Images of Joy, Hope, and Love

Images of Joy, Hope, and Love


The road leading to the Kanagawa Prefecture Library in Yokohama is steep and  passes by a sculpted couple dancing on a pedestal. Ah, dancing. One of the joys in life. In my younger days, I danced cheek-to-cheek with the women whose company I enjoyed.

“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet,” Constanze Mozart (1762-1842) is reported to have said. How true. With a dancing partner in my arms, my mind drifted into the world of make-believe where I imagined me performing a glissade or even the splits. Reality kept me fully grounded and reduced my dance steps to a stumbling shuffle.

After a brief pause in front of the dancers to catch my breath, I move on toward the library.


I pass by this young woman whenever I walk from the Motomachi-China Town Subway Station to Yamashita Park in Yokohama. She sits almost hidden from view. Passers by pay no attention to her. Many are engaged in conversations or simply locked in their own thoughts. I sometimes stop and say hello. One sunny day in June I asked her what she was looking at.

“The blue sea.”

“The what?” I followed her gaze. Across the street a gaggle of junior high school students was walking past Barneys New York. They filled the air with clamorous laughter.

“The blue sea,” she repeated. “He will come back for me.” Her voice brimmed with hope.

“Who will come back?”

She remained silent. I glanced at my watch and hurried off to keep my appointment.


Climbing the steps leading from the French Gardens to Harbor View Park in Yokohama burns unsightly fat from my body. I sometimes take the steps two at a time, especially after I eat a hardy breakfast of natto mixed with a raw egg and seaweed. Each time I move along the path at the top of the hill I stop long enough to share a few unspoken thoughts with the sculpture of a mother and her two children.

For some reason, the sight of a mother holding her children close to her brings to mind video clips of survivors of military assaults on non-combatants in the Ukraine, Ethiopia, Myanmar and other hotspots in the world. So much suffering heaped on innocent people. Collateral damage, you might say? Murder, I say.

But parental love in times of duress help children cope with the horrors of living in a brutal world, an uncaring world.


What a cruel thing war is . . . to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbor. Robert E. Lee 1807 to 1870



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