You Can’t Bottle Voices

In this blog I’ve typically stuck to a mostly matter-of-fact tone of voice while recording my experiences. As my time in Japan draws to a close, however, perhaps these posts will be colored with a little more emotion. This isn’t a bad thing, of course. I’m just typically a private person in that sense.

Several weeks ago I don’t think I would have written this post, because I was doing everything I could to try and forget that my time is running out. There are still so many things I want to do, but I have only recently to come to terms with the fact that I might not be able to get them accomplished this time around. Maybe it was getting one of my biggest dreams out of the way, or maybe you just have to cope after a while. Who’s to say?

Lately, however, I’ve started to realize that there are things about home that might be nice to have back. I can be stimulated by a class, I can be free from the restraints of うち・そと, I can go swimming in a nice clean lake, or I can go for a late night car cruise with my close friend.

Of course there are plenty of things here I’ll miss, but today one stood out to me.

My friend and I have a weekly ritual of karaoke. On our way there today a young Japanese man waved at us from across the street. It was the vocalist I mentioned previously from the jazz circle. Ever since running into him I can’t get the memory of him singing The Days of Wine and Roses at my first session out of my head. I can remember the sound almost perfectly, yet at the same time it’s not satisfying. There’s something missing. While I also have two recordings of two separate performances of his, they aren’t quite enough. I listen to them and all I want is more, or maybe I just want to hear him sing that one song one more time.

But mostly what I feel is that once I go back, I’ll never be able to hear him again. It’s frustrating to me how fleeting something like a beautiful singing voice is. Once he closes his mouth, the sound is gone. Even if you remember it, it’s never in its full glory. You can’t bottle voices. Recordings get old in a way live performances don’t – there’s always something slightly different when you’re doing it live.

There are plenty of things I’ll miss, but perhaps something as small as this guy’s voice will be one of the biggest things.

That’s the shame of it. There are so many nice people I’ve met who I would like to talk to more, but since we never got to know each other on that level, we’ll lose contact quickly.

I’ll never know where that kid’s voice will take him.

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~ by megumiwasframed on June 27, 2011.

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