Less than one month after 9/11, I left for Kyoto with a group of Americans to study at the International Headquarters of Ikenobo Ikebana. Many people thought I was nuts to travel so soon after the attacks on the U.S.
Just a few days before the trip, I was further shocked by the sudden death of my beloved Ikebana teacher, Murayo Sawai. She had been my mentor and friend, and a great inspiration, for many years. I knew she would not have wanted me to forego the training in Kyoto for any reason. So I went in her honor. When I arrived at the training, I discovered she was known and mourned even in Kyoto.
Although bittersweet, the trip was very special.