Sunday, July 05, 2009

I done did wrong?

Had to have. Perhaps my sin is why I have developed a severe case of blogger's block.

Friday afternoon, I was walking around the neighborhood with one of my cameras and saw the same flowers that I see every year at this time. The flowers (I have no idea what kind they are---non-native I suppose as I cannot find them in any of my paid-too-much-for books) are on a bush that hangs out in the road. They drop off about this time of year and the fallen flowers can make an interesting background for photos of those still in bloom.

While I was taking a few photos trying to find an angle that might make a halfway decent composition, I noticed an old lady walking down the road. I sensed her stopping behind me, but didn't pay much attention right away. I have generally found that old people have no problem of walking up and starting to chat in Japanese* when I am taking photos with a dSLR or larger format camera. This is shocking since everyone knows that the Japanese are shy.

A moment later she asked, "Are you taking photos of the flowers?"

"Yes," I answered.

"They are pretty," she said. "If you would like, you can cut some and take them with you."


"The house with those flowers is mine."

"Oh, really. They're very beautiful."

"Do you live around here?"

"Yes, about five minutes away."

"If it's ok with you, could you bring me one of the photos?"

"Of course."

Then she walked to her door and went inside.

I walked by there this morning and noticed that the bush had been severely trimmed. No flowers were left, and was cut back inside the fence and had lost well over a foot of height. Never, since I moved to the area 3 years ago has that bush ever been trimmed and the flowers had always been left until they dropped.

Somehow, I cannot get the idea out of my head that it was done because of me. No evidence, just a feeling that I doubt I would never have outside of Japan. I know that it likely had nothing to do with me, but there is always the sense of being held at arm's length (thus the overly polite bakagaijin treatment some folks are so fond of) and the awareness of a forced separation from the society that I am supposed to be living in. It isn't uncommon to have some vague feelings of guilt for no reason here, or to feel that I have to show that I ain't a criminal, or that yes, Fujiwara Masahiko-chan, I can hear insects too.

Never got a decent photo, but gonna print one for her anyway and drop it off. Wonder if she really thought I would? I can even ask her what kind of flower it is since I cannot find it in any of my paid-too-much-for books. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to find out what (meaning why) happened to the flowers.

*Most of the time, older folks---especially women don't attempt to resort to English every time I miss something. What a relief...

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