Hey Thomas, I almost gave up, but you know I'm not a quitter. Dang, this was hard to make. The photos are all near where I live. The shrine is where I go and have lunch and "zazen" . I hope that's the right word.
Your writing bought back a flood of memories. I had a Japanese girlfriend while in the Navy , stationed in Fukuoka. My love of guns and hunting made me too selfish to stay in Japan to live. When I look back , I was young and foolish to never ask the love of my life what she wanted. I just told her she was going to live in Maine with me as soon as my 4 year tour was up. I had not seen her for 6 months when I wrote and told her everything was ready here in Maine for her. The guilt I feel today for not thinking how it would be for her is still strong. To leave her friends and family and travel alone from Japan to Maine when she spoke no English must have been a nightmare for her to contemplate. It took a long time to get over her decision to stay in Japan. It has been 46 years and I still wonder what it would have been like if I had lived in Japan with her. Reading about your life musicisgood , gives me an idea how it might have been for me.