Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess. Her myth has had personal meaning for me, Solis, Latin for “of the sun.”

As fate would have it, I am leaving for Osaka, Japan tomorrow. That’s what happens when you follow your bliss, practice yoga, live in the now, battle your demons and trust in the silence. Trust in the mystery and listen deeply for instructions. So unexpectedly I find myself leaving on a jet plane.

That has been my Mythic Yoga practice for nearly two decades now. Delving into meditation and the depths where it takes you. I practice daily. That’s where the magic comes in. When the veil of the ego is parted and the true self is revealed. What awareness and insight. What freedom and what gifts from the universe! These boons the Gods present. My partner is taking me to Japan because he has accepted a transfer with Universal Studios Creative.

Never thought I’d end up in Japan. Just like I never thought I’d end up on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and from there end up in Florida. The adventure continues. My children are older now and back in DeLand, Florida. I’m hoping they will come this summer as we go back and forth. I will be helping my 83-year-old father in Boulder, Colorado too more often, as he fell and broke the top of his right femur off and has been in Manor Care for a month now.

My grandfather, Albert Willem Straub, who died in a forced labor Mitsubishi tin mine outside of Tokyo in 1943.

I visited my father in Boulder for two weeks recently. Such another amazing mythic destiny of personal mythology that is intertwined with this trip. Considering my father is a child survivor of a Japanese concentration camp on Java during World War II when it was the Dutch East Indies, a colony of The Netherlands. My ancestors were colonialists. The one percent.  My great-grandfather a professor of engineering at the University of Delft.

Growing up as a child. in Boulder during the 1970s and 80s, Japan was the enemy, my mother reminded us. Had the war not ended with the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I would not be alive, for my father would have died in the camp had the war continued, my mother warned. My mother’s brother, Uncle Charlie, may have died as he served in the Pacific too.

I was conflicted, because in Boulder in the 70s there were candle light vigils for peace, but my mother was on the other side. My father said he forgave the Japanese, but I know he still suffers. So that lingers as my story as my father’s father died in a forced labor Mitsubishi tin mine outside of Tokyo in 1943. My brother has visited Shinagawa, and it’s now a shopping mall.

So as my father declines, and the story continues, I look forward to this mythic journey. As I read more about Japan after World War II, our economy, our stories, our healing from the tragedy of war, but also to find the mythic in the folk lore and enchantment of Japan. As a confirmed Buddhist I am tickled to go to a Buddhist country. And since poetry is revered in Japan and I”m a poet, I will be writing Haiku on Instagram for my daughter back home. And healing the trauma of war with yoga and stories. I will be using the hashtag of #OsakaDiaries #StoryArtist #VisualPoet and #MythicYoga.

This is just the first of many trips. I will mainly explore, write this blog and find us a place to live before I return December 17. For future trips I will start my pilgrimage for the 33 Kannon temples, try lots of great food, and of course pursue the mythic.  I will eventually make my way to Ise to visit the Shrine of Amaterasu, of whom I have used in Mythic Yoga trainings, Storytime Yoga classes and personal mythology art and storytelling for a long time.

Amaterasu has special significance for me, as the Goddess of the Sun in Shinto religion where women and creation were revered and the solar is female. She will infuse my journey to see if among the traditions of Japan beneath the influence of Western culture there is the mythic peeping up from below, the feminine through the body, art, tradition, food, pleasure, poetry, sensuality and feelings can have an effect on me as I journey to the past in this amazing present and in meditation to temples and shrines.

And I will be meditating, deepening my Buddhist meditation practice I learned from many hours of meditation and Shambhala trainings in Boulder and as a member of the Volusia Buddhist Fellowship in Florida where I received the name of Guyo, Brave One, when I took my vows almost two years ago. For in meditation is where the mythic points me to the ultimate goal – yoga – union – nirvana – peace.

For it is peace, peace for the world’s children that I want. Why I made my Storytime Yoga Kids Yoga Music, Mantra and Dance CD. I believe there is a reason I am being sent to Japan. To visit my grandfather’s place of death. To visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Parks and recover what is good, what is loving and what is eternal.