Saturday, March 23, 2013

The First Bridge at Yedo

One of my favorite movies, or rather mini-series was James Clavell's, "Shogun", back in the late 70's. The main characters, an Englishman named Blackthorn and a suave semi-sexy Japanese translator named Mariko. The two fell in love and had an affair, not a bad thing other than the fact Mariko was married to a big time samurai lord named Buntaro. Each their own I suppose, but for a wimp like Blackthorn, having an affair with the wife of a sword welding, bow shooting samurai lord like Buntaro, not smart to do.

Anyway, they headed on their journey to Yedo, the main guys kingdom. She told Blackthorn that their relationship would continue as long as they were on the road, but it had to end when they reached the first bridge at Yedo. For fear, I suppose, of their relationship being found out and both being beheaded, which was the Japanese remedy for adultery..for both parties.

They finally came to the first bridge at Yedo. They sat on their horses dreading the wooden bridge. Neither one wanting to cross over its planks, but both knowing they had to. Knowing that what they felt had to draw to a close or both risk serious punishment. The first bridge. They both had to cross. They both had to forget the past and move forward, crossing that single innocent bridge. And they did.

Now this is not another take on a movie as I have so often done. It isnt about  an illicit affair of any kind I assure you. I am not into affairs, nor would I wish to be. Especially with someone who is married or married to a samurai lord who is proficient with a sword.

It seems hard to explain for me but I feel so much of my past, so much with forces I cannot name nor wish to be able to do so, drawing me, pulling me in directions I have avoided my whole life. The reason I write this little blog is to better understand these forces myself and not alert anyone to some weird, misunderstood thing that only I can feel. For some odd reason, the reference to the First Bridge at Yedo best describes what I feel.

I see myself standing at this bridge, its actual construction design is unimportant, but it is a representation of something tangible which I must cross. My soul is filled with so much confusion that I lie awake at nights trying to sort through it and make some sort of sense of it.

I allow my mind to drift back over my life. I think of all the dreams I have had and wished to have seen them come to fruition, but never even got off the ground. I think of how I wanted my life to be, which never came. I also think of the ideals I have had which felt good while I was thinking of them, but never able to find a way to begin. Books I wrote, well books I call them, but ended up giving away more than I actually sold, well maybe. So many studies I found profane, yet never being able to give my studies the notoriety that they rightfully deserved. I now stood at The First Bridge, and soon I must cross over, on to Yedo.

I am not sure what it is really, I know that I have felt this way much of my life. Maybe it is the journey I have been allowed to take or maybe it is the choices that I have made which took me away from the predetermined course, planned in advanced by some unseen force. I do not know. But I do know that the journey is soon to end, or maybe it already has ended and I now stand at the very end of that long road I have walked most of my life and the end has brought me here, the First Bridge, awaiting the grand finale, the walk across its wooden planks.

I stand alone. I have always been that way. Maybe thats why I have enjoyed certain movies or TV shows as I have, always relating to them. Finding it hard to describe what I feel or what I fear, never trusting anyone for I have found none have ever shown themselves worthy of such trust. Maybe it is that I have little confidence in those who have been around me. No confidence that they actually cared or would show signs of worry, not that those emotions were what I looked for in them, but a semi emotional care.

The first Bridge. Now that I stand looking over it, listening to the soft gentle sound of the water flowing underneath it, the whisper of wind snaking through the tree limbs, the faint sound of the birds as they scurry about, maybe it isnt so bad after all.  Maybe it is time for me to cross the bridge, see what may be on the other side, forgetting the fear of the unknown.

I have lived a decent life I suppose. Maybe not have gotten what I wanted or dreamed I would have gained by now, but such is life.  I have stopped dreaming, stop desiring, stop craving. It no longer matters to me. Such was not mine to begin with I imagine. I now stand at the first bridge, something pulls me, draws me to cross over and I have no other choice but obey.

I have journey, maybe not as much as some, but more than others. I have seen the sandy shores of the Florida coast, climbing to the top of some of the most magnificent light houses ever built. I have explored the Kennedy Space Center, standing on a tower, spying the Challenger in the distance, sadly realizing that this is as close to space as I will ever be.

I have journeyed to the Maine coast, witness the sea otters as they played in floating seaweed. The magestic eagles flying over  the Androscoggin River, searching for that unfortunate fish who may swim to close to the waters surface. The old battlements, from Americas youth, silent but once the sound of  cannon defending the liberators of freedom inside its stone walls. Bunker Hill, and Boston, with the magnitude of stories, both handed down and forgotten. The Old North Church, my imagination running wild with visions of a lone Robert Newman as he carried a lantern to its steeple, signaling Paul Rivere of the British arrival.

I have explored some of the regions of California. The diverse countryside as you travel, leaving lush greenery for desert areas. The Pacific Ocean looking quite the same as the Atlantic, but never caring, as long as my heart knew I had seen it. The Queen Mary moored at Long Beach and the Hollywood sign. Each site leaving its memory embedded in my mind. Hopefully, they will remain and I shall keep my mental faculties in tact to preserve them.

Seattle, Washington and the space needle at sunset, still longing to see Mt. St. Helens, but unable to do so at the time. Maybe one day, but now at the first Bridge, I am not sure I shall fulfill that bucket list item.

The coast of Oahu at sunrise. The warm Pacific Ocean in winter. I have been to Pearl Harbor, and actually wiped the tears from my face as I watched the oil from the Arizona ebb to the surface. To me, she still weeps for those who lost their life on that fateful day. I have been on board the Missouri, the North Carolina, the Lexington, the Clamagor, the Layfette and others...imagining the sounds of battle and the cries of anguish their metal walls once heard. But no more, the first bridge beckons to me to cross, journeys end.

I have climbed to the rim of a once impressive volcano, in awe of the way it is formed by the forces of nature. Walked the grounds of the hallowed Punch Bowl Pacific Cemetary where thousands of Americas fallen hero"s now lay sleeping in eternal silence. Such a beautiful place to rest, even for the living.

Sights I have been blessed to take in up to the Great Lakes, winter not much to enjoy there, but it was the thought of actually visiting it. Down to New Orleans, and the enjoyment of Mardi Gras, not the demon possessed out of control party place as many think, but a host of enjoyment for all ages, floats and parades filled with so much wonderment. Walking along the shores of the mighty Mississippi River, drifting off with thoughts of ole Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and Jim. Still impressed by it all including the southern hospitality of the folks down south.

But now, its time to leave it all behind. Not sure what awaits me. What is lurking on the other side. But I do know I must obey this strong desire to cross over. This feeling I have had since my childhood always knowing that this day would come and I would have not other choice but to follow its predestined course. So much I wanted in life but sadly will never be. So much I wished to have accomplished, yet left void and for another. So much, yes so much but knowing, always knowing that I was different, that my  impact in life would be little felt and unable to change that. Kansas sang about Dust in the Wind and at one time I thought of writing a blog based upon that song, but alas, never finished it. We are dust in the wind, a drop of water in an endless sea, one trickle fading with the water, never to be remembered. But a journey all the same.

I stand now at the first Bridge. I dont want to cross. I dont want to end my dreams, desires my hopes and ambitions. But this is out of my control. I know what needs to take place and what I have no other choice but to do. I have to take that step. Have to venture forward. It calls me, beckons me, lures me to move on, move on across that bridge, never able to turn around and walk back. That lonely bridge, the first Bridge at Yedo.