some final words
La tristesse durera toujours
Dear mother, father, brother, sister,
I love you with all my heart. I just wasn’t meant for this world, it's a mess and I know I am too but maybe that's why we aren't compatable. I hope I can find a place of peace and joy, a place I am child enough to live, yet man enough to survive. I love you - I hope you can truly believe me. Maybe on my journey I’ll find Jesus. Pray for me please, pray that I will. Pray I will find happiness somewhere else, somewhere where I won't hurt so bad inside - I want it all to go away. I want a new beginning. I am not afraid to die; I’m just so afraid of tomorrow.
To all my friends and loved ones, I ask of you one last favour: don’t let my spirit die. Remember me for the laughs and the good times, the thrills we all had together and the times we were vulnerable with each other. I hope I made a place in all your hearts and touched each and every one of you in a special way. I have chosen to die, but I haven’t chosen to be forgotten. I trust I will find a new world, a world without pain. I want you all to know I am not afraid to die, I just want to quit living. I’ll miss you.
sorry to leave so abrubtly
i tried to build you up
but i'm not that person
i wanted to be friends
and i really tried
but i guess i'm not the right one
i shared so much
but you knew nothing
i tried to talk to you guys
and you heard me
but you didn't listen.
i still set the table for four
even though i know there'll just be the two of you.
ever since you moved on
i pierced my ears, dad
so i could wear the earrings you
never got a chance to
gift to me
i got glasses
they're just for reading
but i like them
because they remind me of you.
i got straight a's dad.
just like you.
how you meant so much
but are now so little.
Hate my Hair
My mother cut my hair yesterday
Against my will
I watched as these pieces of me
Fell to the floor at the hand of a blade - deja vu
It was the one piece of me
That was free from insecurity
Now it is short and dark
Like my mind.
I talked to my friend this morning
But the words felt forced and wrong
I watched as our relationship
Began to unfurl - I don't think I can talk to her again
But I've known this was coming
Because we've been drifting apart
For a while.
I'm gazing out the window now
Begging, pleading, crying, yelling.
Watching as my family is torn apart
Piece by piece, we
Are cut off, drifting away.
How can a broken family compare to a haircut
Or losing a friend?
When You Came
When you came
Like the welcome breeze in Summer
When you came and spread your warmth and happiness
Into my life
When you came
Like a lion, full of courage
When you came
Like fire, and consumed me
I realised what I had been searching for
The sky was no longer a dead end
The road dust no more
And I not alone
You made you world like your words;
Sweet colours painting pretty pictures
You made the world like your mind;
A mystery, a brief delicacy
You were the door left ajar
To some unseen world.
When you came
I knew you would be my
Last line in this brave romance.
When we look through the lens
The lens of life,
We gain perspective.
Perspective means sadness.
What do you see?
"The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection."
When I was six I was frightened of thunderstorms. I used to curl myself in my bed, wrapping my fingers around the edge of my doona as I pulled it tight over me. My mum used to come in and when she'd see me there she'd smile. Not in a condescending way, like most adults look at kids nowadays, but a kind, warm, loving, fatherly way. She'd say to me,
"Takao, the earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal," I don't know why she told me that. We weren't really religious. I wasn't crying out in bitter remorse. I was just a six-year-old who was afraid of thunder.
Now my mother's words ring louder than ever.
Death must come with honour. Death must come with honour. Death must come with honour.
This has been drilled into my head at military training before the war even began. Now I am surrounded by foreigners, the enemy. I grasp the handle of my sword, ready. I hold the blade out, cupped in both my hands and kneel on one knee as if making an offering at the altar. I then rise, twist the sword so the tip of the blade is against my abdomen. Ready. Set. Go. Now!
But I can't. Because just like when I was six, I am scared. Scared to die.
The enemy is closing in, if I don't commit seppuku now, I will be captured. And if I live, and go home, I will be rejected. Prisoners of war don't receive the warmest welcome in Japan because we are taught to die as a samurai, so that we are not captured. Even if I am captured and killed without needing to face the overwhelming sense of rejection, I will not have died with honour. I must do it now. Now!
The sound of gunfire engulfs me...
When I was a child, I was afraid of thunderstorms. Now I am afraid of rejection. But I am also afraid of death. Which do I choose? Do I die with honour, or to live and be rejected by not just my friends and my family, but my country as well? To be a disgrace, an outsider, a discard?
The coarse voices of men, sobered by battle, surround me...
Now. Now! Now!
They will find me soon...
Surrender or die? Rejection or death?
Death must come with honour.
The earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. I am ready now. I am a coward, wounded by the scarring images of life and death, but terrified of rejection. More so than death.
My death has come with honour.
Holding onto Faith
Do you remember how we used to cuddle together in your bed, and you'd read me stories? And when you got scared because the monsters were about to attack from beneath the bed, I used to go and fight them off?
Remember that time when we climbed the oak tree in New Zealand? That was the best! We saw the whole lake and all the mountains stretched out before us, like little dolls, ours for the conquering.
Remember how in preschool we used to make the best artworks? Everyone was so jealous of us. And remember how we used to push each other on the swing? You always went higher than me.
Remember that time when we were at Grandma's and she slapped your face because you didn't want the rest of your cauliflower? We got sent to your room and you started crying, but I sang you my lullaby to make you feel better? Then we made that fortress using all the pillows and doonas we could find and read by torchlight until the stars starting singing.
Remember that day we spent at the beach, making sand castles and exploring rockpools and racing along the beach? You were so fast along the sand, but I beat you twice. Then we dug out a trench and played war games until the sun made the hills its grave.
Remember how on your first day of big school the teacher asked you to stand up and say your name in front of everyone? You didn't want to, but you did. You were so brave. I could never have done that.
Remember when you started riding your bike? At first, it was scary, but soon you were off, gliding down the street, much faster than me. One time you fell off and grazed your knee, but you didn't cry. You just got back up.
Remember how we were in the car, driving to Melbourne when the other car on the freeway went out of control and smashed into us? I was so afraid; afraid you wouldn't wake up. You got taken away in this loud van with flashing lights on the top. I held your hand the whole way.
Remember when you woke up? You found out that Mummy and Daddy were gone, but you seemed to have forgotten me. I was still there. I followed you around, learnt how to operate your wheelchair and everything, but you never let me push it for you. You moved into that horrible orphanage, and now you never smile anymore.
Faith, I'm holding onto you.
Are you holding onto me?