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Dear Toshi, ..
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My Life with Glenn Gould-1981 # Prologue Departure

Tag: English 1981 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1982 ← Please click here.
Tag: English 1983 ← Please click here.
Other English Version ← Please click here.

b0071688_10532186.jpg

# Prologue Departure

“Mako, take care of yourself!”
“You properly finished with the dentist, right?” 
“Mako, that’s okay if you come back home before long.”

My brother and two sisters are standing at the bullet train platform, straining to keep happy faces. They have similar smiles, similar gesticulation. As I am waving frantically to them, I can see them through the train window disappearing to the right, like a flow of contact prints. I settle down at my seat and breathe a sigh of relief. Sitting roundly next to me is my sister who is three years older than me.

Protected and loved by my family. This was my everything – everything I, a 28-year old Masako, the author of this diary, had. I am leaving Japan, the country so comfortable to live in, and going to Canada where there is almost no one I know.

From time to time, soft pink appears like markers in the windows on our left and right.
“Mr. Gould, this is Japanese national flower!”
Someday, I would love to see cherry blossoms together with Gould. This has been my dream. I am very sad I will miss out on cherry blossoms this year.
 
My life hasn’t been easy. Many of my years have been filled with days without sleep because of fevers and acute pains in my body ever since convulsions started from undetermined cause when I was eight. In addition to convulsions, I’ve suffered from polyneuritis caused by the vitamin B1 deficiency and symptoms resembling cardiac rheumatism. I am not able to take baths because temperature differences bring about convulsions. My mum and I have spent enormous amount of time and money on doctors and medical treatments.

In this suffering of mine, I found strength and support in Gould’s music. And, even when I could virtually practice no piano, Bach Partitas played by Gould had been my whole world.

When I was 15, my mum’s piano teacher suggested, “Why don’t you try to play the Goldberg Variations?”
At the time, I decided I had to make contact with Gould in one way or another, and I concentrated extreme energy and strength into practicing that music pieces. However, what a shock it was when I lost the ability to play because – due to quack treatments I was subjected to – I would lose feeling in my arms and fingers soon after starting the practice.

I am waiting to board the plane at Narita airport. As the airport is basking in the sunset, spirits from the Goldberg Variations are accompanying me. I didn’t even notice that the melody of the Variations that I’d shut out from my heart is flowing around me.

The fragrance of Spanish jasmine was drifting around us like the joy of afternoon sunlight in anticipation of moonrise. Gould’s demonic performances match well the moment of twilight (the witching hour). I wonder if what Freud called “libido” is behind my need to go to Canada.
From chest and above, I feel like a pure girl, but it feels like completely different energy is working in my legs. I often kill boredom with recognizing bouts of smells that emanate from different parts of my body.
When it comes to scents, one of my favourite poets Takuji Ōte left many poems whose main theme is the special sense of smell. I wonder if there are other poets like Takuji Ōte who were relegated to obscurity.
Takuji Ōte had often smelled the scents on his hands, and for this he had been nicknamed “the Bear”.

But, sure enough, I hear that voice.
“Okay, come out. Get well and come to my country one day. This is Canadian nature, its autumn colours, its snow. Come to my country and see the flow of its white clouds. You can hear the Goldberg here. Come and waltz with me.”
I am going to meet Glenn Gould, the person whose piano had made me forget my illnesses.

This spring, Gould was planning to start re-recording of the Goldberg Variations. This second Goldberg turned for Gould and his fans into Gould’s parting words before his departure to afterlife.

                                                               Tranlated by Saiko


Japanese version of this page ・My lLife with Glenn Gould-1981年



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by mhara21 | 2017-06-18 11:03 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)
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