Today I caught the tram into the city and found myself sitting opposite a sweet looking japanese girl who appeared to be in Melbourne on holidays. She was clutching a map of the CBD in her hands and she was teary. The poor girl - I couldn't pull my attention away. The guy beside me must have been giving her directions because he showed her where we were on the map one last time before he got off. For a little while I wondered what to do - all I could think about was why she might be crying and wishing I could reach out and ask her if she was ok.
In the end I just asked her where she was heading and helped her get to Bourke Street. I asked her where she was from - Tokyo. I said I'd love to visit Japan and that it's very beautiful, and she replied in limited English - yes ... but Japanese people are so ... busy, and Australian people (she paused and searched for words) "...their hearts are very peaceful".
What a beautiful Japanese way to say it.
And in keeping with my fondness for all things from that country, a pattern inspired by a Japanese pine forest illustration:
Still trying to figure out the right colours for it though.