you’d like to see me cover, please indicate it in the comments. If you have something you’ve written that you’d like to collaborate and share on my blog, I’m always willing to share posts with full credit going to the author, provided the material fits with the normal parameters (no racism, hate writing, etc…)

Inspiration can be fleeting, and ideas don’t always come easily. As with all things in life, it never hurts to reach out and ask for some help. And I’m certainly not afraid to do the research if someone suggests something I could be writing about, so don’t be shy. I’ll always do my best to provide daily content. But in order to for that content to be inspired, I can’t allow myself to push. I need to let it come to me, naturally. in the meantime, I invite anyone’s inspiration to pay a visit to mine. ☯️