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Don’t hide (for my beloved children) かくれないで❗️ (愛する子供たちへ)

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Several days ago, I was looking at my monthly magazine which I subscribe from Japan. Suddenly, the name and photo of the author of an article jumped at me. I gasped. It was Ms. K. I knew her from my piano era. This is a top class magazine, something equivalent to “The Economist” or “Maclean’s” here. She wrote an article? Wow….!

I could say that Ms. K was in many ways my rival when we were students. We were both about the same age. We didn’t go to same school, but both majored in piano performance. We studied with the same piano teacher. We always met and participated at various concerts and master classes. She was a beautiful woman, tall and slender, and performed with such crystal, sensitive, and sophisticated tones.

I had a boyfriend then. We were serious about our relationship. Mr. T and I were getting married after I graduated from the music college. My graduation was coming soon and I went to see my father who was working in Indonesia.

When I came back from the 10 day trip, Ms. K phoned. She said that while I was away, she got a call from Mr. T and they had been seeing each other. They had even became intimate. When I asked about it to Mr. T, he admitted that was true, but he didn’t want to lose me or her.

Can you imagine how I felt that time?

Am I hearing somebody’s voice saying “no big deal that happens all the time….”?

It was a terrible shock for me.

So, I declared that I was ending the relationship with him; I stopped answering his phone calls; I took back everything he gave me to his house; and I completely shut him down from my life.

I was in a total mess. I couldn’t keep my tears stopped. I was literally crying all the time.

On contrary, Ms. K was amazing. Regardless of what happened, she continued seeing him and had a big fancy wedding with Mr. T the year after. She said to me that she was marrying him not for love but for revenge. And she meant it. About 6 months after the wedding, she left Japan to study piano in Germany, leaving him behind. Then, she divorced him, and remarried a German man.

After that I never heard any rumor about her or him. I got busy with my own life raising children….moving to Canada….I never thought of Ms. K or Mr. T. They were totally forgotten.

40+years later, when I went to Japan last year, I saw Mr. T’s name in a bookstore. He published a book and it has become a bestseller! According to his book he had a successful career and had been the Vice President of the huge famous beer company in Japan when he retired. His book was about how he turned the losing business around to a winning business.

I googled Ms. K. Amazingly, she has been active as a writer as well, publishing a number of books and articles. She still lives in Germany, but comes to Japan often to give presentations, sit in panel discussions, and even has a lecturer position in an university. Apparently she is a celebrity in Japan! Ummmm…. wow….. I didn’t know that…. After all, she is so beautiful and such a smart person. As she had proven herself to me, she is a person who can think outside the box. It really sounds like her….doesn’t it? I was impressed.

So, why am I telling you this story?

I want to say that life can be interesting, adventurous, and so incredibly unpredictable.

Ms. K and I experienced the same drama 40+ years ago. We were both shocked and devastated. And each of us reacted completely differently. Of course, we have different personalities, different ways of feeling and handling situations. Subsequently we did walk on completely different journeys thereafter.

However, we had one thing in common. We both did not hide. We dealt with the disaster right away in our own ways. We cried hard, but kept on walking our lives…..

And I think that is important. If you hide and withdraw, your life stops at that point. You are just stumping at the same spot, then soon negativity sets in, become more and more bitter. And….nothing changes. Nothing develops. No progress.

But…. you know what?

You are aging every minute. Soon, your self esteem goes down the drain, and a chunk of your life would be wasted.

Be brave! It doesn’t matter how small a step can be, just put your foot forward!

数日前のこと。わたしが毎月日本から取り寄せている月刊誌の文藝春秋を見ていてびっくりした。昔々の友人の名前を見つけたのだ。短い記事だけど彼女の写真入りで立派な論評が載ってている。一流紙の文藝春秋に。すごいなー。

Kさんは学生時代から何かにつけて私にとってはライバルとも言える人だった。年もほぼ同じ、大学は違ったけど、同じピアノ専攻、同じ先生に師事して、勉強会や演奏会でいつも顔を合わせた。彼女はすらりと細身で美しく、透き通って繊細で洗練されたピアノの音色でステキな演奏をする人だった。

当時私には真面目に付き合っているTさんという彼氏がいた。ゆくゆくは結婚しようと話していた。ちょうど私も大学を卒業することだし、父親が当時インドネシア勤務だったので父にも会いたいし、10日間のインドネシア旅行に一人で出かけた。

旅行から帰国するとすぐにKさんから電話がかかってきた。話を聞くと私の留守中にKさんとTさんはデートを重ね、すでに深い関係になってしまったという。Tさんに問い詰めるとそれはそうだけど、私とも彼女とも別れたくないんだという。

その時の私のショック想像できる?

そんなのよくある話だよ、なんて声が聞こえてきそう。

でも私にとってはすごいショックで、「Tさんとは別れる」と宣言して電話にも出ず、今までにプレゼントされた物いっさいがっさいを彼の家にまで返しに行って完璧に連絡をたった。

その頃の私は、何もしてなくても涙が溢れ出て止まらない…という情けない状態。

でもKさんはすごいの。それから一年後くらいかな。彼女はTさんと盛大な結婚式をあげたの。「私は結婚してTさんに復讐するの」と言い放って…。そして彼女はそれを証明して見せた。結婚式後半年目くらいにドイツの音楽院に留学することが決まった彼女はTさんを置き去りにしてドイツに渡航し、離婚宣言したあげく、さっさとドイツ人と再婚してしまった。

その後は彼女の噂はすっかり聞かなくなって、私も自分の生活が忙しくカナダに移ったりして彼女のこともTさんのことも思い出すこともなく、すっかり忘れてたの。

そして40+年が過ぎ…前回日本に帰った時に本屋さんでTさんが書いた本がベストセラーになって並んでいるのをみてびっくりした。彼はその後、勤めていた某有名ビール会社の副社長にまで出世して彼の成功談を本にして出版したのね。

Kさんも調べてみたらまだドイツ在住だけど、もう20年くらい前から日本で作家として活躍していてあちこちで講演したり、けっこうなセレブリティなのね。うーん知らなかった〜。でも聡明で美人で、結婚式の騒動でもわかるように突拍子もないことをやってのける勇気のある人だから、ありえるなあ〜と思って感心感心。

結局何が言いたいかというと人生って大部分は自分次第なんだよってこと。40+年前に同じ出来事に出会ってまったく異なる反応を示したKさんと私。性格がまったく違うし感じ方も考え方も違うからその後の人生も全く違うんだけど、そんな私たち二人に共通することがあるの。それは私たちは隠れなかったってこと。隠れないで、泣きながらでも行動を起こし続けたってこと。

それって大切なことだと思うの。隠れて何も行動しなかったら何も変わらない、どんな展開もない。それでも歳だけは確実に重ねて老いていくんだよ。自分を卑下してネガティブな人生を送ってしまうのはもったいないよね。

どうか勇気を出してどんなに小さな一歩でもいい。前に踏み出してほしい。

Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

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