Saturday, August 20, 2011
closing the parenthesis
What is another language? Not just words
and rules you don't know, but concepts too
for feelings and ideas you never knew,
or thought, to name; like a poem that floods
its lines with light, as in the fabled
origin of life, escaping paraphrase.
So living in that country always was
mysterious and never to be equalled.
--Andrew McNeillie, from 'Cynefin Glossed'.
It has been with me for four years and I made it into the main vehicle for tackling the perplexities of living in this country. I have tried, not always successfully of course, to strike a balance between my own limited perception and a desire to generalise and understand the larger patterns of life here so as to stay afloat and not be hopelessly engulfed by them.
I wrote the truth as I saw it, to paraphrase an intrepid predecessor who travelled in Japan at the end of the 19th century and soon found the country 'a study rather than a rapture'. More than a century later, so did I.
The time has come to bring this space to a close, as I will now be moving elsewhere and opening a new chapter in life. I will no longer be in Japan, but Japan will always remain in me and be joined by other equally baffling places and experiences. The writing is thus bound to continue somewhere (I'm already marinating some ideas), and, to those who might eventually be interested in following it, I will leave a note here at some point. It might still take me a while to find my feet though, so please bear with me.
Apart from a few friends who give me feedback every now and then, I don't really know the identities nor the motivations of the readers who have followed this blog regularly or occasionally, but I'm grateful for their time and interest.
And I couldn't possibly leave without also expressing my appreciation and thanks to the dear enemies, those who through their example have shown me the kind of person I most definitely do not want to become. Amazing indeed how a couple of years in this society can make empty shells of so many -- way too many -- people. That's why I'm out of here, while there is still some humanity left in me.
The journey continues -- and with it the bewilderment, the curiosity, the discovery, the desire for the new and the unexpected.