Menu

Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

header photo

An Earthly Paradise hr596

July 14, 2017

When I lived in California, the apartment I rented had an outside Jacuzzi. I liked taking it at night, seeing the sky above. Under the palm trees, I watched an airplane’s small dot of light blinking and moving through the stars. It was the moment that I felt like a winner who obtained a life in paradise by getting out of not only Japan but also my family to which I had been a bound successor. Prices in the U.S. were extremely low compared to Japan back then because of the strong yen. It seemed to me that everything was on sale and I literally lived in a bargain country. Sadly, my life in paradise didn’t last long, though. The Japanese economy crashed and yen turned weak. Inflation had edged up in the States as well. Price hikes assaulted me in all directions. I became unable to pay the rent even if I had moved into a cheap motel. I was practically kicked out of the States and the plane brought bitterly-discouraged myself back to Japan where I returned to a life of reality in a teeny-tiny apartment. Time went by, and I had benefited from technological advances like the Internet and computers, and also from the fall of housing value in Japan. Those benefits let me live in a condominium that has a communal spa. I take a Jacuzzi there watching a beautiful view of the mountains with lingering snow out of big windows. One day, I felt so euphoric that I thought this wasn’t real. I thought I may have already died from that northern Japan’s severe earthquake or from the subsequent meltdown of the nuclear plant, and must be in heaven now. That reminded me of the sensation I had felt in a Jacuzzi in California. I had never expected that I would experience an equally enraptured life here in Japan when I parted with it there. If I traveled back in time with a time machine, I could talk to my other self who was in despair on the flight to Japan from the States. I would say to her, “Years from now, you will get another chance to live in paradise!” I would tell her that she wouldn’t give up music and would have completed two songs back in Japan that had quality she had been craved for and entirely satisfied with. How easier the flight would’ve been if I had heard those words there. I was too hopeless to imagine so much as a speck of the possibility. I always find myself foolish in hindsight whenever I look back later. There are tons of things I have to say to my past self beforehand. The question is, what would my future self tell me now if she looked at me taking the Jacuzzi here. Would she say, “Embrace the moment. It’s the pinnacle of your life”? Or would she say, “Prepare yourself. It’s just the beginning”? I desperately hope for the latter…

 

Go Back

Comment

Blog Search

Instagram

Got fried #oysters, pasta #salad and #cod #roe at a grocery store. #lunch Got fried #oysters, pasta #salad and #cod #roe at a grocery store. #lunch
#Cafe time at a family #restaurant. #Pear #jelly and iced #coffee. #Cafe time at a family #restaurant. #Pear #jelly and iced #coffee.
Got some #Chinese takeout at half price. Sweet and sour #pork, mabo eggplant, sauted #beef and peppers. #chinesefood Got some #Chinese takeout at half price. Sweet and sour #pork, mabo eggplant, sauted #beef and peppers. #chinesefood
Out of my apartment window, there is a beautiful #December. #trees #sky Out of my apartment window, there is a beautiful #December. #trees #sky
A #pork ginger bowl at a #Japanese #restaurant in the train station. $8 including #miso soup and Japanese pickles. #lunch A #pork ginger bowl at a #Japanese #restaurant in the train station. $8 including #miso soup and Japanese pickles. #lunch
The #snow season kicks off in earnest in my town. It's snowing now! #trees The #snow season kicks off in earnest in my town. It's snowing now! #trees