Water of the Spirits, Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta

As I made my way around Lake Minnewanka, words from Marilynne Robinson’s great novel, “Housekeeping”, provided a narrative text to accompany my journey around the perimeter of the frozen lake. “Imagine a Carthage sown with salt, and all the sowers gone, and the seeds lain however long in the earth, till there rose finally in […]

In the Shadow of Heaven, Canadian Rockies

A deep freeze of frozen rivers and snow clad peaks reminds us how insignificant we are, frail and impermanent. You can’t help but to feel small in this endless landscape of rolling grasses, rugged mountains, and infinite sky. “Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?” ― Jane Austen, Pride and […]

Excalibur, Kanesoh Knife Shop, Tokyo

Some women fall prey to Manolos, while others lose their heads (and 401K’s) to Chanel or Louis Vuitton. I’m just not that kind of girl. For me, it’s kitchen stuff – wasabi graters made of sharkskin, spoons and ladles, stoneware, katsuobushi shavers. Above all, carbon steel, given a final bump and grind, while you watch, […]

Miyajima, Beyond the Gate

The vast majority of visitors to Miyajima remain on the island for only a few short hours, a day trip from Hiroshima. Not venturing past the torii gate, paying their respects at Itsukushima, they return to the ferry terminal, stopping along the way to shop on lively Omotesando street with its restaurants, food stalls, and […]

Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima

I overheard a tourist snipe, as she passed a group of fellow tourists waiting in a queue on the platform directly facing the famous orange torii, “how many pictures can you take of a wooden gate?” Every picture reveals a different torii as the tide rises or falls, or the light changes from morning to […]