Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Change, Good Food and Two Maxwells

I apologize for the long gap in posting. I want to resume posting weekly. However, the blog is likely to have more gaps for the time being, due to life changes:

In the field of opportunity, it's ploughing time again. — Neil Young

Last week my employer told me my position will be eliminated in mid-November. In the next few weeks at least, I will devote most of my attention to setting up a new job. I like my current job, so this is a major shift in plans. So far, I have many indications that the transition will be positive. Misa and I have prepared for this possibility, and my company is being very helpful. 

This is a surprise opportunity to re-examine what I want from working, and what value I'm offering in return. It's a lot to think about. I needed an outside kick in the pants, to focus my attention on these larger questions. 

To help me concentrate, Misa serves me wonderful dinners. They are just as delicious to the eye as to the palate. Last week she cooked homemade sushi and chicken linguini.

Last Saturday we moved through Golden Gate Park with Maxwell Nakamura and his parents. [My son's name is Maxwell also.] The two boys rode bikes and played hide-and-seek in the trees.

We enjoyed a to-die-for autumn afternoon, and the two Maxwells made the most of it. I told them they could ride all around Spreckels Lake on their own, because we could see the whole route from our bench. Living in the city, they rarely get to explore on their own. The boys rewarded our trust: Both returned, and neither got wet.

Our time together ended, and we prepared to go home through the long shadows. I remembered a favorite passage from Louis-Ferdinand CĂ©line's Journey to the End of the Night:

Far in the distance the tugboat whistled; its call passed the bridge, one more arch, then another, the lock, another bridge, farther and farther . . . It was summoning all the barges on the river, every last one, and the whole city and the sky and the countryside and ourselves, to carry us all away, the Seine too—and that would be the end of us.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Farewell to Moe-chan

Last week Max's classmate Moe (pronounced Mo-ay) left America to return with her family to Japan. We gathered in a park near the preschool they attended, to say good-bye. The children ate sugar, then exploded onto the slides and swings.

Moe liked my son Max and wrote sent him a nice valentine. 

Watching these able children playing, I felt great hope for their future. I was sad to say good-bye, but happy also, to see Moe flying out into the wider world. I'm sure Moe will do well in her school in Japan. She's smart and serious, always in command of herself. I remembered Walt Whitman's lines:

It is not to diffuse you that you were born of your mother and father---it is to identify you,  
It is not that you should be undecided, but that you should be decided;  
Something long preparing and formless is arrived and formed in you,  
You are thenceforth secure, whatever comes or goes.  

The threads that were spun are gathered . . . . the weft crosses the warp . . . . the pattern is systematic.  

The preparations have every one been justified;  
The orchestra have tuned their instruments sufficiently . . . . the baton has given the signal.  

The guest that was coming . . . . he waited long for reasons . . . . he is now housed,  
He is one of those who are beautiful and happy . . . . he is one of those that to look upon and be with is enough.