Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Morning of Oct. 30 in Oakland, Awakening to Living NVC Consciousness

I was crossing the pacific ocean on Hawaiian airline flight 47 to Honolulu as I wrote this. I am so inspired to share what
happened to me that morning on the way to Oakland airport.

From the Quaker Center, where NVC Leadership Program retreat was held for 8 days, Kangs gave me a ride to his apartment in Oakland where I was spending a night. I woke up early that morning around 6 am in his apartment. I noticed I only had less than 4 hours of sleep as I did not go to bed past 2:00am. We had a party at one of the trainer's house with Thai food take out, which I enjoyed so much and I had a conversation with Kangs after we came home until about 1:00am.

After saying good night to Kangs and his roommate, I went to the bedroom I was to sleep and started writing my blog, which I happily report I did that everyday during the retreat (Japanese blog), and then slept.

As I woke up, I was grateful for not only my being alive but also having energy to check my e-mails and even wrote one to this list about the Gems of LP before leaving the apartment.

At 7:30am the alarm went off, which I borrowed from his room mate.

Last night Kangs asked me how long I needed to get ready after waking up. I said, "5 minutes". Then, to be safe, I asked his roommate to set the alarm at 7:30am so that I would have 15 minutes from waking up to leaving.

We talked about how to get to the Oakland airport. I wanted to use public transportation and Kangs and Barbara gave me the information about BART that goes to the airport.

I needed to leave his apartment at 7:45am to catch 8:15am train from MacArther station, which was closest, within 30 minutes' walk. He said he would drive me to the station if he was up, but it did not happen. I was happy Kangs was meeting his need for rest.

We talked about how we wanted to be a "Good Host" and at the same time how he needed sleep. I shared I would use public transportation as much as I could. The reason behind that, which I did not share then, is I am curious to know how people without car travels in any parts of the world I visit. This was my opportunity to learn and experience. I love learning new things.

About 1 minute before leaving, I wrote a thanking note to Kangs on the map he drew last night and left his apartment quietly at 7:15am, with excitement of walking the town I do not know. I had a clear sense of direction to the MacArther BART station from his apartment.

The morning sun was shining just above the roof of the house in his neighborhood and it was so beautiful that I smiled. I felt joy as I started walking the 33rd street to Market street with no one except me on the street. I turned left there, and continued walking to 40th.

I remembered Kang did say, "My neighborhood is not the safest place".

I was curious how safe or unsafe I would feel as I walked.

Approaching the first highway, I noticed a man was sleeping under the bridge. The person was a black man and soon I saw another one, and then another one on the bench in a park. I walked quietly not to wake them up. They had little belongings, most of which I would consider as garbage. I was sad that US, and my country Japan, among the economically richest nations on earth, have people sleeping on the street and I so wanted the world where basic human needs met.

I noticed a black older women walking towards me looking down slowly in her walking device . As we came close, I said "Good morning" to her smiling. She stopped and said "Good Morning" looking at me and smiled back a little bit.

When I came to a big junction, I wanted to make sure if this was the 40th street where I was supposed to turn right. There, I saw another black man waiting for the green traffic light. I approached and asked him, "Is this the way to the BART station?" pointing right. He said "Yes" and I was so relieved and thanked him.

Turning right, I thought the station must be near. According to the map which I did not bring, the BART entrance was along the next highway to the right. So, I looked for the BART sign to the right along the highway, as he said I would see it.

But I could not find the sign.

So, I continued walking, wondering where the BART entrance was, to the next crossing where more buildings and shops were. "That must be the station", I said to myself. There were more people walking, but no BART station.

I stopped walking, looked around and asked another black man walking to my direction, "Where is BART station?". After asking, I noticed that he was talking to someone on the cell phone. In a few second he said "I call you back" and told me "You passed the BART station already" looking at my eyes.

Then he pointed the direction I came from and started walking. I followed him and soon we were walking side by side. I smelled alcohol from him. When we came back to the highway I passed, we turned right crossing the MacArther street, there I saw the BART sign and a structure that looked like a station.

I was relieved when I saw dozens of people coming out of the structure and I was sure this was the station. I was so grateful to the man, who might have been drinking till morning, who accompanied me all the way to the station.

As I thanked him, I noticed the people who came out may have been coming out of 8:15am train which I had planned to take. I may have missed the train, and I knew there was another one in 20 minutes, that would still get me to the Oakland airport in time.

When I was trying to buy the ticket, I did not know how to do so with the credit card (I had little cash left), then, a worker from the station came out and helped me and I got the ticket to Oakland Airport. I asked him if I missed the 8:15 train and he said yes. He asked me where I was going and I said to the Oakland airport. He told me to take the line 2 to Fremont and get off at Colosseum/Oakland Airport, then take AirBart, which was a bus waiting downstairs outside of the station.

When the train came in 15 minutes or so, it passed me. Then I realized it was 3 car train that did not stop where I was waiting on the platform, so I ran to the train. Luckily train did not leave until I was on. In the train, there were mixture of colors of people, but all the people I met on the street were black. The train did not move for another5 minutes or more. I started a bit worried about the time.

I got off at the Colosseum, walked down, got out of the gate, there I saw a bus waiting. "I am almost there" I said to myself.

Got on the bus, I noticed every one in the bus were white men except me. The bus announcement said it will take 12 minutes to the airport.

At the airport terminal, I could not find the Hawaiian airline counter as they were not in the same area as other airlines. I spent another 5 minutes looking for the Hawaiian airline. Finally at the Hawaiian airline counter, the ground staff told me I was too late and the time of checking in had passed already.

To my surprise, I was calm when I heard it. I was already thinking about the next plan.

Then some miracle happened and the Hawaiian airline decided to hold the plane until I was on board. When I was at the security check, it was already 3 minutes to the departure time, which was 9:40am. Passed the security, I ran to the gate 8, accompanied by the staff. I ran as fast as I could and I was so happy I could run like a child.

In my final approach to the aircraft, flight attendants were counting,"5, 4, 3, 2, 1....". I became the last passenger on board and the door was shut upon my boarding.

I walked to my seat, 28G with my heartbeat drumming. I sat down and took "5 deep breath" as written at the door of Kangs' apartment.

And here I am, writing this to meet my need for learning, expression and feedback.

I was so grateful for all the people showed up this morning. Each one I met were helping me one way or another and I am filled with joy and gratitude.

Of course, I felt safe all the time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


it is good to hear that you were on time! such a miracle.

well, i have something to tell you in japanese.
do you read japanese? is it ok to comment in japanese?
if so, please let me know.

thank you for your work.