I was walking along a beach in Cape Cod, shortly after dawn, when I realized how the dunes hid the moon from the shore.
is behind the dunes,
but I can still see.
It is interesting how the centrality of hakanasa in Japanese culture influenced understandings of love. If one assumes an ever-changing reality, how could there be a way of measuring moments, situations or encounters of the past? If there is such “futility in measuring” (Inouye, 26) How can we draw any comparisons? Progress cannot exist. Identifying with the argument that progress is obsolete has implications when conceptualizing love.
After the sixth century, the emphasis of Buddhism in the “need to free ourselves from a reliance on external things” (Nara Buddhism, 94) just reiterated the centrality of hakanasa. In As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams it is clearly manifest how “externals are so changeable that they can only deceive” (Nara Buddhism, 94). The female writer of the Heian period is drawn to romantic literature in her early days, where she finds shelter from her changing reality. She finds in such literary characters a vision for her own life. However, in reality, she got married and became a mother, but in her dreams, she wishes for “a well born gentleman like Shining Prince Genji, perfect in looks and manners” that would visit her “once a year in the mountain village” (Sarashina no nikki, 317). We will never know how she lived, but we can still enter her dreams through her writing.