Categories
Japan: Living Journal Life In Musings

渡り鳥

(In January, 2012, my site was catastrophically hacked. I managed to get most of the content back, but unfortunately all my Japanese posts and comments have been rendered illegible. This was one of my best-loved posts, with some of the most interesting comments, so it is a loss greatly felt. I hope to keep the Japanese continued in my posts.

2012年、1月にこのサイトはハッカーに全滅されました。コンテンツはほとんど取り戻したけれど、残念ながら日本語のコンテンツは取り戻し事が出来ませんでした。このエッセイは一つの一番人気が有って、コメントもとても面白かったなので、無くした事はかなり悲しいです。それでも、これからもっと日本語を書くつもりです。)

(edit: Managed to find the original Japanese text in the .plist file of my old Ecto software…an offline blog writing application, no longer available. Unfortunately, still can’t find the comments, though I know I have it somewhere on a .PDF copy of my old blog.)

(編集:やっと元の日本語長文を古いブロッグソフトの .plist ファイルにみつかりました。残念ながら、まだコメントの方がみつかりません。しかし、もしかして、昔ブロッグを .PDFに変えた時のファイルがまだ有るかもしれないです。)

眠れない夜だ。外の空は曇って星が見そうもない。
周りの人々は皆寝ています。一人でこの真夜中に囲まれて
コンピューターのキーを打ってる。カラス達は屋根の上で
お互いに声を出してる。。。

今までずっと英語で書いてほとんどアメリカからの読者しか寄らなくて
自分の立場をちょっと広げようかな〜あと思ってます。
自分の日本語はけっこう幼稚な物だから、もし
日本人や日本語を読める人が問題有ると思ってたら
許してください。英語だけで書くと考え方と
学ぶ事は引っかかるように感情と見方が狭くなる。
生まれてから色々な環境に育てて、住んでて
そこからの経験と個性は失いたくない。
日本で湧き出した心と認識が自分に取って
アメリカとドイツで与えられた文化と声と同じぐらい
重要な影響を感じたい。

アトムや木枯らし紋次郎、鉢巻きや下駄、
ピンクレディや森進一、雨蛙やヒヨドリ、
ラムネや鉄火巻きやイカ焼きやオラナミンC、
愛と誠、明日のジョー、赤ヒゲ、さるとび佐助、
北海道の宗谷岬、南アルプスの北岳、読売ランド、
京都の山々の砂利道、冬の日光、西新宿の初めての超高層ビル、
Kiddyland、代々木公園、目白、ソニービル、
多摩川、自由が丘、中目黒、銀座、泉岳寺、
桜、イチョウ、ハナミズキ、梅、杉、
これは僕の育てられた世界だ。

僕の世界じゃなかったら僕の世界はどこに有る?

日本人じゃない日本人。受け入れてくれない外の物。

渡り鳥のように。

Categories
Family Humor Journal Musings Race

Good Grief

DaisyWinnefred, of Animated Stardust relates a hilarious experience with an off kilter heterosexual. Her grace and humor in an intolerable encounter certainly are lessons in humility and kindness. I wish I could be so charming and tolerant. But, I guess, what else can you do in such a situation?

Reminds me of a story my mother told me of when I was a baby in Hannover, Germany. This was back in the early 1960’s, when Hannover harbored precious few dark-skinned creatures and just seeing a black or Asian was as rare as flamingos in the Black Forest. My father is a Filipino/black American while my mother is a cream-skinned German. The resulting cocktail is an olive-skinned mutt who can pass off as Mexican, Nepali, Turkish, Iraqi, Brazilian, Italian, Indian, Spanish, even Portuguese (all of which I have been mistaken for). Suffice it to say that in Germany, in the small city of Hannover, in 1960, I was pretty much an organic representation of an exclamation mark.

Anyway, my mother told me, she and I were taking our leisure in the hallowed walls of the hospital where I was born, waiting for my checkup. There were a few tables lined up against the wall for mothers to attend to their babies and my mother stood beside one, changing my diapers. Another mother with her little, curlicue-haired, blonde baby was changing his diapers, so that he and I could begin our first jaunt into urinal bathroom comparison rivalry. I’m not sure if I initiated any undue cause for attention, but the woman leaned toward my white mother, gave her a rundown with her eyes, switched headlights toward me, this swaddled muffin, lightly browned, gave me the once down, glanced back at my mother, then me again, all in head-cocking appraisal, before standing up straight and inquiring, in all earnestness:

“Please, tell me. How did you manage to get that particular shade of skin tone? My son’s skin remains as pink as when he was born. What do you do? Feed him carrots? Do the carrots make a great difference?”

It wasn’t my fault! I do happen to like carrots. I often wonder now if my affliction could have been prevented with a bit more forethought on my part. A bit more whole milk, perhaps. Or maybe tubs of yoghurt. Marshmallows? Or how about Cool Whip?