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Gramma and the girl

28 May

One day after March 11th in 2011, my grandmother said in a dinner, “that girl in the TV we saw, lost all her family, and… such a poor girl, it makes me cry”. My mom asked her “But wasn’t there many children like that during the war time?” Grandmother herself had lost all her family except one elder sister in Tokyo bombing.

“Well, that was that kind of time. It was kind of natural”. Then grandfather added, “I never thought I would live more than twenty years… but once the war was over, now I didn’t want to die!” he laughed.

Perhaps gramma saw herself in that child in the TV, though she probably would not admit.

I won’t be political. That’s something I have decided. But that may mean I should face individuals more, and not only observe but record them. I am now thinking of writing biographies of my grandmas. Granddads have already written some by themselves (upon I and mom’s request), but I don’t think that will happen to the ladies. Mom’s interested, but she’s not the spirit for writing or editing… so I must take the initiative.

My recent psychological adventure

15 May

I’m not sure if I’d written this here before, but my mental biorhythm pattern in the past couple of years has been to have a very low-tuned first half a year, and then uprising second half a year. It has been more dramatic in the recent years, and while I had accepted it as something unavoidable, it was also pretty drowning to go through such a depressive first half a year, and had wished to get out of it.

When I went back to Japan in the second half of March, I was made to realise how lonely I was feeling in India. Inevitable, I guess. Where families consist so much the core of the society, however close you become to people, the level of integrity you get has limitation. Well, about this, actually now I have people I feel more close to, those who don’t make me feel so detached. So it’s okay.

But the general stress you receive here is much higher than anywhere I was used to. So, that and the other factor, plus the fact that I am working in a company stroke me all together. That is how I got so worn out. And I realised the degree I was depressed only when I got back to Japan. Is it not an irony? I never had thought Japan to be a place of relief.

Anyway, the point is- after two weeks in Japan, I made up my mind to resolve this situation. That is to face all the traumas and problems my mental body has, and somehow overcome, get rid of and cure them. I wanted to become a better being. So I did.

I
t was a month process. I should have kept record here too, now I don’t remember so much. The two major points were when I encountered a masculine person in myself- who hated me! – and when I realised that I had wanted to become somebody else. I won’t go into details, it will bore you, and I am writing this just to update me to some of my close friends. You just need to know that I have overcome something very big; and that now I am bright and powerful again.

*

…Thank you for the birthday wishes, by the way.

connection

28 Dec

A while ago I attended a poetry reading session of Gary Snyder and Shuntaro Tanigawa.
Last year, I was still in Japan. I knew nothing about Gary Snyder then, although I was a huge fan of Tanigawa.

I must confess that, the poetry itself was not so easy for me to grasp from just one hearing (perhaps partly due to my not being so used to American English). However, there was something about his presence and talk that gave deep impression to me.

This morning I came to find an article about Tetsuo Nagasawa and Nanao Sakaki, and then as I searched about them, again I encountered the name of Gary Snyder.

I’m not going to discuss Gary Snyder’s poetry. I don’t know enough yet.

But the way those people were/are connected gives me much inspiration and hope, to how we may be able to live.

I and friends are primarily women, and perhaps much more practical and conforming to the society, than those extraordinary men. Yet the way we are conscious and interested in the world, and how we feel connected, I think, somehow have things in common.

We can only prove it through time. We are still young (I insist!). I just hope you and they will not mind my looking for some inspiration and hope from them.

craving for good stories

26 Dec

Suddenly I am remembering my home in Japan. When I was sitting, almost lying, on a sofa at night alone, under yellowy light. Without any disturbing noise.

This is not so much my longing for family, because in reality, once any of the family members come back, such tranquility was destroyed. They will turn on the TV, and that’s the end. I hate the noise of TV, especially Japanese TV. I will never miss it.

But certainly it was the safety provided by the presence of family and home, that gave me such secure feeling. Also the warmth of home at winter time was something special. Those things, I do miss.

In such an environment, I would read books, and get absorbed into the stories… recently, I have trouble with it. I do still read, but I do not get such comfort and security that I used to get.

I miss my home where I could simply soak myself into stories… I guess I am getting something similar out of theatres and performances, but they are still something different, given that I cannot be unaware of the public surroundings.

It is either I change the environment, or change my own lifestyle. There seem to be chances for both. See how it goes.

I am craving for good stories.

dilemma

19 Oct

When I was a teenager, it was a crime to skip school; that was how I used to feel. I never really liked school, so, so often I wanted to simply not go to school, or just skip some boring classes and spend time at the art room……

However in reality, I felt guilty if I for any good reason did not attend classes. I remember wanting to become sick very eagerly as a child, so that I can be absent from school legitimately. My mom too was apparently like me when she was a child, so sometimes she kind of recommended me to just skip. But I, even after so many complaints and cries, would still go, unless I am actually, really, and undoubtedly, in a condition unable to go.

Now, I think that was totally ridiculous. Every one ought to have the right to choose off days and on days… I know, with some things, like looking after plants or animals… you cannot have ‘off’. But actually, the system that causes such responsibility and obligation is pretty man-made too. Most living beings are able to look after themselves. Even those who are not that part of the majority, still there should be some kind of community or an environment that can look after them; not just an obligation of a single being.

Back to the topic. Working in a company, while I still have the same kind of guilt and loyalty that causes me to drag myself to the office every weekday- you see, as a teacher, I cannot be absent even if any of the students can be absent- I am at the same time absolutely sure that this does not truely worth. So that is why I predicted yesterday afternoon that I am going to get sick today. Don’t worry, I made the arrangaments to make up for it. I do have that kind of common sense.

Teaching ability is one of the gifts I am bestowed with. It is my passion. But right now, the confines of the environment is just too much, and I feel so helpless. This week was particularly bad, I was losing breaths from just sitting there and thinking about things. I conducted very bad classes, except the one on Thursday, which was after my declare of today’s sickness.

I actually felt the same kind of thing when I was in Japan, as I was teaching children aged 13 to 15 at a tutoring school. I loved them, but at the same time I wished it was not based on institutional fee system; I just had to wonder why do we live in such an economy-based society? I wish I was not paid so that I have no confinements in the kind of things I can do for them. Yet, money was actually my reason to be there, without which I would not have met the students… The good thing was that the boss there was genuinely an educator, and was an interesting and understanding person. I did not feel as chain-bound as I could have.

Anyway! I am off today, did a lot of cleaning and singing. I am happy, i.e. my condition has become better. Now I should have my time for reading. I’ve been having a really bad thirst for good stories. I hope today’s is a good one.