2 Maman Philippe

 

This week I was driving down Curtis St. —

 

Gearshift in neutral

Inertia-controlled

Silence.

 

buddha drawing

 

In As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams, translated by Ivan Morris, the theme of youth seems to be representative of being out of balance with one’s emotions. “I, being young and impressionable, was particularly moved by the scene and, when the time came, did not want to leave the shelter of our hut” (Morris, 39). Youth is linked closely with the inability to accept that life is always moving forward. In this quotation the author does not want to let go of a beautiful moment and letting disappointment get the best of her refuses to move on both literally and emotionally. The daughter of the Chamberain Major is a prime example of this. She had the youthful inability to accept her lot in life and as a result she does not find peace in death. “I am the daughter of the Chamberlain Major Counselor, and it is in this form I have been reborn” (Morris, 52). The cat is a trace of her former human self, dead before she could fully accept who she was at the time. The Chamberlain’s daughter’s death was described as pathetic for this reason (Morris, 53). The daughter is stuck in an almost limbo between having died beautiful and young, but ultimately ignorant of life’s inherent evanescence, just like the cat. The message here is clear. We must accept the fact that we do not have control over the entirety of life and we must live accordingly. As we near the end of the story, the author’s tone becomes one of acceptance. “At times when I am deeply moved by something, whether it be sad or happy, the particular aspect of nature at that moment, the look of the sky or the moon or the blossoms, sinks deeply into my heart” (Morris, 85). She has finally stopped dearly holding on to the ideal view of a “dream world,” in which she is swept up by a noble man (Morris, 64). This poem, taken from the story, I think best illustrates this ability to separate the beauty of moments past without being held up by the sadness of their imminent disintegration.

“Fondly indeed one views the river where those lovers meet,

and forgets the sadness of their ill-starred love” (Morris, 52).

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