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#MicroblogMondays 139: Wind Phones

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Atlas Obscura had a post about wind phones: disconnected phones set up in Japan so people could call their lost loved ones.  The article begins:

When Itaru Sasaki lost his cousin in 2010, he decided to build a glass-paneled phone booth in his hilltop garden with a disconnected rotary phone inside for communicating with his lost relative, to help him deal with his grief.

I clearly found the idea touching, but I also found it strangely comforting.  Yes, I know it’s a disconnected phone and that I could just speak my words into thin air, but there is something about holding a tangible object as you speak.  I would do anything to get to speak to my grandmother again, to feel like I’m communicating with her even if I don’t get an answer.

Who would you call on the wind phone?

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21 comments

1 Mali { 04.24.17 at 5:57 am }

I’m not sure what I think of the idea, but if I was to use it, I suppose I’d talk to my mother and father.

2 Middle Girl { 04.24.17 at 7:49 am }

I still have my mother’s cell phone and for a long time after her death I called her so I may hear her voice via her VM announcement. So, yeah, my mother. It’d be rad to get my mom and grandmother on a three-way wind phone call.

That said, I doubt I’d go to a wind phone booth.

3 Beth { 04.24.17 at 8:32 am }

I would call my grandma and tell her about my daughters because she’d be crazy about them. Typing this makes me cry because I know I can’t really do that. I don’t know if i would go to the phone booth or not. I imagine it would be like when I visited the cemetery. It should be comforting I guess but would probably just remind me of what I’m missing.

4 Traci York { 04.24.17 at 9:14 am }

I agree that it sounds very comforting. I would definitely call my dad, then my grandparents.

5 Working mom of 2 { 04.24.17 at 9:57 am }

My dad. He was hard of hearing and a PITA sometimes so there were times I would just let his calls go to vm when I was at work. Oh, if I could only go back in time and answer. 😢

I was just remembering yesterday how funny it was to think the sport facility I spent many hours at growing up had a pay phone, and how as teenagers we would call it to reach our friends, and how I still remember the number (facility long gone). And how we were ok with not having a phone with us and being able to reach people/be reached at all times. We didn’t know any different and never dreamed there’d be such a thing as cell let alone smart phones. (1980s)

6 Raven { 04.24.17 at 10:15 am }

I like that idea. I’m not sure if I would use it, but I absolutely know people who have and who would happily use it. There is something about talking to your loved ones who have passed that makes me so comforted.

7 Turia { 04.24.17 at 10:18 am }

I don’t know that I would use this because I never find myself talking to people I’ve lost, but I can absolutely see the appeal.

8 Jess { 04.24.17 at 10:21 am }

I love Japanese culture so much. I’m not sure I would go to a booth, but to have a beautiful place where there is a rotary phone, or a place to sit and converse with someone who’s gone from this earth? That sounds so beautifully symbolic. I would call my grandmother. I don’t really talk to her per se now, but I could see going at a special time, like a birthday or a day when there was an event, and connecting in that way. How beautiful.

9 Shail { 04.24.17 at 12:07 pm }

I don’t think I would. But if at all I did, I would call my lost pets.

10 Sharon { 04.24.17 at 12:31 pm }

Hmm. Interesting concept.

If I could talk to anyone who is no longer living, I would want to talk with my paternal grandmother (who lived with us from the time I was a year old until she died when I was 17 and was like a second mother to me) or my grandfathers, since I never got to meet either of them.

11 Chris { 04.24.17 at 1:08 pm }

Without a doubt my mom! And I have a couple pets I’d like to talk to as well, but my mom would definitely be first.

12 Lavonne @ the OCD infertile { 04.24.17 at 1:51 pm }

There are so many people I wish I could call. My grandpa who helped raise me, my friend that was killed in a car wreck at 18 years old, and so many more. I think right now I would like to speak to my sister-in-law though. I wish I could know if she was happy with how things have been since she left and I long to hear that she is proud of how we are raising her daughter.

13 Journeywoman { 04.24.17 at 2:19 pm }

My mom, but likely I wouldn’t use it.

14 Vaibhav { 04.24.17 at 3:23 pm }

I don’t know, I tend not to be fearful of death or think about deceased relatives.
Maybe I’d talk to my grandfather, whom I never met, to understand what makes my father tick the way he does.

15 Mary Francis { 04.24.17 at 5:29 pm }

I think I’d have to make a list!

At the top would be my dear friend Vivienne, who died in 1998. There would be no sadness, in fact I think we’d spend the entire call laughing. She had such an infectious laugh.

16 Counting Pink Lines { 04.24.17 at 5:45 pm }

I think I’d use it not just for those who have passed on but those who have left my life in more figurative senses — the friends who grew up to be different people, the people who are too busy for you anymore…

17 Jenn P { 04.24.17 at 8:42 pm }

I don’t know if I would use one but I support the idea. It could help bring closure and connection as part of a grief process.

18 Chandra Lynn { 04.24.17 at 9:56 pm }

I’d call my little sister whom we lost to breast cancer four years ago.

19 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 04.25.17 at 12:29 am }

I thimk I heard about this on This American Life! It’s a fascinating concept. I would talk to my grandma too. She’s been on my mind a lot lately. Or my cousin that passed away 2 years ago this month. We had reconnected before that, but mostly at big family gatherings. I’d love to have a long one-on-one conversation with her.

20 Different Shores { 04.25.17 at 6:04 am }

My mum died when I was 18 so I’ve never had a phonecall from her. I get a strange supernatural thrill imagining her ringing me now. It’s also poignant: I just don’t know what it is to get a call from your mother, the thing most people take for granted. It’s probably annoying most of the time but she is also the person who feels a visceral connection to you (if you have a good relationship) whereas most others don’t give a shit, even siblings. I like the idea of these wind phones: on a couple of occasions I’ve spoken into my own phone and said “hey, mum” just to see what it feels like in my mouth.

21 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.25.17 at 2:30 pm }

I’d reach out to my cousin who died many years ago from complications of diabetes and pregnancy. Her grown daughter is now pregnant, and I’d love the chance to let her know how beautifully she’s grown up.

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