HAIKU: Sunday night, I was standing on the stone part of the benches in between Hillsides, just gazing aimlessly around.
IMAGE: Taira no Kiyomori
PARAGRAPH: On Evanescence and Form (pp. 39-51), Hojoki, and Heike Monogatari
I have concluded that I want to be homeless when I grow up. Or rather, the readings have only strengthened my yearnings to be a wanderer post-college. Chomei captures much of my anxieties surrounding abodes that I call ‘home’ when he writes that “Caught inside / a house might crush you” (Chomei, 52). I don’t know if it’s because I’m aware on some level beyond articulation that things and reality, like homes, are never permanent but whenever I find myself growing attached in any way to a particular place or location, I quietly begin to feel panicky, restless, and claustrophobic, as if trapped inside with no way to escape if I needed to. I’m aware that some of this anxiety might stem from the fact that my family moved many times in my childhood – I lived in four different states before my tenth birthday – so this sense of rootlessness and dislocation never really left me. The way I see it, less attachments, less worries, less distractions. And though there are times I relish being relatively not-tied-down and “free” as compared to many of my peers, there are also times where I feel a profound loneliness and fragility, or perhaps “vulnerability” is a better word. Compared to a rooted tree, a dandelion seed is at the mercy of the slightest breeze; then again, the tree has “more to lose” during a fierce storm. As Chomei later contemplates around pages 56-58 (beginning with “If you live among crowds . . .”), there are good and bad consequences surrounding each and every decision you make, “And so the question?” or rather, all the questions he asks thereafter: How should we live? How do we find peace in such an ambivalent reality? The readings basically made me cry again.