Sunday, December 15, 2013

The ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Alright guys, this is it, it is THE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Well some of you will know this story, and others may not.  I was raised by a single father whom was an artist for a living, and he was the single greatest influence in my life to everything that I am now.  You'd be hard pressed to meet such a beautiful soul in the world, and I feel so grateful for the time we had together.  He taught me to love, to create, and to share.  Community and art was our life, and with that as my base, I grew.  My father passed away when I was 18 years old... almost 10 years ago but I have not forgotten about him.  

His name was Pete Zawadzki, and I could not have asked for a better parent.  I am where I am and who I am because of him.   He is held dearly in my heart, though I can feel him slipping away from the world in a sense, and I feel that it is time to do something.

I've been living in Japan for five years now, and it is a beautiful life here, and I do so love it.  But there is also something very special about my home town filled with the crazies...   It is a whole 'nother world here and there, but each have their strong points.  Truth be told, I have no idea at all where in the world I want to spend my life at this point.  

What I do know is that back in the United States, I have a storage unit sitting with hundreds of paintings by my father, just gathering dust, and I consider it the saddest story of my life.

I can remember the first time I left America, I felt at such peace to be away.  Then, from the very first time I stepped foot **back on US soil** from a trip abroad, I knew quite clearly that the US was not a place I could stay forever.

And yet, with that said, as time keeps on passing, and thoughts keep on molding... I have found myself in awe of the respect for one's own country that I find here in Japan.  There is something to be proud of in this country, and it has made me yearn for such a feeling.  I've decided I want to spend some more time in the United States, and to give myself something to be proud of where I come from.

Next year will be 10 years since my father's death, and with all this in mind, I have decided that next year I am going to return to the United States for a while.  I'm planning to bicycle through all of the states, and  I intend to put a painting of my father's in a locally owned business in each state.   It is my tribute to my father, and my tribute to home.

I am calling the project American Ongaeshi (恩返し)ー A Tribute to Home.  Ongaeshi is a Japanese word that does not translate very well into English.  It means to repay a favor, and is often used in the case of a parent taking care of a child, and a child doing something to return the favor for that. 

I'll have to admit, I'm both incredibly excited and terrified all at once.  I honestly have no idea at all if this is even possible, but what i have decided is that I have to at least try.  I have to do what I can, and I have to share my father's art with the world -- to keep it alive, to keep him alive in a sense.  And I do so love a good journey!

For now, I still have another 6 months in Japan -- I'm intending to leave in mid May.  I am in Japan, and I want to be in Japan and live life here well.  This is no time for goodbyes!

私は来年しばらくアメリカへ帰ります。多分、知っている人もいると思うけど、使命があります。今までの一番大きいな影響を受けた人は父でした。私は、父子家庭で育ちました。他に家族はいませんでした。は画家で、禅宗に興味がありました。だから、ずっと子供の時から日本の色々な物に囲まれて育ちました。自分でも、アニメ・ゲームを見つけて興味、父もそれをとても応援してくれました。結構小さい頃から日本へ来たかったです。
私は18才の時、その父を亡くしました。18才で、世界が逆立ちになりました。父もいなくなり、住む所もなくなり、そしてずっと囲まれていた絵は倉庫に入れられ、もうだれも見ることができなくなりました。とても大変な時でした。
でも、周りにいい人がたくさんいました。父の友達と一緒に住み、大学に入りました。出来るだけ早く日本へ留学しました。またアメリカへ戻って、卒業して、また日本へ。人生が何とか続けました。でも、18歳から父の絵は、ずぅっと倉庫に眠ったままです。それは、私にとって、とても悲しいことです。
来年は父が亡くなってちょうど10年になります。来年はその絵を世界に見せます。私には、この使命が待っています。
アメリカに帰って、全州を自転車で巡ります。子供の時、父の絵や色々な物を売る店に住んでいましたので、全州にある地元のお店に父の絵を飾りたいと思います。絵の隣に、子供の時からの話も飾ります。こんな風に父との思い出、子供時代の思い出を生かしたいです。
私にとって、日本はとても大切な所です。初めて海外へ出たときから、アメリカには住みたくないことがわかっていました。でも、日本へ来てから、自分の国に誇りがある人にたくさん会いました。アメリカに対して、そういう気持ちは全くなかったので、とても感動しました。なので、アメリカ人としての誇りを見つけたいです。
実はたくさんの理由で、私にとって日本はとても大切な所です。だから、来年のアメリカ帰国は、日本への「GOODBYE」ではなく、「SEE YOU」です。後五ヶ月ぐらいありますので、その時まで、たくさん遊びましょう! 

1 comment:

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