Hello, Sweet Sun

Good day

One day while walking under the beautiful sun, a young woman said, “Good day,” to a nice boy named, Jenson.

She walked and smiled, then waved a goodbye, and Jenson was left giving a sigh.

Jenson thought, “How beautiful is she- so full of glee. I would love  for her to marry me.”

Then the sky said good night, to the sun that had shone oh so bright. Then it welcomed the moon that made Jenson swoon.

Goodnight

Walking his way was the young woman, Tomo, he had met earlier that day. She walked and smiled, but this time saying a hi, asking Jenson to lead the way.

For many days and many nights, Jenson and Tomo walked hand-in-hand.

Then it happened, there wasn’t a sun. No light in the sky, only Jenson.

He looked to his left, and searched to his right; what he had feared most had really happened.

Tomo had gone far beyond the cruel sun, and Jenson was left, utterly heartbroken.

He wished her his love, cried her a tear for he knew that one day she would reappear.

Goodnight sweet sun, hello to the moon, I will love you-through and through.

Love

Fin.

 

– Jenson

Jenson recommends: Darkness will always come with fear, but remember, the sun always reappears.

Side note: While messaging a friend, I doodled the first picture on Viber, and this little love story was (re)born.

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A Story of a bird named Bird

Once upon a time there was a little bird named Bird. A lonely bird was Bird. He would flutter here, then fly there and sometimes spread his wings all the way over there.

Bird was not a wood-pecking bird, but Bird loved his wood. Nothing was more comfortable than laying on his floating wood. For Bird believed that while standing on his favourite wood in the middle of a caiman filled pond, he would always have the best view of all his land thanks to his wood.

Every day and every night Bird would fly and cautiously glide himself on that lonely piece of wood. “Why ever would a bird named Bird be so fond of a floating piece of wood?” all the other birds would say

 Then one day it happened.

Bird flew onto his faithful wood and saw a boy. A tall boy. A strange boy. A boy edging himself on the banks of the caiman filled pond.

Bird whistled and whistled, hoping the boy would understand his bird-like cautionary whistle. But, Bird realised that the boy did not speak his whistle so he just looked and hoped that the boy would understand his little whistles.

Inch by inch, the boy continued to push himself to the edge of the caiman filled pound. Bird did not understand. “Why would he?” Bird thought as he stood on his wood. Then, Bird saw the boy stretch, risking himself to pick a flower.

“What a strange boy,” Bird pondered.

Then, Bird saw the strange boy slowly walking towards a pretty girl. The boy bent down and gave her the flower. The strange boy then embraced her as they sat next to each other as they looked at a bird named Bird standing on his wood thinking, “Why would a bird stand on a floating piece of wood in the middle of caiman filled pond.”

It then occurred to Bird; he and the strange boy were the same. It has always been a risk for a bird named Bird to stand on a piece of wood in a caiman filled pond. And, it was a risk for the strange boy to edge himself onto a pond filled with caimans to pick a single flower for a pretty girl.

Although Bird was not a wood-pecking bird, Bird pecked on the wood. Bird pecked and pecked on the wood hoping he would get a answer, and so he did.

Bird would always come to this floating piece of wood on the caiman filled pond because it has the best view of all his land. Bird was a lonely bird and secretly believed that this piece of wood would help him find another bird that would stand with him on this floating piece of wood.

As for the boy, Bird thought, he took his risk, secretly hoping for a kiss from the pretty little girl he would soon learn to love.

Fin.

A bird named bird sitting on top of his favourite wood.

A bird named bird sitting on top of his favourite wood.

Jenson recommends: Take risk, especially those involving love. (n_n)

Side note: This story took about twenty minutes to write. It came to me last night as I was looking through pictures of my day trip on Sunday to Grand Couva, Trinidad with my friends. It’s a fictitious non-fiction. =)

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Coca- Cola: It’s Beautiful

My Monday Shout Out goes to Coca-Cola for unashamedly sending messages of peace, love, harmony, acceptance and cultural understanding in its 2014 Superbowl commercial, “It’s beautiful.”

In a world plagued by terrible political anarchy, religious misunderstandings and gratuitous prejudices, Coca-Cola’s simple advertisement soars above its competitors by not selling a drink but, the beauty of humanity. And that, I will always drink to.

– Jenson Note: Also check out Coca-Cola’s captivating 1971 “I’d Like to Teach the World to  (In Perfect Harmony” ad.

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2013- A Photo Blog

We are not definitions of our past. However, it is undeniable that it is our past that often that lays the foundation for our present, and inadvertently carves what will later be defined as our future. 2013 was a transitional year for me- a year of heart-breaking goodbyes, welcomed reunions and unforgettable adventures. 

As 2013 quietly sailed into 2014, I fondly look back at last year’s past. I sincerely hope you enjoy my photos.

January

January was the beginning of my last year in Namerikawa. After being embraced by a week of Tokyo’s warm winter weather, I returned home to an unusually depressing winter. As I walked towards the supermarket, thirty five minutes away, I stopped by this park, and for the first time truly appreciated its beauty.

Winter postcard, Namerikawa, Toyama.

Winter postcard, Namerikawa, Toyama.

February

In an attempt to escape Toyama’s bitter winter, I found a comforting refuge in Tokyo (again) for three days. This famous spider sculpture, “Maman”,designed by French artist, Louise Bourgeois, is the quintessential image of Roppongi and, “Eerily beautiful”, I thought.

"Maman" designed by French-American artist, Louise Joséphine Bourgeois. Roppongi, Tokyo.

“Maman” designed by French-American artist, Louise Joséphine Bourgeois. Roppongi, Tokyo.

March

The weather forecast the night before had promised a beautiful day and it truly was. When I think of Toyama, I fondly think of the Tateyama mountains and rice fields. This picture perfectly captures my definition of Toyama- quietly beautiful.

Mount trucking in Higashi Toyama, Toyama.

Mount trucking in Higashi Toyama, Toyama.

April

Nothing beats the pink perfection of a Japanese spring.  Blue skies rain pink petals that gently float to the fragile floor. Happiness consumes you, romance perfumes the sweet air, and echoes of laughter quietly hum along. While strolling along the Matsukawa River in Toyama City, I saw this middle aged couple walking under the cherry blossom trees and thought, “This is love.”

Under the Cherry Blossom Trees, Matsukawa River, Toyama City

Under the Cherry Blossom Trees, Matsukawa River, Toyama City

May

Touted as the world’s most expensive road toll in the world at a staggering 40,000円, the Tateyama Snow Wall is almost impossible to get to independently. An American friend organised a subsidised bus tour to visit one of Toyama’s most revered sights. After a dizzying ride up Tateyama, my equilibrium was quickly recovered when I was greeted by this breathtaking scenery.

This picture is also very special to me because it was part of the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago’s 70th Anniversary Exhibition in November. I was humbled when I arrived at exhibition because I was quickly informed that someone had already bought my photo.

Snow Wall, Toyama.

Snow Wall, Toyama.

June

Every time walked along the corridor at Namerikawa High School, I would momentarily stop in admiration of this masterpiece painted by my student, Misato. I actually begged her to buy it but she had promised it to her mother. I still have this photo and each new glance at it always reveals a delightful little discovery, and offers a welcomed smile.

Painted by Misato Inaba.

Painted by Misato Inaba.

July

Unquestionably one of the most painful periods of my life, my last month in Toyama, and even more agonizing, the end of my tenure as a teacher. I cried almost each time I said goodbye; the tears seem to have left permanent stains on my cheeks. As sad I was, and still am, I am forever humbled to be called Jenson-sensei.

My third year students.

My third year students. Permission granted to use this photo.

August

Chiang Mai is easily my favourite place in Thailand. As I explored Chiang Mai’s rich culture with my best friend, Chantal, we learned about the Long Neck Karen Paduang Hill Tribe synonymous for its brass rings around the neck. I was unaware that many of people from the tribe were refugees from the politically volatile Myanmar (Burma). It reminded me that I live a very blessed life.

This is also my favourite photo of 2013.

A beautiful young girl from the Long Neck Karen Paduang Hill Tribe in Chiang Mai.

A beautiful young girl from the Long Neck Karen Paduang Hill Tribe in Chiang Mai.

September

After living in Japan for five years, it was time to return home- with a stop in Singapore.

This has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. It’s a futuristic garden on reclaimed land in Singapore and it is utterly captivating. I probably said “Wow” at least a hundred times. It reminded me somewhat of the movie “Avatar”, just stunning!

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Can you find me?

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Can you find me?

October

Being back in Trinidad and Tobago after residing in Japan for so many years was truthfully quite difficult. The reverse culture shock was incredibly overwhelming, I felt incongruous and disconnected from most people. The silver lining were my friends, specifically Nadia, Shauna and Chantal.

On this day, Chantal took me on a Saturday drive to Chaguaramas on the north western coast of Trinidad and promised a stellar sunset and she sure delivered.

Sunset in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago

Sunset in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago

November

After attending the Art Society’s anniversary exhibition, a friend took me to Mt. Hololo, on the Northern Range of Trinidad, and I blinded by the beauty of this gem.

View from Mt. Hololo, Trinidad and Tobago

View from Mt. Hololo, Trinidad and Tobago

December

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore Christmas. After decorating my cousin’s tree, I looked up, smiled and thought, “This looks perfect.” I then stepped back a bit and noticed that there was a patch of darkness. I momentarily contemplated fixing it, but that short lived idea quickly fleeted away because it still looked divine, even with it’s very obvious flaw.

My cousin's Christmas tree.

My cousin’s Christmas tree.

Happy New Year, everyone! (n_n)/

Jenson recommends: Revelling in the new beginnings that 2014 brings and remembering that all dreams are possible.

– Jenson

Have a look at:

2012- A Photo Blog
2011- A Photo Blog

Posted in Japan, Life, Photography, Singapore, Thailand, Tokyo, Toyama, Travel, Trinidad and Tobago | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

富山に恋した日々 ジェンソン・デオキシンさん

日本滞在の最後となった今年9月、大好きな前衛美術家、草間弥生さんの展覧会に行った。刺激的な作品を見るうち「失恋」の入り口に立ったように思えた。「素晴らしい恋愛小説は、出会いとその失恋を描く」。そんな言葉を繰り返してみた。目はどんよりとなり、悲しみで胸はいっぱいだった。JETプログラムがくれた日本でのラブストーリーは終わった。

母国トリニダード・トバゴに帰った10月、就職面接を受けた。神経質になり、うまくいかなかったが「JETのことを」と聞かれたとたん、自信が戻った。明るい笑顔になり、人生で最も素晴らしい経験だと答えた。

赴任した富山県での最初の年は、春の山から流れる水のように生き生きとしていた。学校で写真撮影する朝、早起きして上等のスーツで出かけたのに、カラスのふんで汚され大笑いした。昼休みに庭で村上春樹氏の「スプートニクの恋人」を読んでいて、毛虫に刺されたこともあった。「痛い」と職員室に駆け込むと、教頭先生が手当てをしてくれたことも思い出す。

母国に戻り「一番に思い出す日本の出来事は」と聞かれる。そのたびに、親切な人々や比べようのなく美しい景色、冬を春にしてしまうほど輝く生徒の笑顔を思い出す。英語教育は最高の仕事だった。ホタルイカで知られる滑川市などで勤務したが、教えた以上に学んだことの方が多かった。

素晴らしいラブストーリーは、予期せぬ出来事に動かされるものが多い。富山県に来た5年前には、私が恋に落ちるとは思わなかった。ストーリーはロマンチックでなくシンプルだ。「おはよう」という生徒のあいさつや同僚の優しい心遣い、廊下に響く生徒の笑い声―そうした記憶だ。

富山での経験は報われない愛かと思うこともある。訪れて恋に落ちた大勢のうちの一人にすぎないとも考えてしまう。しかし「ジェンソン先生、会えなくなり寂しい」というメールを読むと、思いは通じていたんだと考え直す。「きっと、また会える」と。(寄稿)

旅行先の温泉地でくつろぐジェンソン・デオキシンさん=6月、松山市(本人提供)

旅行先の温泉地でくつろぐジェンソン・デオキシンさん=6月、松山市(本人提供)

×  ×
ジェンソン・デオキシン トリニダード・トバゴ出身。大学で環境や自然資源の管理を学び、08~13年、富山県で外国語指導助手として勤務。帰国後、フリーライターとして活躍。

原品: http://www.47news.jp/localnews/chiikisaisei/52/chiho_net/

English Version: JETwit.com

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The 411 on Fall Fashion

When I ask my Japanese friends, “What is your favourite season?” I usually get two responses- spring, because of the encompassing beauty of the cherry blossoms, and rightfully so- it truly is spectacularly gorgeous; and fall, of course, for its fashion. From Kyushu to Hokkaido, even the occasional chill of the Okinawan night, there’s no denying that Japan’s most fashionable season is upon us.

Every February and March, the major fashion capitals of the world provide an anticipated forecast into the end of year fall fashion trends and I am here to happily dissect some of the chicest styles to ensure that you enjoy la dolce vita.

 1. Super Size Me

Take a peek into my closet and you may be alarmed by the sheer number of scarves I own. It’s one of those rare fashion items that lends itself to immediately transforming any outfit from dismally tragic to Milano-chic. Whether printed, textured or monochromatic, scarves are having a polished renaissance, with its oversized counterpart being its crème de la crème.

Oversized scarves can appear intimidating because of its voluminous nature, however, when it is wrapped around the shoulders as a shawl it can give women a Boho-chic look a la the trendy Olsen twins. As the day eases into night, your scarf can be flung around the neck, twisted and tied, leaving you fashionably comfortable and effortlessly stunning. Men can achieve a similar result with the ever popular Aztec printed scarves. For a more haute couture ensemble, men can use textured monotone blanket-esk scarves tied twice-around Ascot style for a superbly sophisticated outfit.

If I haven’t convinced you as yet, the oversized scarf is the perfect accessory for that romantic date in Kyoto’s Pontocho. As the winter breeze hits, it easily unwraps to embrace two.

My friend, Aimee Wenyue Chen, is the personification of autumal chic in her stunning orange hue, wool oversized scarf.

My friend, Aimee Wenyue Chen, is the personification of autumal chic in her stunning orange hue, wool oversized scarf.

2.The New Black

Burgundy is the new black. It is the ideal autumn shade. Look no further than Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hollywood’s current “It” boy to see this trend done to perfection.  Worn with a crisp white shirt paired with a skinny black silk tie, the burgundy suit is for the man that dares to be different. For a tamer yet equally sensational do, my recommendation is to invest in a well tailored pair of pants, throw on a simple white t-shirt and slim fit blazer in a Herringbone finish and you’re destined to be classy and cool as you hit the streets of Tokyo.

To push the boundaries and make people sit up and take notice, go unashamedly gaudy by mixing vibrant colours and patterns. My recommendation for the ladies is a gutsy one- combine an orange cable knit sweater with a rich wine coloured tuxedo pants and get ready to be one of Japan’s fashion elites. If orange is too much of a risk, try grey, slip on your stilettos and edgy, modern (gold) necklace and get ready to mingle.

Former Connect magazine Fashion & Beauty Editor and my gorgeous friend, Annabella Massey, wears an oversized printed scarf to perfection while Australia's very own Benjamin Brown looks dashing in a fall straw coloured cable sweater.

Former Connect magazine Fashion & Beauty Editor and my gorgeous friend, Annabella Massey, wears an oversized printed scarf to perfection while Australia’s very own Benjamin Brown looks dashing in a fall straw coloured cable sweater. Photo by Galileo Navarro.

 3. Coloured Socks

Guys, do you want a leg up on the fashion competition?  Try wearing cropped pants and punctuating it with a bold pair of patterned socks. In the last couple of years, socks have had a resurgence in the fashion industry and deservingly so. Socks-argyle, polka dot, stripped or outlandishly designed- are a subtle way to inject character and fun into sometimes very formal, fussy clothes. Don’t believe me? Octogenarian, George H.W. Bush, American’s former president, was able to seamlessly add colour, humour and style to his very stiff grey suit with a single pair of socks. Sorry ladies but I am of the opinion that women should stay well clear of coloured socks unless you are intentionally going after a geek-chic or Lolita look and it is purposefully done.

Yours truly wears a burgundy pants folded to give a cropped look and stripped blue socks to inject humour and colour to the ensemble.

Yours truly wears a burgundy pants folded to give a cropped look and stripped blue socks to inject humour and colour to the ensemble.

4.Trench Coats

If there is one fashion trend emanating from New York’s 2013 Fall/ Winter Fashion Week that all women should take note of, it is the reinterpretation of the film noir genre. Classically feminine and deceptively stylised often using the finest haberdashery fabrics, this trend pays tribute to the 1940s Hollywood glamour. To re-imagine this iconic look, I recommend getting a signature trench coat made of cashmere or an affordable wool, with exaggerated shoulders pairing it with a Veronica Lake hairdo and a matted lip. My colour choice for a 2013 film noir inspiration is red. Do it and I am certain that everyone will be whispering that she’s dressed to kill.

For men, think of the classic streamlines of the quintessential Burberry trench coat for insight. The general rule of thumb is to select one size up when choosing a coat to ensure your movements are smooth and stealthy. Although I pride myself in colour, I vehemently believe that this piece deserves to be traditionally classic and flawlessly handsome.

There we have it. Four trends that is unequivocally certain to make you an effortlessly chic trendsetter for fall/ winter 2013. Remember fashion is fun, fashion is art, but most of all, fashion is confidence. Happy shopping and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of fall!

– Jenson

Jenson recommends: Regardless of where you are or what you wear, remember it’s always in vogue to love yourself unashamedly. =)

Note: I’d been contacted by the current Fashion and Beauty editor of the AJET Connect Magazine to contribute a piece on fall fashion. Hope you enjoyed the read. 

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Dearest Lee (A Love Letter)

Great love stories are often about the encounter with and subsequent loss of loved ones. -Unknown 

Dearest Lee,

I am in Bangkok and having a great time in spite of the torrential downpour. I’m at Oldies Cafe, my favourite restaurant in the city. I’ve been here many times since I arrived because the food is sinfully delicious. I embarrassingly have the love handles to prove it. Truthfully,  I come because of the music. The soundtrack reminds me of my childhood- uncomplicated, uninhibited and free.

The song that is now playing is called I Can’t Stop Loving You by Dolly Parton, I think, and well, that’s how I feel about you. I don’t think you will ever receive this letter but…but, I love you. I have loved you since the first time we met- Wednesday, February 11, 2009. And four years later my love for you has never waned. It is as unbreakable as an oak stoically standing against a vicious night wind, as pure as a newborn eagerly taking its first peek into the new world, as true as the sun will rise and moon will shine, and as honest as every word I whispered into your ears.

I miss you, so very much. I often anxiously pick up the telephone, longingly place it against my ear, and robotically dial your number just so I can hear the warmth of your voice whispering a kind hello. But, my head savagely fights with my heart and forces me to reluctantly put it down, and my broken heart sheds another painful tear.

I have tried desperately hard to forget our past, to let the memories of you quietly linger off in the gentle wind but, when I think I have moved on and finally free, nostalgic images of you drench me like a sporadic desert storm harshly beating against a camel that has lost its way. I am left immovable, vulnerable, slowly drowning in a quicksand of thoughts. The world closes in, the air thins, I can’t breathe, I stretch my hands out, pleading to someone to save me and when  I think I am about to be swallowed by the unforgiving earth, I open my eyes and realise that the storm left as quietly as it came, showing no hint of its destructive past. These are my days.

The music at Oldies has stopped. All I can hear is silence. The pen brushing against the white forms the new melody. It echoes. I am humming along to a song that has no words. I tap my fingers, the vibrato moves me. I see your face, your beautiful face. We are dancing, lovingly so, four left feet dancing. I dip you, you laugh unashamedly as you always do, revealing that perfect single dimple. I tap my fingers and hum.

I open my eyes and I am alone. The Beatles’ All You Need is Love poignantly cuts the air. A Gone with the Wind poster sits next to Elvis and a bikini-clad Marilyn Monroe poster looks over me as I nibble on my spare rib noodles.

Why is it that after all these years I still love you?

Hints of your fragrance still fills my lungs, I can feel your wet hair seductively caressing my shoulder, your eyes- hazel and haunting, porcelain skin and perfectly pink lips are all I see. My heart, though broken, still stands strong. Like a severed willow left alone in the wilderness, abandoned, it still thrives. Its roots penetrates, digging deep into the hard earth. It quietly grows.

Sometimes I will take a seat at the edge of my bed and stare at the dark night sky, thinking of you, hoping that you, like me, is gazing at the same full moon. It comforts me. A crow will occasionally caw in the distance breaking my trance, reminding me that your days are my nights, your  todays are my yesterdays, your present is achingly not with me.

I feel like a wingless bird trying desperately hard to free itself from its open cage but I am left grounded only to hear the crows caw.

Stripped, I look at myself, really look at myself, and realise that I can fly. I can, but I choose not too.  I keep going in circles, again and again, because leaving everything behind, to soar freely in the open sky, to  have the sun kiss my tanned cheeks and wind blow through my hair mean letting the memories of you disappear with the wind. That I cannot do.

I will instead sit, chained to my seat, grounded, and wait- patiently, silently and longingly-until the wind blows no more.

Love always and forever,

Junpei

Under the Cherry Blooms Trees. Toyama City, Toyama, Japan.

Under the Cherry Blooms Trees. Toyama City, Toyama, Japan.

By Jenson Deokiesingh

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