Saturday, June 18, 2011

Boy's eye in the keyhole.

Once I was in the restroom of a railway terminal. It was what some people would call "no.2". As I was sitting there, I noticed that there was a footstep outside. Incredibly, an eye looked into my private space through the keyhole. It was a small boy, about 5 years old.

The boy looked into the toilet quite eagerly. His eye showed all the symptoms of earnestness and concentration. Naturally I felt strange, but then understood.

The boy apparently wanted to go to the toilet so desperately. An emergency situation. It was apparently "no.2". If it had been "no.1", the boy would have gone the other way. As the boy was so intent on going to the toilet, he was looking into the otherwise private space, to see who was there, and what he was up to.

Fortunately for the boy, I was just about to finish. So I said, "wait, I will be finished very soon. Just wait!"
After flushing, I opened the door. A cute boy hurried into the toilet, noticeably relieved.

As I went back to the corridors of the terminal building, I could not help smiling. How desperate the boy must have been! To this day, I remember the very intent expression of the boy's eye in the keyhole. It reminded me of a wild rabbit I once encountered out there in Scotland.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Octopus Woman of Wales

I stayed in England for two years, and have been returning to the country ever since. I found the English true to the reputation world wide. Reserved, masters of understatements.

Therefore it was a shock to learn an alternative culture different from the English. One day I traveled to Wales. I got on the train to reach Cardiff. On the way to St. David's, Britain's smallest city, I dropped off the station and went into a pub.

The pub was fairly crowded at the middle of the day. There was a group of people near the window, making a merry music. A man was playing the guitar, and men and women were singing to the music. As I look back, that scene itself was already a rarity, to an eye accustomed to the English reservedness.

I found a seat at the bar, and sipped a pint of local ale. The music making folks had apparently been drinking quite a few pints of beer themselves, judging from the merriment of their noise.

Suddenly, a woman stood up, and started walking. She came towards me dancing, moving her arms and legs like an octopus. As she passed by me, something incredible happened. She grabbed my private part, squeezed it, and went on walking, dancing like an octopus.

I was naturally shocked and was still aghast, when the woman returned from the restroom. She was still dancing like an octopus. I anticipated a repeat.

My anticipation went unanswered. The victim this time was a gentleman sitting a few stools away. The octopus woman walked dancing, and grabbed the private part of that gentleman, squeezed it, and went back to the music group, dancing like an octopus.

People laughed, the gentleman laughed, and I laughed at last, recovering from repercussions of the unknown. Maybe things were different in Wales. Take it easy, and let things go. After a few pints and a bathing in the sun of a golden afternoon, I began to understand the Welsh way of life.

I have encountered many strange things in my life, but my private part has been squeezed by a woman only once. Here's to the octopus woman of Wales.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Once in a lifetime you notice an entirely new universe, and see that stars are shining in a great constellation. In the naive belief that they're near, you try to reach out, only to realize the formidable distance between the sources of light and your good self.

At those moments, you feel so desperate. You feel that the distance is never to be overcome. You can only yearn for the stars, and are forever bound to the earth. You feel so miserable and tiny.

And yet, here's a thought that might make you relax. True, you may never reach the stars. True, you might not become a member of the constellation yourself. However, it remains that you have seen it. There are lives led quite happily without ever knowing the existence of the new universe that you are craving for. People living in blissful ignorance. You, who have looked up at the sky, and noticed the stars shining, are nearer to that space than before.

Even if you cannot reach the stars physically, lights have already started to shine within yourself. You may think that stars shine only in the heavenly space. But one day, you might find a little tiny luminance within your heart, independent of the constellation above, but inspired by, and enlivened through, a subtle resonance between your good self and the unreachable stars.

When this happens, you would smile like you have never smiled before. And I'd love to see that smile. Maybe I would love the smile better than the constellations.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Red bag was the object of desire.

When I was at kindergarten, there were two kinds of bags for milk money. Each morning we would bring 50 yen for the milk provided at lunch. White bag was for the ordinary milk, and red bag was for the coffee-flavored one.

In the morning, we would put the milk money bag into a wooden box, with our names on it. Some were white, others were red. Somehow, my mother got an idea into her head that I was never allowed to bring the red bag to kindergarten. I looked with a painful agony and wishfu longing at the red bags that my friends brought and joyfully put into the wooden box.

Red bag was the dream of my life. Red bag was the object of desire. There was nothing more adorable than the sight of a red bag
in the wooden box. I remember it vividly even now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yellow umbrella.

It is rainy season in Japan now, so that every day is almost certainly wet. I can't say I enjoy this time of the year so much. I am a walker, and do not like to carry around an umbrella. I do, however, have a cherished memory associated with the rainy season. It started with an umbrella.

I was 9, a 3rd grader in the elementary school. One day it was raining hard, and I was alone in the classroom. It was dark inside and outside. I was feeling lonely. I don't recall why I lingered on in the classroom. Maybe I left something behind and returned to get it. I was a careless boy then, and probably still am.

Feeling the pain, I went to the window, and looked on the school ground. There was not a soul there, except a classmate of mine. It was Kumiko. Kumiko held a yellow umbrella, and walked alone in the pouring rain, in the middle of the school ground.

I do not know how it happened. Kumiko seemed so small, so isolated, and yet she carried on with her steps, holding the yellow umbrella, walking towards the school gate, perhaps in pain like myself. Exactly at that moment, I realized that Kumiko was dear to me. It was the first time in my life that I ever realized that someone was so special in my heart. It was a moment of love.

Thus, the rainy season is somehow associated with the image of Kumiko, with a yellow umbrella, walking alone in the school ground. When I think about it, the raindrops becomes tears from a past long gone.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Other people are mirrors.

Other people are mirrors. In them, you see the reflection of your own self. Sometimes the reflections are distorted, but they are still helpful in coming to terms with yourself.

Often it so happens that you express at length your deepest passion, what you value, only to be ridiculed and ignored in the end. It has not come across to the listener. Your eloquent expressions have fallen on deaf ears. At those moments, you feel as if you have been betrayed by the world, and you start secretly licking your wounds. And yet, what is actually happening then is a beautiful self-recognition. You have come to your true self by stumbling on the rocky surface of miscommunication.

At other occasions the resonance is overwhelming, sometimes almost frightening. You feel your own idea appreciated and absorbed by the other party. It starts going to and fro between you and him (her), until the energy is magnified and reach a truly phenomenal dimension. You embrace the bliss of living, and being together becomes magic.

Whether resulting in resonance or rejection, other people are always mirrors, reflecting ourselves in a yet unelucidated mathematics of transpersonal infection.