An unknown known

With the semester at our university winding down, I am working around the clock. At times like this, at all times in fact, there are things that remind me of Rui, and cause an extra twinge of sorrow as his face visits me, or his voice or an image of him playing in his winter coat on the park climbing set flashes past my memory’s eye. And then, I mourn him again.

Soon I’ll write here more: I have some very serious thoughts to discuss, and I want to do them justice. Just know, everyone who stops here, that I’m grateful to you that you did so. And know that we parents of the abducted are all mourning a little extra hard right now, coming into the rush of people making holiday plans with their children or their best-loved people.

That space in the brain that was awakened by being a parent, that pathway of growth that was formed years ago where the energies of parental love pulsed through, does not close back up again. I think it may be misunderstood to say it this way at times, but I suspect most of my friends who have raised a child will agree. There are areas of psychological experience that alter  feeling and thought patterns that don’t recede again. Nor would we want them to, really, although they can cause us pain. A spear of grass or a budding flower seeks sunlight, leans one or another way to find it, and so do the stems extending within sections of our brains when we have high-intensity experiences. I don’t know whether it’s better to think of this metaphorically or otherwise, via a more empirical or scientific discovery. Either way, this unconscious process that alters us is an unknown known. We can’t pinpoint it nor fully characterize it, I don’t suppose, by looking at a graph or using imaging technology. But I am as certain of its existence as I am of the oxygen I’ll draw in my next breath of air. This is why we don’t and can’t give up, or give in. We cannot.

Who we have in our corner makes all the difference to our mutual abilities to survive. We parents of abducted children owe it to ourselves and our kids and our fellow human beings to recognize their struggles alongside ours. Too narrow a focus, and we become damaged and narcissistic. We also become less attractive allies in the eyes of our brothers and sisters. What is good for us, is good for all. We turn our backs on other forms of suffering today, and we in turn imperil ourselves and our chances. When the entire world mourns, we must align ourselves beside it, to earn the solidarity we desire.

* * * * * * * *

BPLPMP Z3

As I’m writing this note today, Morton Prager, my father, Rui’s grandfather, has just completed his 90th birthday. To this day, he is still doing some teaching, leading seminars, attending reading groups and passing the torch of learning and the sensibilities of his heart to others.

The question I send out today is, will you, Machiko Terauchi, create the opportunity for Rui to know his grandfather? You only have to respond to this request, to allow Rui to know from where his intelligence, sensitivity, his love for music or pictures comes. Whatever animates him today, he deserves to be that much more alive, rather than to be sequestered away where his inheritance remains a mystery, knowing that it is there yet fearing it, or remaining unable to touch it, to see it lit up. Leaving it an unknown known.

Posted in Brian Prager, Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Parental abduction, Parental Alienation, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

L-O-V-E

“Good morn’ or evening friends
Here’s your friendly announcer
I have serious news to pass on to everybody
What I’m about to say
Could mean the world’s disaster
Could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain

It’s that
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ around
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far

The force of evil plans
To make you its possession
And it will, if we let it
Destroy everybody
We all must take
Precautionary measures
If love and peace you treasure
Then you’ll hear me when I say

The force of evil plans to make you its possession  – Ohunki – child abductor & Japanese Nationalist

The force of evil plans can make you its possession Ohunki - abductor

Ohunki – child abductor & Japanese Nationalist

The force of evil plans to make you its possession

The force of evil plans
To make you its possession
And it will, if we let it
Destroy everybody
We all must take
Precautionary measures
If love and peace you treasure
Then you’ll hear me when I say

Don’t delay

Rui's abductor

Before… before… before…

You’ve got to stop it, please

Oh that
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far
People you know that
Love’s in need of love
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Right away
You know that hate’s

Hate’s goin’ around
Hate’s goin’ around
Breaking many hearts
Breaking hearts
Stop
You’ve got to stop it please
Before
Before
Before it’s gone too far

It’s up to you because
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away

You know that hate’s
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking
Hate’s tried to break my heart many times
Stop, you’ve got to stop it, please
Before it’s gone too far

Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far
Gone too far
People you know that
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away
Right away
You know that hate’s
Hate’s goin’ around
Hate’s goin’ around
Breaking many hearts
Stop
You’ve got to stop it please
Before
Before
Before it’s gone too far

It’s up to you because
Love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay
Send yours in right away

You know that hate’s
Hate’s
Hate’s goin’ round
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking
Hate’s tried to break our hearts many times

Just give the world love

Don’t, you’ve got to stop it please
Before before before
It’s gone too far…”

What the world needs now
L-O-V-E  love

Just give the world love
November, 2017

blue-earth-sunrise

Posted in Brian Prager, 誘拐犯, Japan Child Abduction, Japanese Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Ohnuki Kensuke Child Abductor, Parental abduction, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | 2 Comments

Collecting a New History of Grief (On Rui’s 12th Birthday)

“We live in a country where Americans assimilate corpses in their daily comings and goings.”
– Claudia Rankine, “The Condition of Black Life”

The appallingly truthful sentence above comes from a new book of essays I’ve recently been reading off and on, called Rebellious Mourning, a collection edited by Cindy Milstein, and published by AK Press with the subtitle The Collective Work of Grief. The book is full of beautiful and powerful texts and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The essay in which the sentiment Claudia Rankine is expressing appears commemorates Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Emmett Till, all victims of harsh racial violence in the United States. The essay also pays an equally deep homage to honor and recognize the grief of their mothers, the parents of these children, who have been living witnesses whose recognition provides a response to the vast and profound sleep-walking obliviousness and indifference of a surrounding larger society that struggles, but cannot yet be sufficiently roused by identification with the enormous communal and individual grief of these families and communities to put an end to the brutal violence here directed at our brother, our sister, our cousin, our nephew and niece, and our children.

In another essay in the book, “Rages of Fukushima and Grief in a No-Future Present”, this fact is echoed by Sabu Kohso and Mari Matsumoto, as they discuss the obstacles to a confrontation with the Japanese state over the mass violence and death brought about by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  The main obstacle, they explain, is “a massive obliviousness to the devastating situation” which, soon after March 11, 2010, “settled in, allowing for the continuation of business as usual.” Among the many culprits responsible for this failure of recognition – corporate interests, disaster governance that scapegoats and casts the victims aside, and more – the most emphatic for them is misdirected, politically motivated “nationalist empathy” – sentiments of the nationalist right which immediately short-circuited mourning, demanded the rapid industrial and commercial  reconstruction of Fukushima, and which is now a lethal undercurrent  in a state that is directed to militarization, exacerbating regional tension, and thereby masking the disastrous threats and increasingly precarious hold on life of millions of its directly-affected people.

Mari Matsumoto rightly praises grassroots groups of women in Japan in particular for having lead an organizational effort to oppose Japan’s institutional indifference to its people’s well-being in the aftermath of Japan’s self-nuking. Despite clear evidence supported by the World Health Organization and others, which found radioactive particles in the breast-milk of nursing mothers far away in Tokyo, the Japanese government set up supremely lax measures to respond to the nuclear disaster, doubling down on its victims, making small children into the most profoundly affected of all. As Matsumoto explained, “local governments have no measures to take” because they were mandated first and foremost by the authorities to “cover up the effects of radiation on one’s health.”

These essays drive home the necessity of helping ourselves to address those structures and persons who have harmed us by collectivizing our grief , not nationalizing it. Official attempts to direct the people of Japan to patriotic, flag-waving unity, when a sector of powerful interests had indeed issued an environmental assault on a generation, siphoned energies that ought to have been directed at challenging and changing the structures that dominate, rather than giving space to piousness or petty outrage against those who protested the lax response of the state. This pressure to conform to that which no one should conform to exacts a heavy price, not only from the people of Japan, but in a wider swath of environmentally threatened life as well. Collective resistance to the Japanese state’s lying, cover-ups, and policy of pacification, did engender some collective relief. But it fell far short of its goals under pressure, losing the war, leaving far more Japanese suspended in precarious lives, and in denial of the dangers which persist.


There is much more to the story of Japan’s nuclear disaster, and its national deference to official indifference to the lives of its people, particularly its children. These horrors are not and should not be confused with freely-made choices of the people of the country. They are rather choices made by the agents of national actors to suppress and subject the people to the will of profiteering ruling classes and their partners in the United States and around the world.

The point I raise today, is simpler. The same indifference and instrumentalization of real, living persons must be understood to be the profound decision of Japanese and American partners in the on-going deprivation, dispossession  (extending all the way to murder) of  children and vulnerable persons in the U.S.A. and Japan. This absolutely refers to and includes our abducted children. The methods differ in detail, but the induced collective sleep-walk is comparable. We have to rededicate ourselves to relieving our kids, cousins, loved ones and unknown neighbors to our care. If we cannot keep trying to reach the collective empathy of our fellow parents, all children of mothers, all persons who care for others and are in need of care, then we fail.
***

It’s late, and I can’t say more tonight. This post is dedicated with love to my son, Rui, who is now celebrating his 12th birthday and his 7th consecutive birthday without knowing how strongly his daddy and his American family loves and misses him. How much do I long every day to hold him as close in life as I hold him in my heart!

Few have an idea of those fathomless depths. But we continue to sing out to be heard.

Here is a song I recorded for Rui last week.

With love, from Daddy. ❤ ❤ ❤

With apologies and gratitude (of course) to Dante, Canto #1.

Posted in Brian Prager, 誘拐犯, Japan Child Abduction, Machiko Terauchi, Parental abduction, Rui Prager, Rui Terauchi, 寺内るい, 寺内真智子 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We fell asleep on the jungle gym in Washington Market Park

 

Phone’s off the hook No one knows where we are It’s a long time since I drank champagne The ocean is blue As blue as your eyes I’m gonna take it with me when I go Old long since gone Now way back when we lived in Coney Island Ain’t no good thing ever dies I’m gonna take it with me when I go Far far away a train whistle blows Wherever you’re goin Wherever you’ve been Waving good bye at the end of the day You’re up and you’re over and you’re far away Always for you, and forever yours It felt just like the old days We fell asleep on Beulah’s porch I’m gonna take it with me when I go All broken down by the side of the road I was never more alive or alone I’ve worn the faces off all the cards I’m gonna take it with me when I go Children are playing at the end of the day Strangers are singing on our lawn It’s got to be more than flesh and bone All that you love is all you own… I’m gonna take it with me when I go

Posted in Japan Child Abduction | 2 Comments