Dry Winter Air

Awake in the middle of the night on Monday with a bloody nose, standing by the nightlight in the bathroom.

Eyes, cold and red

A dim light in the wall

darkness outside

I get the idea of Nothingness and Something when applied to making friends and not needing any more. But it’s a misleading reduction. They say extroversion and charisma are things that people “have” or “haven’t,” but I’m not sure that’s the truth. I think we’re all just mired by our own compulsions. Look at Atsumori- Taira admits to being as deep in sin as “the sea by a rocky shore” (Atsumori, 69) while Kumagai is so wrapped in remorse he lives as an ascetic. But when the both of them stop being overcome with these preoccupations, they are “re-born together.” (Atsumori, 73) And I truly believe it’s no different with the people you meet every day. Remember in Middle and High school, how you could go to class and be self-conscious *all day* about a blemish or stain on your shirt, or some mistake you made in class? The truth is everyone felt like that. And there are two ways to get over it- 1) point out other people’s shortcomings and put them on the defensive or 2)get over it. What weirds me out about Japanese culture is that the emphasis seems to be on option (1). As you say in E & F, “there are no excuses for doing things the wrong way.” (Inouye, 64) But then you say that “kata becomes a counterbalance to evanescence.” (Inouye, 65) But isn’t this MORE than a counterbalance? In Atsumori it’s a direct conflict! Kata  demands that the two BE preoccupied with their duties, but the story reaches its climax when kata falls to the wayside. Do the Japanese *like* when kata is overcome by evanescence?

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One Response to Dry Winter Air

  1. I like your image of high school life, but isn’t there a third option? Couldn’t you embrace that stain or blemish, not as a defect, but just as a part of you? I’m assuming most people don’t consider themselves to be all-perfect, so couldn’t they praise that imperfection? It might go along with “getting over it,” but could also take it to another level.

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