CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: An Unabashed Dreamer (w/o Apology)

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on May 11, 2011.)

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I readily confess to spending an awfully lot of time these days thinking. [Run while you have the chance.] You know, a cross between daydreaming and reflection. [Lock up the liquor locker.] Of course I have a whole lot of down time these days to indulge in exercise of the mental kind.

Nothing to be ashamed of. I’d be willing to bet you do the same thing. You just don’t find it necessary to admit such nonsense. I mean, hey, what do you do when waiting for an extra lengthy traffic signal to change? [Look at all the different pedestrians in the crosswalk?]

How about all the time wasted in a bank queue? I’ll betcha the first thing you do is count the number of workers in the back while only two teller windows are open. And then you get so caught up in private thought the person behind has to tap you on the shoulder when it’s your turn. In a market express line, do you count the number of items the person in front of you is buying? And do you get upset when you count more than 12 items? Or wonder how lonesome the person is who buys six eggs instead of a dozen?

It takes a whole lot of different souls to make up this world of ours. In the Army the standard rule was hurry up and wait, double time to nowhere. In school what greater satisfaction than acing a test with so much time left over you could look outside and watch a butterfly? And the aggravation caused by someone who cuts into a lengthy waiting line.

So maybe a youthful CR2S spent so much time in abstractness that it became a part of my psyche; like growing up with a birthmark or no underarm hair. While a whole slew of youngsters were (allegedly) permanently scarred by their concentration camp experience, li’l ole Wimpo was wondering why Arizona stars seemed so close and numerous compared to their California counterparts. There were so many personal challenges to confront growing up in a relocation center that being concerned about civil rights wasn’t exactly a prime concern.

Upon reflection I guess I’ve always been a day/night dreamer, like most of you are dependable/realistic/normal. Camp life was followed by a year’s fruitless chase of a youthful folly, a lengthy overseas stint followed, educational and matrimonial pursuits, marriage and fatherhood. If there was one constant throughout, it was the ability to suppose, stargaze, hope, to muse (that’s the word!). There is no argument I probably would have been better off spending more time in pursuit of a higher order but that’s okay if not cool. If this is Hiroto’s Spring, amen, I’ll take it.

To continually write CR2S requires a measure of self-indulgence, so let’s continue the subject matter without apology or pause …

As pointed out in earlier writings, CR2S spends an inordinate amount of precious time “thinking.” Not so much philosophical or intellectual meanderings commiserating with Phil Jackson (or celebrating the correctness of the Kobe/Vanessa Bryant duo). No, I’m more prone to wonder about The Big One or what sort of wonderful surprise is on the near horizon.

I am also surrounded by music. It comes out of my computer as I write; it comes out of my television as I read. (Sadly, there is no winning trifecta as “it” no longer comes out of my vocal chords. Alas, where did it go?)

But the music is not classical or operatic. On my Dell there is this Pandora feature: Only music you want to hear. So I’ve arranged my own playlist to continuously play Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Frank Sinatra. As for my flat Vizio TV, it has a Sirius (radio) station that plays big band and jazz 24/7 without so much as a deep commercial breath.

Like yoga or meditation for others, music is my relaxation. Dated and unimaginative, maybe, but when you reach the stage where you are no longer beholden to anyone it’s awfully easy to become old (fashioned).

The results, dear reader, are moments to remember, reflect, reminisce, recall, recapture, review and every other applicable word that begins with “re,” like resonate and yes, maybe even redress. Call it whatever you please. I call it soothing.

Don’t you sometimes catch yourself remembering something that happened a whole lot of years ago? Like didn’t you think about your own wedding ceremony when watching William and Kate exchanging vows? Remember the first family station wagon when viewing a car commercial? Think about all of the funerals you used to attend at night; embarrassed when unable to immediately recognize the bent, aging cane-bearers and white hairs. How rare (but immensely enjoyable) it is to attend a wedding nowadays.   When silently complaining about the freeway traffic, take pause and remember when there were no such creatures.

This is turning into an exercise of “Remember When” rather than any meaningful Socrates or Plato rumination. But let’s be extra accommodating and understanding today. It’s good karma. Besides, I’m hopeful (and pretty certain) some mention above will have triggered a pleasant memory or two of your own past worth reliving. No thanks required. My pleasure.

As another William uttered so many years ago: “The remembrance of things past.

[And a belated happy Mother’s Day. How fortunate you are to have one.]

 

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

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