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Miyori's collage 2 みよりちゃんのコラージュ2 (sumida, japan)

Posted by
timothy sullivan (Tokyo, Japan) on 22 October 2008 in Art & Design.

(continued from yesterday)

After she and Yuko took a break after playing a game of tag, Miyori seemed pretty comfortable with talking with Yuko. At some length I thought: I had my camera. When I was younger, I remember really loving being able to use "grownup" things.

She asked whether Miyori wanted to "take" a few photos; while shy at first, she pointed at things she wanted photographed--at first I took them, then gradually let her hold onto the camera and take a few photos on her own.

Soon the three of us were running all over the park taking photos of different things; that finished, I sat on a nearby bench while they played a few other games. Flipping through the photos we'd taken, I realized: there is something a bit different about what kids think is interesting as a subject. The three of us had gone around collecting acorns and other things; she had wanted photos of those taken, of course--and played a tot-sized director. Acorns and flowers and so many other random things--it really made me start wanting to be closer to the ground when I sought out subjects to photograph in the future.

Quite a bit of time passed, and I began to grow a bit worried: where was Miyori's mum? Should we walk her home? Would her mom freak out at the fact that two strangers walked her child home? Japan is a different nation, but--mothers seem to be very similar throughout the world.

These questions, however, became moot a short while later: Miyori's mom showed up. Yuko started introducing herself to Miyori's mum; the mom was fairly quiet. Miyori, full of happiness, started telling her mom about her day--and her mom interrupted, saying, "You should thank her," and smacked Miyori across the back of her head.

Miyori, like any child, started crying; fat tears ran down her cheeks as her mom led her away home. She stopped and turned around for a moment, gave us a quick little bow, then kept walking--and I immediately felt guilty.

For a while, all of us had become familiar playmates; and afterward, I had realized that we had probably overridden what her mom had probably instructed her: not to talk with strangers.

Honestly: when I reflect on that experience, I wonder if I truly desire to have children of my own, or whether instead I wish to adopt--and love and nurture someone who otherwise is lonely.