第32回 〜旅のはじまり〜{ベルギー編から未来へ}[English below]

更新日:9月25日

[English below] バレエダンサーの久寿奏恵さんから3回目のバトンを受けとりました!!

衣装デザイナーの鳥山美春です。


前回のパリ編(リレーエッセイ第19回)から続きます、ベルギーの旅物語。大手アパレル会社を辞めて旅に出発した32歳の出逢いと出来事、そしてそこに潜んでいた未来のお話です。



初めて降り立ったベルギーのアントワープ。アントワープと聞いて思い浮かぶのは、フランダースの犬で天に召される最後のシーンの教会です。


先輩が予約してくれたホテル B & B の目の前が

なんと、フランダースの教会でした。


次の日、パリに戻るまでの時間、先輩と分かれての散策が開始しました♪

先ずは、お腹が空いたのでパスタ屋さんに直行!そこで、慌てて食べていたパスタが服に飛び散り(笑)そんな私を見て笑っている男性がいました。そのテーブルには臨月の女性。お腹が大きくなっても恋人のように夫婦で仲良くランチをする姿が素敵でした。

私も将来、こんな風になりたいなぁ♡なんて思いながらお店を出て、気持ち良く町並みを歩いていると、向こうのオープンカフェから、やぁ!!という声が!

誰だろう?とよく見ると、さっき出逢った男性が、なんと!別の女性と居ました(驚)


1時間も経たない間に別の女性と!なんて男だ!!と怒りが込み上げながら無視して通り、先輩が待つアントワープの駅へと向かいました。

パリ行きの赤い特急電車タリスに乗るはずが、間違えて普通電車に乗ってしまいました。

席に着こうと車両に入ると、やぁ!!!の声が!指を3本にして、また会ったね!と満面の笑みで両端をおばさま達に囲まれて座っているプレイボーイ男との三度目の再会でした!


先輩がどうしても、赤いタリスに乗り換えたいと言うので、その男に尋ねるきっかけで話を聞くと、ブリュッセルからアントワープの友人達に会いに来ていた。学生の頃、台湾からブリュッセルに渡り、建築家と水墨画家のプロとして活躍している、コウヨウドウさんというアーティストだったのです。


私は、会うたびに違う女性といるから プレイボーイと思った!と言うと笑っていました。

また、君は面白い人だ!から始まり(笑)、、色々な話をしました。(身振り手振りで)

ブリュッセルで一旦降りて、コーヒーをご馳走になり、赤いタリスに乗れるように手配もしてくれて、凄く優しい人でした。

ありがとう!!またね!と感謝感謝で別れました。

人は話してみないと分からないものですね^ ^


ゼロになるべく出発した旅で、パリ、ベルギー、イギリスと沢山の人に出逢い、助けてもらいました。その核になる出逢いは芸術家でした。

芸術家は枠や垣根が無く自由。

自由の向こうには、自分を確立している頑張りがあるんだな!!

改めて、本当の自由を掴みたい!と思いました。

そして、人生で大切なのは感謝だ。と言うことを気付かせてもらった旅となりました。


最後にイギリスのリヴァプールで、願った事を覚えています。

自分がこの先ずっと生き生き過ごしていく為に、好きな2つのことを続けていく。

舞台に関わって行くこと、服の仕事を通して日本とヨーロッパを行き来すること。でした。


(一度は、全て手放して地元に帰り、ご縁のある方達に出逢い、忘れた頃に願いが叶っていることに気がつく。)


そして、その11年後、、結婚、出産した翌年43歳でアントワープの地を再度踏むことに。

舞台『Puz/zle』(シディ・ラルビ・シェルカウイ演出)の衣装デザイナーとして、アントワープ、フランス、日本を行き来して仕事をする機会が訪れたのです。

3度目のクリエーション場所になったベルギーの素敵な街、トゥルンホウトでは、ナンバー410のバスを毎日見ながら劇場に通いました。

410、私の生まれた誕生日。

あのアントワープの旅から、ここに来ることが決まっていたかのような不思議な気持ちになりました。



32歳の私、願ってくれて ありがとう!!


まだまだ旅の途中♪



次のリレーエッセイは、

こちらも素敵な芸術家の男性。

藍染アーティストの林 広さんです^ ^


Message of the Week

Hallo! I'm Miharu Toriyama, a costume designer. Wishing you enjoyed my stories in Paris (Members' Blog # 19), I'd love to write a bit more about my trip; this time, let me talk about my story in Belgium.


Having quitted my job at one of the leading apparel companies, I left for a journey through Europe at the age of 32, and who could expect that I would discover the key to my future through numerous, almost countless encounters?


My trip in Belgium started from Antwerp, which instantly reminded me of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal Antwerpen "Cathedral of Our Lady", where Nello and his best friend Patrasche were called to heaven at the very end of the story A Dog of Flanders by Marie Louise de la Ramée a.k.a Ouida. The B & B where I was staying was located just in front of this Cathedral, which made my trip even more special!


The next day, I had an enough time to go for a stroll until I left Belgium back to Paris. I decided to start my day by filling my stomach at pasta shop. While eating rather quickly, I messed up my dress with pasta sauce scattered around, which seemed to amuse the man sitting at the next table. Next to him was sitting a lady who was obviously in her last month of pregnancy. I was very much impressed by the way they were sitting at the table like young lovers!


"Oh, I wish I were like that in the future!" I left the shop feeling very happy and kept on walking. All of a sudden, I heard the voice saying "Hallo!" to me from the table at the sidewalk cafe. Wondering who was calling me, I looked around and found that man at the pasta shop sitting there with ANOTHER lady!!


What a man! Dating with two ladies within an hour!? I got very angry and passed by ignoring him and hurried to Station Antwerpen-Centraal, where my friend was waiting for me. Though we were planning to get on Thalys, a high-speed train of wine-red color, it was only after our train left the station that we realized we had got on the wrong train. We had to find seats anyhow and got into the compartment, where I found that man (for the third time of the day!) saying "Hallo, again!" to me with three fingers up! This time again, with a big smile on his face, he was surrounded by beautiful middle-aged ladies. Oh, no!


As my friend insisted that we should definitely find the way to change to Thalys, I had to ask that man how to do that though I was not very happy. And we found that he had come to Antwerp from Brussels to visit some of his friends, and also that he had come to Brussels all the way from Taiwan; actually he was an artist named Huang Yao-Tang, working as an architect and an artist of abstract paintings with ink-brush touch.


I frankly confessed, "I was convinced that you were a kind of womanizer, simply because you were with different ladies whenever I saw you!", which greatly amused him again. Just like Heinz, a cellist of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (see the story of Members' Blog # 19), he said "You are so unique!" and we talked, talked and talked all through gestures and expressions. We got off the train at Brussels and he kindly treated us to lovely coffee and helped us to change to Thalys. With our deepest gratitude, we parted saying "Thank you so much!" See you again!" He was such a thoughtful man! I really learned that we shouldn't judge people as the way they look.


In this way, during my trip through Paris, Belgium and England, I met numerous people and was greatly helped by them, in particular, by those who were artists. I realized that artists are always free from any kinds of boundaries, and that backbone of such freedom is always their deep trust on themselves. And I really wished I could have such freedom inside of me. I also learned one of the most important things in our life is to have gratitude in our minds, always.


Having written my essay this way, I am now thinking of the wish (or decision, I should say) I made when I was in Liverpool, U.K.

"All through my life from now on, I will stay involved in two things that I love from the bottom of my heart: one is to keep myself involved in performing arts and the other is to keep travelling between Japan and Europe as a designer. (Actually, there was a time when I gave up everything and got back to my hometown after I made this wish, but again through colourful encounters with people that I was meant to meet, I realized that my wish had come true without noticing it. But this is another story!)


11 years later, I returned to Antwerp at the age of 43, a year after I got married and gave birth to my son. I got a chance to join the Eastman production “Puz/zle” (choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) as a costume designer going back and forth between Antwerp, France and Japan. In Turnhout, Belgium, where my "third" creation started, I went to theatre by bus # 410 everyday. 410 is the special number for me, you know, I was born 10, April ;-)


Now I am feeling as if I had been meant to be back to Belgium since when I first visited Antwerp.


So in my mind, I often talk to younger "me" who was 32 years old, "Thank you very much for making a wish! I am still on the journey!"

-- Miharu Toriyama (30, August 2021)

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