I am a retired professor, living in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. I am married, and we have two grown children.
The retirement was a joyful occasion for me: I thought, ”Now that I am released from the constraints of the higher-education institution that I belonged to more than decades, I can freely express myself through varied media without suppressing thoughts that do not go well with institutional ideologies!” But, as many people who had undergone experiences similar to mine know, it is an illusion. No matter what we do, we are constrained in one way or another. For instance, at the very basic level, we have responsibilities and obligations as members of our global humanity. We have to be mindful of what we say and act. Certainly, the level of mindfulness varies depending on the social circumstance in which we interact with others. Sometimes we can be more uninhibited, expressing what we really think, but sometimes we are more reserved. The degree of reservations might be calculated (politicians almost always seem to operate on such an impetus), it might be practiced through social and psychological coercion, such as political correctness, or it might be done through empathy and sympathy. (Obviously, if we practice forms of constraints it is more desirable to do so from the last scenario.) Nevertheless, when a larger sphere of society is concerned, it is difficult to measure what sort or level of reservation is hoped for and what level of honesty is desirable simply because we are often limited by the social and historical contexts in which we live and think.
Such is the preamble for my blog site, “Harumi’s Observations and Thoughts.” What I write here is mine own without much external influences such as institutional ideologies or commercial interests. Since I am fully bilingual, fluent in both English and Japanese, I plan to write mostly in English, but also sometimes in Japanese if possible and appropriate.
The following list shows what I like; such a list is said to reveal the person who created it. Perhaps. But, such a list is almost always incomplete or it can be even occasionally misleading due to the psychological and physical contexts of its creation as well as the frailty of human memory. Nevertheless, it reveals some aspects of me to some extent.
Favorite Thinkers: Friedrich Nietzsche; Sigmund Freud; William James
Favorite Writers: Early John Barth; Jorge Luis Borges; Yukio Mishima; Haruki Murakami; Susan Sontag; Muriel Spark; Oscar Wilde
Favorite Artists: Botticelli; Brancusi; Van Gough; Rene Magritte
Favorite Architects: Tadao Ando; Le Corbusier; Frank Lloyd Wright
Favorite Musical Composer:
Johannes Sebastian Bach; Claud Debussy
Favorite Actors: Cate Blanchett; Hiroki Hasegawa; Audrey Hepburn; Peter O’Toole; Meryl Streep
Favorite Film Directors: Woody Allen; Early Jean-Luc Godard
Favorite Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Citizen Kane; Last Year at Marienbad; Lawrence of Arabia
Favorite Food: French; Japanese; Mediterranean