合い言葉GG
by mhara21
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☆マサコのプロフィール
13才のときにグレン・グールドのピアノに 出会う。以来抱き続けたグールドに会うという夢を追って28才でカナダへ。後追い日記はその記録である。
属性はシャーマン。


☆ミクシに習って、ぬさんからの紹介状
不在の幻影から愛するひとを救い出し、グーグルキャッシュの中に愛のエクリチュールを刻印しつづける、GGの恋人。二人はもう触れあうことができないが故に永遠に惹き付けあうことができる、まるで恒星と惑星の関係のような、あらゆる恋人が夢見るユートピアに住むひとです。


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田中希代子:生誕86年・没後22年を記念して

b0071688_10530734.jpeg

もしも神様が悪人を退治して、善人を守る伝説があるとしたら、
私はそれは嘘だと思う。

田中希代子さんは世界で最も謙虚で純粋、
精進の毎日で美を追求する音楽家だった。

「知性は差し出しても受け取られることがない」
という言葉通り、通俗的で汚れきった魂を愛する人たちから、
見向きもされなかった。

それはバレンボイムがシュナーベルを評した言葉に似ているかもしれない。
「シュナーベルの音楽は当時、精神的な人以外、見向きもされなかった」

台湾に日本統治時代の呼称が「火焼島(かしょうとう)
現在の呼称『緑島』がある。
中国語では「リュィタオ」
台湾語では「リョットー」
この4つの呼称を持つ島には、政治囚専用の監獄があった。
悪い人が佳い人ばかりを、デタラメに閉じ込め、迫害した。
中国本土から来た人々(国民党)の恥部というべき場所だった。

緑を愛するピアニスト・田中希代子さんは
35才から亡くなる64才21日まで、スタニスクフ・レム著「ソラリス」の
「欠陥を持った神」により、音楽囚として『緑島』に閉じ込められた。
その理由は
 「美しすぎるピアノを弾いたから」という罪

今年はコア・キフォアさんの詩を捧げます。

~~~~~~~~

  燃えよ、火燒島  柯 旗化

     ──1988年9月、十數年前緑島政治犯監獄で過ごした
       暗黒の日々を思い出して作る

  島の北端の
  丘の麓にある政治犯墓地
  この世の地獄の苦しみを嘗め盡し
  恨を飲んで死んだ獄友が
  寂しくここに眠っている

  暴政にあえぐ同胞を救う為
  尊い命を捧げた友よ
  今は人人に忘れられ
  その孤獨な魂は怒濤と化して
  晝は海に咆哮し
  夜は濱邊で號泣する

  看守の目を盗んで
  墓地の傍で
  暫し肩のもっこをおろして佇み
  死んだ獄友に向い
  頭を下げて黙祷する
  西の方眺めれば
  荒波吼える海の遙か彼方に
  台灣の山々が私を呼んでいる

  牢獄と勞働キャンプを
  轉々として既に十余年
  来る年も来る年も
  空しく素通りして
  懐かしいわが家に
  何時歸れるというあてもなく
  長年絶えずさいなまれて
  疲れ果てたこの身は
  いつまで生きて居れるやら
  小聲で妻子の名呼べば
  いつか目がうるむ

  だがもう一人の私が
  わが身を鞭打っている
  たとえ力盡きて倒れようとも
  私は依然として元の私であり
  真理はどこまでも真理である

  燃えよ火燒島
  長い年月抑えられて来た
  台灣人の怒りは
  いつか火を吹いて
  腐敗したものをきっとみな
  燒き盡してしまうだろう


  Burn, The Burning Island  Kua Ki-hua

――Written in Sep.1988 in memory of the dark days
I had as a political prisoner some fifteen years
ago on the Green Island.
[Notes]the Burning Island――an old name of
the Green Island.

  The cemetery for political prisoners
  Located at the foot of a hill
  In the northern tip of the island,
  A number of fellow prisoners
  who suffered hell on earth,
  pocketing their insults,
  are lying forlornly there.

  My friends,
  You offered your precious lives
  to save the suffering brethren.  
  But now you're forgotten by people.
  Your lonely spirits have changed
  to raging waves,
  Roar in the sea during the daytime,
  Cry bitterly on the strand
  during the night.

  Avoiding the ward's eye
  I laid down the two large
  basketful of soil carrying on
  my shoulder.
  I stood before the grave and
  prayed silently for the dead friend
  with my head bending low.

  Looking over the west
  Far beyond the surging sea
  The mountains of Taiwan
  are calling me.

  Traveling between prison and the labor camp
  For some dozen years,
  Hopelessly waiting for the day
  to return home where my heart
  has been lingering on.
  But each year passed by
  only to discourage me.
  Tortured for many a year
  I am quite worn out.
  How much longer can I live on?
  Calling my wife's and children's names
  in a low voice,
  I feel my eyes get wet.

  However another self is whipping myself.
  Even if I used up my last bit
  of strength and fell down,
  I'll still be myself as ever.
  And truth will be truth for ever.

  Burn, the Burning Island
  The fury of Formosans
  oppressed for so many years
  will burst out some day.
  The raging flames will burn out
  everything rotten without fail.

台湾語
b0071688_10553359.jpg



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# by mhara21 | 2018-01-16 10:55 | 田中希代子 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-30 : My Diary

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

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#My Diary : October 15

They also offer a concert grand piano for rental on the underground floor of bookstore on the corner of Cowan Avenue. I worry about costs of heating in the church, so I use rental piano as well. However, they allow practicing twice a week per person, one hour per practice. Today, I ignore the time again. “You are over your time limit. Please respect the rules!” a librarian warns me. I ignore her completely. I want to continue playing on and on.

The other day I found Gould’s recording of the Goldberg Variations in A&A Records and G. Henle Verlag Goldberg Variations in a sheet music shop. I couldn’t help buying them.

I gam getting requests for babysitting from everywhere. I can’t refuse even though I am not in good health. Every time when the baby in my boardinghouse cries, for some reason I hear his crying as a version of Aria from Goldberg Variations.
Thomas Mann used “serenity, grace, harmony, empathy” to describe newly born babies. When it comes to music, nothing but this Aria can faithfully express the awe-inspiring innocent helplessness of that tiny being. The aura around a newborn baby is filled with light that we can but call god’s love.

I bring with me the Goldberg Variations record when I go babysitting, and listen to Gould’s piano with the children. Children find the swishing sound of the quick parts amusing.

While babysitting I remember the “Tale of Genji”, a novel written by Murasaki Shikibu*.
Spending time with small children who have especially nice fragrance, I am reminded particularly of Onna-sannomiya, a female character from the novel who was considered to have a wonderful body scent.

When I was a young girl the “Tale of Genji” was a special reading for me because it included many tanka** poems, also written by Murasaki Shikibu.
Since the “Tale of Genji” is very long for a general reader, it is considered that we can grasp the literary value and enjoy the whole work by reading the ‘Wakana (Young Greens)’ part of the novel, the 34th quire. I myself didn’t put much effort into the reading of the novel after the ‘Asagao (Morning Glory)’, the 20th quire.

~~~~~~~~~~~

*Murasaki Shikibu, (c. 978 – c. 1014) court lady and the author of the Tale of Genji, generally considered the greatest work of Japanese literature and thought to be the world’s oldest full novel.
**tanka (“short poem”), a genre of classical Japanese poetry, known best its five-line, 5-7-5-7-7 syllable form. Originated in the 7th century and is one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

Translated by Saiko

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# by mhara21 | 2018-01-15 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-29 : Speaking in English

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_11020001.jpg


#Speaking in English

There is a big heater behind my back where I sit and play the piano in the church, so I am warm. I don’t recall anyone telling me to switch off the heater before leaving home, but I do it anyway.
I think people rarely remember the gratitude they feel when something has been done even though they haven’t actually voiced a request for it.
My time in church rarely coincided with the priest’s. He always said he enjoyed my piano practice, but I would return home out of consideration for him.

He offered me a gift of money as a sign of appreciation, but I told him, “It’s free.” I wanted to say, “I am sorry but I cannot accept that…” but I have no idea what I actually said.
My English was always incoherent. I always made mistakes like mixing “he” and “she”.

Martha gave birth to a baby boy on August 24. For a long time I thought the baby’s name was “Jane”.
I hadn’t noticed my mistake until they told me, “His name is James! Jane is a girl’s name.”
Speaking about that, I knew that in the US they give hurricanes female names. “Hurricane Jane” or “Hurricane Catherine”.
I also knew that James was a boy’s name, but that was not an active knowledge acquired through contact with real people.

My tongue gets tied when I need to stand and talk in front of other people even in my own language. Then I am not able to comprehend spoken language either.
The situation was the same with English. There was no way I could learn the English language through conversation with native speakers. It was precisely spoken language I had to learn in my own country first because unless I knew the proper use of words and shades of their meanings I could end up making idiots out of my speaking partners in the most unpredictable ways.
Learning the background of a word is a very important thing.

Since I had no other preparations in English except fully memorizing texts from the language learning radio programme, it was a rocky road for me. I had so much stress because of the language.
My head would be spinning, I would often get ahead of myself, I was unable to grasp the sounds.
In Miki Sawada’s book it was written that acquiring language knowledge was more valuable than possessing a handsome figure or precious gemstones. The ability to speak languages helps us reduce our fears. We can say a bit of something to convey our thanks or that we’re sorry. It is especially important to be able to say something in a polite way. In this manner we can reduce somewhat our speaking partner’s sense of mistrust that may arise in our communication due to language.

Except when communication concerns work, people of a similar mind and heart can communicate telepathically. It is better, however, to have the ability to converse well than not to have it. That is what language science is about. In that respect, successful application of that ability is as important as any of our other abilities when it comes to arranging our life in all its spheres.

Translated by Saiko 

Photo: James and his little brother and sister





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# by mhara21 | 2018-01-01 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-28 : Insect Disturbance

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_10592384.jpg


#Insect Disturbance

Autumn leaves season in Toronto is beautiful.

And yet, for me, a new kind of torment began. My landlady Mrs Liang had some old lumber brought into the house and the house was soon crawling with insects or bedbugs or whatever that was. She wanted to get the repair cost for the kitchen reduced in this way.

I suffered a bite after a bite till my whole body was a complete mess. I don’t know if it was because the bugs like soft spots, but people who saw the bite marks on my chest had to avert their eyes. At first, I thought it was allergy so I refrained from saying anything. Also, the landlady claimed I got the bites in the church.

However, after a while other people in the house started to get insect bites as well, so the landlady got serious about the problem and apologized to me.
I always get the short end of the stick, though. I counted 40 bug bites in just one of nasty areas on my body. Even though there was a 4-month baby in the house as well. It was the baby who should have been bitten worst.
The insects start biting from the weakest person.
Which meant I had lower resistance than a baby!

At the pharmacy I got a medicine that should be diluted and applied to the whole body. This medicine was effective for the skin that was already scratched off. However, the bugs were still a problem.
Money solves many troubles. Had the hose owners invested more into buying a new building material, the bugs wouldn’t have been brought in at all.

The couple who owned the house were thrifty people.
Once they asked me to help them with the purchase of a piano. I went with Mrs Liang to examining the piano at the seller’s place. My landlord was late for the appointment, and when he finally showed up the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “Are you friends with the seller?”
“No, we just met today,” I replied.

I was relieved because I think he believed they might get cheated in the transaction if the seller were my friend.


Translated by Saiko


Previous page :1981-27 : A Gift from Glenn Gould Part 1
Next page : 1981-29 : Speaking in English

Japanese version of this page・後追い日記81年28・虫騒動 


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# by mhara21 | 2017-12-23 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-27 : A Gift from Glenn Gould Part 1

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_12052370.jpg
#A Gift

I got a call from Francis at the end of September. “I have a record for you from Gould. A man who takes care of his affairs brought it over to our house. Unfortunately I was out at the time. He left a message that Gould can’t meet you because he’s very busy now. He’s mistaken you with an ordinary Glenn’s fan. How can we get through to him that you are different? Maybe we could write a letter to Glenn and tell him more about you?”

Gould’s reply to my inquiry I heard through Francis was just as I thought it would be. I understand. Even if he were not busy he wouldn’t have met with me.
However, since Robert and Francis knew me and trusted me, they wanted to do something for me. Because of our conversations and letters I’d sent them, they were well aware of my limitations when it came to the English language. I guess they thought it would not work in my favour to contact Gould directly. They were worried about my ability to communicate in English, so they suggested they sent Glenn a letter for me. I was deeply touched and grateful for this on the one hand, but felt peeved on the other.

The next day I had some business near Southwood, and since I was very impatient I dropped by the Smiths’ place before the agreed day and time. I was very sorry because I woke Robert from his sleep.

Thusly, on October the 4th the gift that looked like it had just arrived from Gould and that included 5 records with his autograph was placed into my hands. Gould died precisely one year later.

With my precious package in hands I took the subway to Dundas Street, changed to the streetcar, and went to let the glittering Lake Ontario about the records.

According to Ray Roberts, who had been working for Gould for 12 years, because of his superstition Gould made it a point not to give his records to other people.
Gould almost never listened to his own records, and when Roberts asked him for one Gould refused saying, “Today’s not a good day for that.”

My present was an autographed collection of Wagner’s compositions that was not intended for sale. It included records from “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master-Singers of Nuremberg): Prelude to Act 1”, “Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)” to “Siegfried Idyll”, and the Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos.

The Complete Beethoven Piano Concertos recording (a 4-record set in one album cover)

The back
b0071688_12061838.jpg
The description of the content on the left and right inside of the case
b0071688_12065544.jpg

It is written

 “For Promotion Only

 Ownership Reserved by CBS.

 Sale Is Unlawful”

b0071688_12214627.jpg

Translated by Saiko



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# by mhara21 | 2017-12-17 12:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(1)

Diary Entry 1981-26 : Immigration Part 2

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_12474133.jpg


#Immigration Part 2

The 1st of October was the Immigration day. An immigration officer would come out from one of their small offices into the waiting room to personally call the name of the next person in line.
One of them in particular caught my eye, and I was so happy he was the one who called my name when my turn came. I heard it was easier to deal with male than female officers, but I didn’t even dream how easy it would be.
Though I didn’t speak after entering the room, he just said, “Did you like it here during these 8 months?” and placed a visa stamp until the 15th of May 1982 in my passport. How generous he was!

I learned later that the Immigration kept records from the first time we register there, so I guess he thought my previous record good.

From the Immigration centre I spring straight to a department store. I bought a down coat made in China, for winter season. I also bought deerskin gloves fro no less than 26 dollars. I am a silly person who expresses both her joy and sadness through shopping.
I felt so happy I went around the town dressed in my new down coat. Nobody stared at me, not even when I rode on the streetcar. Foreigners normally gaze directly at people’s eyes or faces, but when someone acts differently or strange, few are those who show curiosity towards such person.



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# by mhara21 | 2017-12-10 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-25 : This and That of Toronto

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_12454348.jpg



#This and That of Toronto

There was only one school class in the program of Hansa Language Centre.
I miss my classmate Marseille, who was then a live-in babysitter in North York.
I yearned for marriage, but her words would discourage me. “The kid who always sleeps with me is very cute. But, being a mother is a really terrible job,” she’d say.

In a beautiful building close to Hansa was the Metropolitan Library designed by Raymond Moriyama.
On the 2nd floor of the library I could find and listen to some good old records.

b0071688_12442024.jpg
I could go anywhere by myself in Toronto, to the zoo, the Science Centre, Ontario Place.

Once, I was looking in fascination at a horse in the Horse Palace when I heard a gentle voice, “It’s all right,” coming from above. I raised my head and saw that, of course, there was someone on the horse. I was so completely absorbed by the horse that I never noticed there was a human sitting up there.

b0071688_12444855.jpg

I could drink tap water in Toronto. It was cool and tasty.
I would boil two bundles of somen noodles and when I would rinse them in water they would look like a white kimono being washed in the river.
Vegetables in Toronto had a bit strong alkaline taste, but both vegetables and fruits were available in abundance.

When we live alone we spend time taking care of our own needs. On the other hand, it’s a lot of work to make proper meals three times a day.

The kitchen of the house I lived in was on the north side, facing west. The back garden was wide, and on the other side there was a shed that looked like a tiny house. I often used the stairs by the kitchen that led outside because they were close to my room.
There was a storage pocket under the stairs, but mice appeared and ate away the precious Japanese food I stored there. At another lodging, mice destroyed some of my clothes.
It seems that mouse infestation was a common occurrence in old houses. Although I was living in an urban area, I was able to experience and enjoy in those houses a lifestyle similar to that in the countryside.

In September, in order to deal with my allergies, I reduced the piano practicing time and tried to focus my attention to other things. As a result, I practiced only nine days, with the average practice time of 21 minutes per day. One of my allergy symptoms was what you call “rash” in English. This was one of medical terms I had no chance to learn through my radio language course.

This quite life of mine unfortunately went topsy-turvy when the kitchen remodelling started. I couldn’t make any food there for days, and the house got dirty with all the ancient dust and grime.



b0071688_12460140.jpg
↑A photo of the current Metropolitan Toronto Library.


Translated by Saiko





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# by mhara21 | 2017-11-30 00:00 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-24 : My Diary

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

#My Diary August 30th

Gould’s father’s name was written in one book I borrowed from Francis – Russell Herbert. I looked up his address in the phone book, and went in search of his house.

I was surprised when I realised that the view of the bus terminal for city and intercity buses that linked directly to Eglinton Subway Station looked exactly like a photo from a book my father bought for me when I was a child.

b0071688_12412390.jpg
(“Cultural Map of the World”, from Canada, Mexico and Cuba, June 1966, Kōdansha Ltd.)

There was a whole book collection, and it introduced lifestyles and histories of people from different countries. Through these books I travelled the world. I learned that lily bulbs were exported from Okinoerabujima, a Japanese island famous for its lilies, as “Easter Lilies”. There was also a photo of a dining room with a young couple. With their heads pressed together they were looking intently at the dinner menu. Under the photo was an explanation, “In restaurants with paper napkins, even these two young people can eat without worrying about their bill.”

An Oriental country bumpkin like me believed that a blond beauty in a reddish-brown suit would of course be wealthy. From this explanation I could sense for the first time the reality of people’s lives in foreign countries.

It was a “Cultural Map of the World” that never even mentioned Gould and that left me unsatisfied. This was also why I pushed myself all the way to Canada.

I took a bus towards east from Eglinton station and went down a slope with marvellous scenery. The bus made a turn in front of a hotel where Gould had his studio and then it continued straight. I got off the bus holding a map in one hand, and immediately found 61 Norden Crescent.

It takes Glen’s father ten minutes by car from here to his son’s workplace. I guess even when apart from his son Gould’s father wants to keep an eye on his son’s work. That may be the reason why he got a house close to his son’s workplace even after remarrying.

I didn’t have courage to ring the bell. I stood there staring at the entrance of the house until a neighbour came asking, “Do you need something?”
I wanted to tell her, “I envy you for living so close to Gould’s father.”

Feeling that was not the place for the incompetents like me, I returned to my lodgings with a bitter taste of failure in my mouth.




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# by mhara21 | 2017-11-29 11:58 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-23 : LanguageTraining Programs for Immigrants

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_12401995.jpg
#LanguageTraining Programs for Immigrants

August passes with me drinking medicines and going tothe doctor.

Since I can’t play the piano, I adjust my schedule so Ican attend evening English languageclasses for immigrants that are taking place in a highschool building.
“Please come on time and enter the class.”

I went there as I was told and entered the firstclassroom where a lesson was starting. The teacher was an Indian, and she asked me to be thefacilitator for the class.

After the lesson two persons from Yugoslavia approachme, a brother with his younger sister. “There is a person in my country who isthe spitting image of you,” the sister remarks. “It is really true what they say,that each of us has two other people around the world who look just alike. Theirhairstyle, the chin, the teeth, everything is exactly the same. Even theirvoice and the way of speaking are similar.”
Her brother eagerly nodded his head.

Toronto is simplymarvelous. Since there are more Japanese tourists traveling in Vancouver thanin Toronto, they take strict measures to prevent the travelers from usingprograms for immigrants.
However, when I reached advancedcourse in English program for immigrants in Toronto my teacher just asked me,“Welcome to Toronto. How long have you been living here?”

The brother and sister from Yugoslavia were also justtraveling in Toronto during summer. I later followed the news about theYugoslav civil war with hopes that both of them were safe.
 
During the day I go to the doctor or I sleep. When I canpractice a little I play the piano, and then I have dinner at home.
Around 7 o’clock I am in astreetcar, gazingat the bright Lake Ontario until I reachDundas West station. I transfer to the subway and when I reach Christie stationI walk towards the high school building. Even this simple life isfilled with happiness in Toronto.

There is a type of people – type A – who feels shock upon arriving to a newcountry and starting living there. If possible, they seek to return to theirhome country. Another type – type B – adjusts comfortably to their newsurrounding, but after several years they experience another kind of culturalshock from the type A people. The confusion that the type B faces is severeindeed. I belong to the type B.

Between July 28th and August 28th Iwas able to play the piano 19 out of 32 days. I played in average 43 minutes perpractice. The days I could play the piano had always been precious to me.
However, due to my health problems there were days whenI couldn’t play for more than 15 minutes. When I’d put together 30 minutes ofpractice, I would mark it as a circle in a chart I’d prepared. When I managed onlya 15-minute practice, I would mark it as a half-filled circle in the chart.
I loved making these charts, hanging them on the wall,and then filling it outwith circles as I played.

Translated by Saiko


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# by mhara21 | 2017-11-21 18:40 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)

Diary Entry 1981-22 : Allergies

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#Allergies

The room where I practiced the piano was in a wide chapel decorated with stained glass. The room was a bit scary because the light there was dim and I felt as if ghosts were looming in shadows.
On third day of my piano practice I got an allergy attack. When I’d turn my face just a bit down I would start feeling painful tingles. Whenever I decide to do something, immediately problems like this begin.

When I was in elementary school, for each day at school, I would have to rest one day at home. On rare occasions when I’d go to school for two days in a row, I would have to rest for three days. My physical strength today is the same as then.
In junior high, when I would go to school for three days in a row, I would end up with different hives during the day and during the night, and I couldn’t sleep even at night.
One spiritualist interpreted my symptoms saying, “This is happening because your ancestors’ graves are covered with weeds,” but our ancestors graves should be clean now.

Now this, in spite of all the efforts to make my practicing possible…
When I went to sleep in my room alone I remembered a seat cushion my mum made for me. She’d unsewn a grey serge skirt, and made it into a big square piece of cloth and eight small rectangular pieces. At the corners of the seat cushion she’d embroidered dandelions, violets and a tulip She’d made the tulip in two colours and she used a deep yellow for the central part of the violet flowers. The dandelions had a lovely design, and they looked like fluffy woollen clouds about to float away. At the remaining corner my mum embroidered her own imaginary flower.
Incorporating colours and talent, courage and sweetness in the design, she portrayed my life with a road of flowers in a vivid and deeply emotional way.

She stitched the pieces of cloth together using the lace she crocheted out of a thick red embroidery thread. This was a seat cushion for school use, and it attended many classes in school instead of me.
Sometimes my classmates would complain, “Ms Hara, your seat cushion is always falling down when we move your chair or desk during cleaning. And then somebody always has to pick it up and put it on your chair.”
The classmate living closest to me would wrap in a piece of straw paper the bread and margarine from our school lunch and bring it to me at home.
My seat cushion was like a children’s storybook. The value it represented was “self-respect and dignity”.
As if it spoke to me, “Your body may be weak but you will survive, so be proud of yourself.”

The smell of my mother had reminded me of a heliotrope. She had been very mischievous. She would call Gould by pet names like “Gureguru-chan” or “Guruchichi”, saying it was “cute” and that she was “getting proficient” in giving him nicknames, as if he were her schoolmate.

Nobody could consider my mother vulgar or common. She had had such grace, like the fragrance of wintersweet flower that carried through a paper sliding door of a convent. She’d loved flowers. She’d grown all kinds of flowering plants, from small tulip bulbs that wouldn’t normally bloom to plants with flowers as small as the tip of the pinkie finger. Even after her death, tulips would bloom in our garden all on their own and in the most unexpected places.
They were tulips in their original, small size. Her voice had resembled a duet of a skylark and a nightingale in the early spring. Compare to a fruit, she had been like a creamy, skin pink “peach”, gentle and soft, yet firm of core.

Our mother’s dream had been to raise her children into persons as independent as frankincense. When we, her daughters, learned half a year before her death that our mother was going to die of cancer, we joked gloomily, “She’s just bought her glasses and had her teeth fixed, and now we won’t be able to recover the cost.”

Saying that, “We can make other people happy when we are able to do work around the house,” she taught me how to cook.
On the days when I was not able to go to school due to hypotension of 50-60 mm Hg, she would send me out to do something for her in the evenings when I would finally become able to move. “You have to go out once during the day,” she would say.

My mother had wanted me to go out of the house at least once a day. She’d thought it was important for my mood to keep in touch with the outside world. She hadn’t wanted me to isolate myself in the narrow world of our household.
However, this would put me in uncomfortable situations with my classmates. I could feel their disapproval, “You didn’t come to school today because you were ill, and yet you are not home resting…” The teachers would also frown at me as if saying, “You look well enough…”

“You just don’t feel well enough to go to school during the day. However, when you feel even a bit better, it is good to do some work.”
These were my mother’s words of encouragement when I would get annoyed at the surprised reactions of my classmates and on some occasions my teachers when I would bump into them.


Two bags my mum made for me to carry to the church.
[two photos]

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# by mhara21 | 2017-11-13 20:18 | 後追い日記81年 | Comments(0)