Sunday, December 15, 2013


Alright guys, this is it, it is THE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Well some of you will know this story, and others may not.  I was raised by a single father whom was an artist for a living, and he was the single greatest influence in my life to everything that I am now.  You'd be hard pressed to meet such a beautiful soul in the world, and I feel so grateful for the time we had together.  He taught me to love, to create, and to share.  Community and art was our life, and with that as my base, I grew.  My father passed away when I was 18 years old... almost 10 years ago but I have not forgotten about him.  

His name was Pete Zawadzki, and I could not have asked for a better parent.  I am where I am and who I am because of him.   He is held dearly in my heart, though I can feel him slipping away from the world in a sense, and I feel that it is time to do something.

I've been living in Japan for five years now, and it is a beautiful life here, and I do so love it.  But there is also something very special about my home town filled with the crazies...   It is a whole 'nother world here and there, but each have their strong points.  Truth be told, I have no idea at all where in the world I want to spend my life at this point.  

What I do know is that back in the United States, I have a storage unit sitting with hundreds of paintings by my father, just gathering dust, and I consider it the saddest story of my life.

I can remember the first time I left America, I felt at such peace to be away.  Then, from the very first time I stepped foot **back on US soil** from a trip abroad, I knew quite clearly that the US was not a place I could stay forever.

And yet, with that said, as time keeps on passing, and thoughts keep on molding... I have found myself in awe of the respect for one's own country that I find here in Japan.  There is something to be proud of in this country, and it has made me yearn for such a feeling.  I've decided I want to spend some more time in the United States, and to give myself something to be proud of where I come from.

Next year will be 10 years since my father's death, and with all this in mind, I have decided that next year I am going to return to the United States for a while.  I'm planning to bicycle through all of the states, and  I intend to put a painting of my father's in a locally owned business in each state.   It is my tribute to my father, and my tribute to home.

I am calling the project American Ongaeshi (恩返し)ー A Tribute to Home.  Ongaeshi is a Japanese word that does not translate very well into English.  It means to repay a favor, and is often used in the case of a parent taking care of a child, and a child doing something to return the favor for that. 

I'll have to admit, I'm both incredibly excited and terrified all at once.  I honestly have no idea at all if this is even possible, but what i have decided is that I have to at least try.  I have to do what I can, and I have to share my father's art with the world -- to keep it alive, to keep him alive in a sense.  And I do so love a good journey!

For now, I still have another 6 months in Japan -- I'm intending to leave in mid May.  I am in Japan, and I want to be in Japan and live life here well.  This is no time for goodbyes!

実はたくさんの理由で、私にとって日本はとても大切な所です。だから、来年のアメリカ帰国は、日本への「GOODBYE」ではなく、「SEE YOU」です。後五ヶ月ぐらいありますので、その時まで、たくさん遊びましょう!