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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi's Rambling No.557

At the end of my last homecoming day, I got into the cab heading for the train station, saying goodbye to my mother who was merrily talking about which condominium she would move in, to my father who was weirdly cheery, and to the house and its land one last time. When I dropped out college and left home for Tokyo to be a musician a long time ago, I thought I would never come back to this house again. I have made unplanned visits since then, but I assumed it would be the last visit each time. I was accustomed to a farewell feeling toward the house in a way and I departed with no particular emotions this time either. The cab was running through my familiar neighborhood where I spent my entire childhood. It was still shabby as it used to be. The cab drove through old houses of my childhood friends where I used to play with them, and under the overhead train bridge where I ran into perverts so many times. From the window, I saw the elementary school I went to, and the sidewalk my first song came to me while I was walking on. The bookstore where my father bought me my first English dictionary and also where he spotted his missing cousin. A place where a milk factory used to be that I waved to its plastic cows beside the gate every time I passed by in my father’s car. The old temple where my late grandparents used to take me and let me feed doves. Then something struck me and I suddenly realized. It wasn’t just the house I was losing. I was losing my hometown and departing from my childhood. I would never be in this neighborhood again because it was going to be an unrelated, foreign place from now on. Although I had always hated my neighborhood, that thought brought a lump to my throat and soon I found myself crying. I was stunned at this unexpected feeling. If I hadn’t been inside a cab, I would have wailed. The cab came near Kyoto Station that was my destination. My late grandfather often took me to this area around the station that used to be undeveloped, decayed and in the miserable condition. But now, after years of intense redevelopment, it has become an urban area with numerous modern buildings of hotels, fashionable shops and huge shopping malls. It was a completely new different place and I found no trace of what I was familiar with the area. The cab stopped at the signal close to the station and there stood a new movie complex by the street. I casually wondered if it showed ‘Tomorrowland’. Then I felt I was actually stepping into it. Things and places I had been with were all disappearing and a place I had never seen before appeared in front of me. I saw a change more clearly than ever. I was leaving everything old behind and going into a new world. The world I’m walking in is unknown, but therefore there are full of possibilities…

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