Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Most Beautiful Flower by "Unknown"

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read 
Beneath the long,straggly branches of an old willow tree.

Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,

With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,

I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
“It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.

That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.”
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play.
Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.

How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see.
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.

And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that’s mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy,

Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

Monday, February 10, 2014

One Great Love

There will be many loves in our lifetime;
But, only one truly great love.
Our destiny will determine if we end up with that one great love;
However, all our loves will have some of what that one great love has given us.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The HIGA Name


Minnasan konnichi wa: (Nihongo o benkyo shite imasu kara taihen heta desu yo.)

Higa no namae wa do iu imi ka na? Muzukashii desu ne? De mo kono 'explanation' wa anatatachi ni de gozaimasu.

I remember Mom describing the name once to me when I was in Okinawa searching for Granpa Higa's sister, Waniya Kobashigawa. Also, my good friend Stan Sotsuda (who retired from the US Army, married an Okinawan lady and raised his family there - he was the manager of the Commissary at Camp Butler, and of course, a bowler) who helped me to locate the Kobashigawa in Nakagusuku-son.

While there is no completely solid definition for "Higa" ('Fija' or 'Fiija' as it is said in Uchi-na-guchi - Okinawan Language) the characters in our last name are made up of "Comparison" and "Praise."

Mom and Stan both agreed that the closest definition could be, "peaceful cooperation," or "calm negotiation" - or something to that effect.

This uncertain definition and/or meaning in translating Japanese to English makes sense to me since, in my attempts to study Nihon-go, I'm finding that a great majority of Japanese words and phrases have only literal meaning when translated into English.

This is possibly why many English words are popularly used in the spoken Japanese such as, "I Love You," "Thank You, "Okay," "Good Luck," and "Congratulations." (Phonetically - "Ai Rub Yu" "Sank Yu" "OK!" "Guud Ruck" "Congra-chu-ray-shun" (remember Nihonjin learn to pronounce words by memorizing "ma-mi-mu-me-mo; ka-ki-ku-ke-ko; sa- shi-su-se-so; ta-tchi-tsu-te-to; etcetera)

When I was traveling in and out of Japan back in the 1980's, it was reported that the Crown Prince, (now the current Emperor of Japan) proposed to his fiancee in English because it was easier to say than in Japanese? Might be Urban Legend but that's what I understood it to be.

As omoshiroi as it may sound, modern-day Nihon-jin, nowadays, will tend to pop in an English word in the middle of a sentence, much the same way that Hawaii Japanese have been doing for many years. It's because the meanings of English words or phrases have a more direct meaning than if they were to be said in Nihongo.

Ta-to-e-ba, take the phrase, "I Love You." In Nihon-go the phrase could be said in various ways such as: "Suki desu," "Dai Suki Desu," "Anata no koto was suki desu," and so forth.

So, anyway, let's stick with "Peaceful Cooperation" or "Calm negotiation," for the meaning of "Higa," okay?

It's too bad I never asked Mom about, "Matsumoto." From my little knowledge of Japanese, the most common translation would be - "Matsu = Pine Tree" and "Moto = Foundation, origin, or base."

I-jyo, desu.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lynne and Leighton Moved Homes

Hello Higa clan,
Just to let you all know that the Tannos have moved.
We have downsized and now live in a two bedroom that accepts pets.  House was sold, but no profit at all.  It was our albatross to get rid of.
We found out our Kimokeo house was everyone’s store room.  Had Kavin’s, Mom’s, Great-grandpa Matsunaga’s, Grandma Tanno’s, Grandpa Tanno’s plus Carole’s stuff.  On top of that us LTs used it for storage too.  Found lots of boxes of fabric so want to start up crazy quilting like Mom did.  We still have stuff that we had to store, but will have to cut that down within the next few months.
Have been living here for about 2 weeks now.  I can walk to work in 5 minutes.  Lots of eating places within walking distance that we’re starting to explore.  Big difference between eating at the restaurant and doing take out.  Our lease is for one year and then we’ll decide what to do.  If we have to move again, I’m going to be hiring movers.  Leighton is coming up on age 64 this year and it was taxing for him.
We’re all well and trying to adjust.  Will drop a line later.
Aloha to all,
Sis Lynne

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Meant To Be

Friends we are and friends we'll be,
What we both know is meant to be.
Be true to your heart and you'll always be
Happy and joyful as it's meant to be.

-Choc Higa
May 31, 1991, Harker Heights, Texas

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's A Sparrow

I received a video in my email this past week that really made me think. It showed an older gentleman sitting on a bench with an adult, younger male reading a newspaper next to him. A bird lands on a branch of a nearby tree and the old man says, "What is that?" "It is a sparrow," the younger man answers.

A few seconds later, another bird lands on a nearby bush and the old man inquires, "What is that?" The younger man looks up from his reading and says, "It is a sparrow." Still another bird lands on another tree branch and the old man again asks, "What is that?" The younger man looks up, visibly annoyed, and answers, "It is a sparrow, a sparrow, the same as the other birds you asked me about  a s-p-a-r-r-o-w!, Why are you doing this to me?"

The older man stands up and heads into the house they are sitting in front of. He comes back out with a book (it turns out to be a diary or journal that the old man has kept), turns to a page, and asks the younger man (by now I have figured out it is his son) to read the passage he points to.

In summary, here's what the son read out loud: "Today, I was sitting in the park with my young son and he asked me the name of a bird that had landed nearby. I answered him that it was a sparrow. Twenty-one times he asked me, 'What is that?' and, twenty-one times I answered that it was a sparrow. Twenty-one times I hugged him because of the affection I felt for this young son of mine…"

What does that have to do with bowling? On the surface there seems to be no connection, however, as a coach, I sometimes have to answer the same question over and over again. Because it is a student of mine asking the question, I tend to be very tolerant. Sometimes, before we can move forward with a lesson, a point must be clearly understood or the coming lessons might not make sense.

Patience - "It is a sparrow." "It is the second arrow." "It is a smooth follow-through." "It is a pendulum swing." "It is a reactive resin bowling ball." "It is your pre-shot routine." "It is your positive mental attitude." "It is your ability to adjust to different lane conditions." "It is your practice session routine." "It is your 'why'?" "It is your love of the sport." "It is a sparrow." - Patience. It is, indeed, a virtue.