Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Reward hr569

My parents didn’t get married for love. Their marriage was part of a deal to inherit the family’s fortune and they took it for money. Another part of the deal was to carry on the family and they had me as a successor. It had gone according to their plan until I decided to do what I wanted for my life and left home. Since then, they attempted every evil way to pull me back in the family. They tried all possible means to make me give up my carrier as a musician. They said I had no talent, I was a failure, and how bad I was as a human being, over and over at every opportunity. They conned me once big time. Out of the blue they offered money to set up my own record label, and after I rented an office and hired the staff, they suddenly withdrew their money, crushed my label and bankrupted me. I defied any kind of attack, threat, temptation and begging from them because I was determined to be a musician. When they realized I wouldn’t succeed the family, they told me not to even visit them because they didn’t want to see me any more. On their repeated requests not to come see them in their house, I understood they didn’t need their child who wasn’t a successor. From that experience, I have a doubt about a concept of unconditional love. I spent about 10 years to complete my last song. The new song I’ve been currently working on hasn’t been completed yet after four years. It was not because I was loitering over my work on purpose. Making music is the only thing I do seriously without compromise. I don’t want to let time interfere with my music. It’s completed when I’m satisfactorily convinced it’s finished. And I dream of my future in which my song will be such a big hit that it will make me a celebrity and take me to Monaco. The other day, I noticed an unfavorable fact. While I dedicate my life for my songs that I spend all my effort, time and passion on, I unconsciously expect reward from them. Although I already have so much fun and feel indescribable happiness during work, I believe that my songs should bring me money and fame someday. That sounds awfully like my parents’ attitude toward me. They raised me while they expected reward when I grew up. Do I also nurture my songs for reward when they are completed? If so, I will end up exploding my anger if my songs don’t reward me with money and fame. Am I the same as my parents after all or can I give unconditional love to my songs? I get enough reward in the process of completing songs. My reward is done when songs are done. From then on, all I should care is to make my songs happy, which means to support them all my life by doing whatever I possibly can to make them be heard by a lot of people. Can I love my songs that way and be satisfied with my life until the day I die? I must try. Because even if I don’t have any money or fame at all, I think I’ve already received reward called life with freedom and happiness…

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The Decision hr568

We all face decisions every day, big or small. It may be as trifling as what to eat for lunch, but sometimes it is as important as what decides a course of our life. And the big one often comes abruptly like a surprise attack when we least expect it, unguarded. I faced the first crucial decision unexpectedly on my 20th birthday. In Japan, 20 years of age is regarded as the coming-of-age and there is a custom to celebrate it. When I was 20 years old, I lived in a big house with my family. My parents had a hefty fortune inherited by my ancestors as it was before they failed in their undertaking and lost every thing. For them, my coming-of-age was such a big event that they had bought an expensive sash of kimono for me months in advance for a municipal ceremony held in the first month of the year. Since I defied the custom and didn’t attend the ceremony for which the sash was wasted, my parents determined that my 20th birthday should be memorable at least and planned a party. I wasn’t told about the party because they wanted to surprise me. On my birthday, I was hanging around and having fun with my friend until night, not knowing that my parents and my sister waited for me with 20 red roses and expensive steaks cooked and delivered from a restaurant. As crazy as it sounds, my curfew was 9 p.m. back then. I had too much fun and broke it that particular day. I came home half an hour late bracing for a rebuke from my parents. What awaited me was beyond rebuke actually. I usually came in from the back door that was left unlocked, but it was locked that night. I went around to the front gate that was locked too. I thought my father had locked them by mistake and pushed an intercom button. My mother answered and I asked her to open the door. She said in a tearful voice, “I can’t. It’s no mistake. Your father shut you out of the house.” She started crying and continued, “We were preparing a party and waiting for you from this afternoon. We waited and waited until your father got furious. He said that he didn’t want you to come home because you never appreciated this important day and your family. I can’t open the door. Your father doesn’t want you in this house any more.” I was astounded at the deep trouble I suddenly got into. I could have apologized repeatedly and begged her to let me in. Instead, I was wondering if that was what I really wanted. I didn’t have anything but now it was a chance to leave the house. Totally out of the blue, the moment for a decision for life came up. If I lived in this house forever as a family’s successor like I had been told to, I would inherit family’s fortune. But if I threw it away, I could do whatever I want for my own life. In a matter of seconds, I decided. I chose freedom over money. I said, “That’s fine. I’m leaving.” I felt oddly refreshed and upbeat. My chained life came to an abrupt end through the intercom. My mother panicked and shouted, “What do you mean that’s fine? Wait! Don’t go! I’m coming to open the door! Stay there!” I saw her rushing out of the house and dashing toward the gate. She grabbed me in. On the dining table, there were two empty plates that were my father’s and my sister’s and two untouched steak plates that were my mother’s and mine. In the center was a big vase with 20 roses. I ate steak with my mother who was weeping through on my completely ruined 20th birthday. Shortly afterwards, I eventually left home and became a musician. My mother, my grandmother and my aunts were married unwillingly for money. My father and my grandfather gave up what they wanted to do in order to succeed the family. They all looked unhappy and I didn’t want to live like them. But I also didn’t know freedom didn’t come cheap and my decision would lead to trials and hardships that I had to endure as a consequence…

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