This photo of John Lennon was posted on the web by Yoko Ono to celebrate John’s fatherhood. There’s John the daddy; a European much loved by Japanese people, caring for his son in the park. John’s cross-cultural marriage to Yoko was a liberating step into embracing humanity. They showed the world that national, linguistic boundaries that separate people didn’t amount to much more than ideological and imaginary combinations of built-up illusions and fascinating, distracting ghosts. They made puppets out of us and were used as tools to drive us to distrust each other and go to war. All people who have loved people whose language and history are at an angle from their own know this.
And yet? Although love can make us eager to unite, we can’t escape interior demons that eat lovers and divide us inside our homes. No one loves perfectly, in all ways and at all times. Dragging ourselves into maturity, we learn to remember to have empathy for our mates and hold our tongues when the relationship brings us grief, so that when we work to return reason and caring to our relationships, family love can survive.
Along with John, who failed at this often enough and then famously came home to ultimately succeed at it, other British rockers (The Kinks!) had something beautiful to sing about this too:
So we will share this road we walk
And mind our mouths and beware our talk
‘Till peace we find tell you what I’ll do
All the things I own I will share with you
And if I feel tomorrow like I feel today
We’ll take what we want and give the rest away
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one
Strangers, but we are one.
My boy, Rui, is pictured here next to John and Sean. Like Sean, his parents grew up in different languages on different continents. Sean’s mother and father bridged their lives with struggle and love. A courageous couple learned from experience to stop passing their pain on to their partners, and to the young and innocent around them.
It’s a consequential struggle to protect the child of a brusque, violent family split from the emotional violence a hurting parent can inflict. His heart is tortured and oppressed. Although he hides it well, it stays there in his eyes, deep in his mind, and can be seen if we look.
My half-American , half-Japanese son, Rui, only 5 years old this week, abducted to Japan by his mother, is caged today in a universe of chauvinism, hidden far away from his Daddy. His mother’s eyes have been blinded by the demons she is actually tending to every day by keeping my son enmeshed in her life and away from his father. Perhaps she sees only the mirrors on the back of her eyelids. She must be too busy recoiling from the bad men, by-products of her own soiled childhood stored in her psyche, to see the potential for father-son love that is actually standing before her. She is pointlessly replaying her own hazardous family drama; only now, she is the so-called heroine, and Rui, the so-called saved child.
Yoko Ono (famously) must know something about this experience. She struggled for years to regain the rights to her daughter, Kyoko, who was kept from her by an irrational, self-absorbed spouse. For others who face this with fewer resources and less fame, what hope will the future bring us?
People loved the Utopian dreams John Lennon grew into as he matured. Imagine love crossed all boundaries, united all fathers, all mothers. Imagine we weren’t all crippled inside. He sang high: it seemed so real to me.
Out here, we are still left holding onto soiled dreams.
Don’t you know it’s gonna be … all right.
Don’t you know it’s gonna be … all right.
3 thoughts on “Strangers on this road we are on, We are not two, we are one.”
I miss him, too! So often when we love someone we think we can see them soon or any time & then suddenly they’re gone & we can’t see them. May the world notice & fight for a boy’s right to know his loving father.
I second Gretchen’s comments. If we can just spread the words of this blog far and wide, then perhaps this road, traveled by even more, shall give further proof that we are all still one.
May that road lead straight to Rui.
Another poignant, thoughtful and eloquent post.
I hope someone with some pull and power stumbles upon your blog Brian. Let’s bring Rui back soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!