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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.511

Inside a cabinet in the old house where I grew up and spent much of my childhood, there was a beautiful music box. It stood out by its glamour and westernized style among other articles of Japanese folk art in the cabinet. My mother took it out once or twice a year for me, solemnly and carefully as a special occasion. She would wind up, open the lid slowly and let me listen to its heavenly melody. It was the first gift she received from my father when they were young. The tune was ‘Truimerai’ by Schumann. I asked my father what the title meant and he told me it meant ‘rosy happiness’ although I later learned it actually meant ‘dreaming’. I imagined that he felt rosy happiness when he was marrying her. Since the music box was expensive, my mother strictly forbade me to touch it. I wasn’t allowed to play it on my own. My parents were usually out for work and I was suffering from auto intoxication when I was little. I often fainted while I was playing alone at home and my grandmother had to call a doctor each time. In those days, my secret remedy was sneak open the cabinet and take out the music box. While my mother believed it was a once-or-twice-a-year occasion, I listened to it almost every day. Although by then I had already known that my parents got married by an arranged marriage for each family’s convenience and my mother especially married money, it helped me delude myself that my parents loved each other. By listening to the tune, I felt hopeful and had fewer blackouts from auto intoxication. When I lived in the city before moving in here, I had an idea that I would play ‘Truimerai’ on the piano for my parents on their wedding anniversary. I practiced playing it by listening to a Schumann’s CD. But my rare respectable attempt never materialized after all for a strange reason. Every time I practiced ‘Truimerai’, a cockroach appeared from somewhere as if it was a cue. It was impossible to continue practicing because I have a strong phobia about roaches…

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