Sentimental Tuesday questions, Hirokazu Koreeda edition

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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54 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:


    Is this the space where we will be spending eternity? Or the road we will traverse to reach it?

    If it is the latter… mine would look like the player tunnel leading out to the field for the Super Bowl. I’d be wearing a dark green Eagles jersey, with #20* emblazoned across the front. My teammates would be lining the tunnel… though in reality, they would be my friends, family, and loved ones. The announcers would call my name and I’d sprint out of the tunnel, my teammates trailing behind. We’d gather in a circle, I’d say something wildly inspirational and do some energizing dance, and we’d sprint through the pearly gates. Gratuitous ass slapping would ensue**.

    * Unretired with Mr. Dawkins’ special permission
    ** I’m tempted to joke that our otherwise wildly divergent answers might have this part in common.Report

    • Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy says:

      Yes. The latter.

      What happens Next is anyone’s guess. But you get to pick what your last glimpse of Earth will look like. (And, heck, I’ll bend the rules to let you come back and visit this one spot as often as you like, in whatever company you choose.)Report

  2. J@m3z Aitch says:

    A high mountain valley with a big lake and waterfalls cascading down the mountains, where we all live in cozy rustic cabins and hang out by the campfire every night drinking and having companionable conversations.Report

  3. BlaiseP says:

    Probably look something like this. South of Menomonie WI. Not far from where Neil Gaiman lives.Report

  4. NewDealer says:

    Alpha Plus for the Koreeda Hirokazu shout-out. Though a variant.

    Something similar to yours but not an hour out of NYC (that is too far). I think the weather would approximate 6-8 months of high autumn (temperatures in the mid-50s with full leaves turning) 2-3 months of June perfection, and the remainder being early winter. I would live in a Brooklyn brownstone or in some colonial in an arty-college town that is close to NYC (think Bronxville or a NYACK or Rhinebeck that is closer to NYC). Plus there would be a library with all the books and movies in the world ever made and new additions are constantly coming in from the real world. There would be the theatre greats still performing. Plus easy transport to London, Paris, and Tokyo and the great museums of the world.

    Why not go big? 🙂

    Yes I really am a sentimental sap. Just one with exceedingly good taste* 🙂

    *No Thomas KincadeReport

  5. Tod Kelly says:

    One of those open house parties we have once or twice a year.

    One where family and friends are practically pouring out the front and back door, the food has turned out just right, and the drinks are flowing. Every time you turn around you run into some person you hadn’t yet known was there, and you shake hands or embrace, catch up on their lives and remember with an almost intimate affection why you were drawn to this person’s sphere in the first place. There’s laughter and loud talking and arguing and bragging and praising and condolences and love and – of course – the music. Always, the music.

    The inferno, of course, would be the picking up afterwards.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I find the inferno to be that hour before the party… when no one has yet arrived but I have finished making all preparations. I usually get so excited to host parties that I’m up early and prepped well-ahead of time (though Zazzy usually points out things I hadn’t yet done… like restock toilet paper in the bathroom… who has time for that when their are Italian party shorts to iron?). So I’m usually ready with about 45 minutes to go and sit there, waiting anxiously, wondering if I should have a drink or 3 before people arrive or if this signals a drinking problem… hoping my friends show up before her friends so we can wrangle control off the music.

      The calm before the storm is unbearable. LET’S JUST PARTY ALREADY! I find the cleanup surprisingly tolerable.Report

    • bluefoot in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I was just reminiscing with a friend of mine about one the best parties we ever went to. It started as a bunch of people going over to a friend’s house the day after a huge party to help clean up…that turned into a party. It essentially had self-selected for the kind of friends who would come over to help clean up, haul all the empty bottles to the recycling center, mop the kitchen floor, pick up any bottles and glasses (or pieces thereof) perched in odd places around the house and garden, etc. I think it transition from clean up to party started when someone put on some music to accompany the cleaning….and then someone opened a beer from the extras in the refrigerator…Report

      • Not so very long ago I had quite a lovely time with two wonderful friends who helped me tidy up after I had a party in my house. (You know who you are.) It was one of my favorite parts of the day, which had been rather a special day all told.Report

  6. zic says:

    I already live in this special place, Western Maine. Right about now, it’s all turned golden.Report

  7. Growing up, there was a fountain at the corner of Sparks and Kent (in Ottawa) that was right beside my church. It wasn’t much, but while waiting for church to start, we’d be out there running on and across it. It was torn down 10 or 15 years ago, and probably for good reason. In retrospect, it was pretty ugly and now the street (which is a pedestrian mall) is more open. But I guess that’d be it; running around, on and across that fountain.

    And we’d all be kids… because we are.Report

  8. Damon says:

    Mt. St. Helens prior to the eruption.Report

  9. Boegiboe says:

    The high desert of New Mexico in late spring, when the Sun warms and the thin breeze cools, and at night, you can see Infinity above you. The main difference between this real place from my past and my paradise? Many more friends and family nearby.Report

  10. Burt Likko says:

    I would have it look like Yosemite Valley, in spring following a snowy winter, with the waterfalls in full flood. The sun’s rays turn the falls to the color of beaten copper, the sky is sapphire, and the valley floor is the color of an emerald.

    Full-on Eisenstadt.Report

  11. Jason Kuznicki says:

    The Rue Daguerre in Paris, a very nice neighborhood market street with a great selection of artisan food vendors, cafés, restaurants, and bars. One of the places where you can truly shop in the old-fashioned way, and the merchants know just about everything about the products they sell.

    Probably the best dreams I have are all variations on shopping in the market streets of Paris.Report

  12. Will Truman says:

    It would be patterned after the dormitory quadrangle at my alma mater. That’s not due to an attachment to college, but that place was just magical.Report

  13. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’m torn between three. So I’ll just give all three, in no particular order:

    1. Dawn on a Sunday in late April at my alma mater in upstate New York. Despite having partied all night, the alcohol is mostly worn off for the die-hards still standing. The rising sun is hitting the golden top of the bell tower on the chapel and the mist is rising from the lake at the bottom of the hill. “Amazing Grace” is playing on the bagpipes in the background.

    2. Bouzy, France ( Everyone’s English would still be as mediocre and stilted as my French, yet we’d understand each other perfectly well just the same. The champagne, of course, would be flowing freely.

    3. Virgin Gorda, on the trail between the Baths and the ironically named Devil’s Bay, just not on a day when the cruise ships are around:

  14. Jaybird says:

    Pre-marriage, it was in the last few moments at the dinky little restaurant after we’d turned off the “OPEN” sign. One (sometimes two!) of the tables would have ordered a bottle of wine that they didn’t drink much from and we’d be splitting two or three glasses of wine between those of us who had stayed this late. I’d sit down with a basket of baguette heels (THE BEST PART) and a glass of wine and one of the entrees that the boss had made just a little too much of and do the numbers for the night on what I suspected was a second set of books and the waitress (one in particular) would lean over to clean my (already clean) table and lean in a little too close and smell like fruit tree blossoms. We’d make gentle flirty conversation after feeding more than a hundred people that night. The numbers would be good. And tomorrow would be exactly the same.

    Post-marriage, it’s pretty much a Saturday during Christmas Break. It’s chilly, but not cold, in the basement… good temperatures for wearing hoodies and fuzzy pants and slippers… and the cats are walking around us and falling asleep in the blankets we throw across ourselves as we nibble on our hot sandwiches and we sip our various drinks and watch our various shows (and the shows are so good that we finish one and say “do you want to watch the next one?” and we both do) and we know that we don’t have to do anything tomorrow either.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Oh, and I imagine I could sneak out for a smoke if I wanted to.Report

    • The first sounds nice in its way, but the second sounds like bliss.Report

      • I’m sure you’re familiar with “Heaven is a wedding”, this was kinda like that only a bit more low-key. To be surrounded by delicious food, to be surrounded by delicious wine, to be surrounded by beautiful people… both the co-workers and the customers, and to all be working together to feed cranky people and watch them transform before your very eyes into happy people was like falling in puppy love every day.

        The smells, dude. Imagine a world where everything smelled like something you very much wanted to start gnawing on.

        I don’t know how much of that was the whole “being 20 around people who were being 20” thing but… dang.

        Plus the music was very, very good.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Jaybird says:

      My pre-marriage paradise would be Tea Hill Beach (PEI) in August, without anyone else there, but knowing that all my most-loved ones were just up the hill in my Poppy’s house, waiting for me, whenever I was ready to leave the shore.

      Nowadays I would be most pleased in Jay’s paradise, but I would like there to be all my favorite books on the shelves and some bright and geometric needlework to keep my hands busy. Also, a door where if you go outside, it opens onto this one particular Narnian spot in New Zealand (north of Wellington), where the hillside is Steep Steep above your head (very close to being a cliff) and the ocean is *right there* next to the road. I suspect that road would be the road to Heaven proper, for me – and the pang of the sublime when I stepped out to watch Jay smoke would be enough to get me to take him by the hand and tug him to see what’s around the next bend. Maybe not the *first* time, but eventually.Report

    • Damon in reply to Jaybird says:

      Re the post marriage comments…

      That sir, is what I miss the most about not being married anymore.Report

  15. KatherineMW says:

    …Probably Lóthlorien.

    I am such a geek.Report

  16. krogerfoot says:

    San Francisco, with all the homeless, addicted, and crazy people healthy, safe, and happy. All the sane but vicious people would still be there, too, but they probably wouldn’t notice anything different.Report

  17. Darwy says:

    I want a bowling alley – with all the new gear and glitz.. with wide screen TV’s that will always show the Patriots and the Red Sox 😀Report

  18. North says:

    East Ironbound Island, Nova Scotia. Slightly foggy; cool but not cold. Either very early or very late so it’s not dark but not bright. The fog horn calls out and then a few seconds later the echo like a phantom twin foghorn answers from across the water. The fish aren’t gone and all my lost elderly relatives are back in their little homes up and down the rocky verdant slopes; oh and my cat and dog are there too.Report

  19. Cascadian says:

    I suppose life could get better. Kid could make World Cup and drag me around world class alpine resorts. Still, Whistler isn’t a kick in the ass. We have great skiing, mountain biking and climbing. Last year we were hooked on this video: The first time my partner saw Kid watching this she warned, “just because you have the camera doesn’t mean you get the life. Kid retorted, “I have the life, just need the camera”.

    On the process side of things, I get choked up over these:

  20. NewDealer says:


    Though part of the real joy of After Life is watching them film the memories in wonderfully low-budget ways. It is partially a movie about the joys of filmmaking.Report