(This is not really the best picture of either of us, but I must have snapped it on my phone recently and thought I’d post it anyway.)
Contrary to a likely assumption given by all the posts I write about parental units, I do have a father in addition to my mother. It must have been sometime this past year when I found out that my father writes a blog for his place of work. Complete with an illustrated icon which resembles him, his blog is meant to be read by those who require services offered by the company. I decided to take a peek at what type of stuff he writes about, even though I know it’s not a personal blog of any kind. While his blog is clearly addressing issues/concerns/etc. that would be of interest to the target audience, it seems that he sometimes mixes in posts that don’t have that much to do with his work. For instance, one was mostly about our 15-year-old siberian husky. But in general, the posts are meant to support the workplace’s desired public image.
Since he works in Japan, the blog is obviously in Japanese. As I’ve grown older, it’s become more evident that all the Japanese language I acquired until fourth grade (that’s when I left Japan) has mostly slipped away. This language is still my mode of communication with my parents, but it’s become increasingly hard in trying to express my exact emotions through Japanese because I simply don’t know the appropriate words. Often I find myself being able to convey only a portion of what I really mean. It was in reading my father’s blog entries that I realized that while I lack some language skills, I am still able to grasp not only the meaning of the written words, but those words’ soul. In between deciphering all the Japanese words that I don’t really know, I was still able to gather my father’s sense of being through the rhythm of his choice of words—–that kind, caring dad who’s always striving to do and become better.
Reading my father’s posts also served as a reminder that I need to renew my sense of commitment to relearn the Japanese language. Not only is it socially desirable to know a second language, it would definitely be fulfilling to me personally. Knowing a different language gives one a even broader way of expressing oneself. On the same line, if I fail to keep learning Japanese, it really is like choosing to lose a part of myself. But all those things aside, my desire to start studying Japanese again is fueled by that desire to be able to have better conversations with my family. Sure, there are many modes of communication to convey one’s thoughts, but there’s sometimes nothing like the power of words, either written or spoken. If a few sentences in a blog can capture some sense of Dad’s heart, then in order to understand even more about the essence of my father, I need to study Japanese.
I sent Dad a text message this morning telling him that I enjoy reading his blog posts and look forward to reading more. While I am not ready to tell my family about this journal, I am happy to know that I have this (secret) bond with my father.