Pic of the day: There is an expression, to carry your courage in your hands. I can't remember if it is an English or Japanese expression, I think I have only seen it when the two languages meet. Anyway, I needed to do that now, because I don't have all that much courage and I wanted to share it with you. (Screenshot from the anime Yakitate Japan.)
Why I wrote all that stuff
6 gray entries, and long ones at that. I think the last was the longest entry I have ever written, of any color. Nor can I remember having ever written about the same thing 6 days in a row. So what's the deal?
It all started when I got the single CD from cdJapan, with the song The End of the World. This song is written by Atsuko, and performed by her talented duo "Angela". There are other songs with that name, but this is the one that was used in the anime "Stellvia", quite a good series in its own right, about a time a couple hundred years from now when the future of Earth is threatened by remnants of a supernova explosion. A bunch of teenagers become humankind's last defense. Be that as it may, the songs are beautiful, although the lyrics can be a bit strange. This one certainly is. Fine, I like strange.
In fact, I already wrote one entry inspired by the first verse, which was the only one used in the TV series. I guess you can see some connection from that entry to the recent series of articles, although it is not quite the same thing. Perhaps it is like a seed, and this later series is like a small plant that has sprouted.
Now that I have the whole song, I also looked for the whole translation. I found this one, which looks like it is written in English by a Japanese rather than the other way around. It is probably also more correct, although Japanese can often be read in several different ways, especially lyrics. (I think they do that on purpose, and also their language is well suited for it.) The new translation is darker, speaking outright about the end of life. This is not a popular topic, generally.
In fact, I had recently read an entry by my old online friend who now calls himself "Bootingravy". In "Contemplating Death", he not only comments on one of my entries on the topic, but also puts word on feelings that I think a lot of us have at one time or another. The sheer immensity of the phenomenon "death" is such that if we don't keep a mental distance to it, it casts this deep shadow over our life. I felt a bit apologetic about having written such a disturbing entry, but I couldn't exactly retract it either. And being disturbing is the way I am. I aim to disturb from time to time, because in complacency nothing happens. When cooking food, you must stir sometimes, as I have found out the hard way. ^_^*
Also around the same time, I had gotten the letter from the hospital that I am to show up there on September 12th to have the lump in my breast checked out. They also want some blood tests done first. This is a pretty efficient reminder that I also have my personal event horizon. It was in this mood that I read the lyrics of a song I had already enjoyed listening to.
There is a saying in the Bible that perfect love drives out fear. I realize I am not perfect in love, because I am not without fear. But even if I fear, I still try to not get immobilized. And when I came to the second refrain, which I had already partly guessed from the Japanese text (yay, I am starting to pick up some Japanese!), suddenly the inspiration was obvious.
People are bewildered that life must end
And that's when I thought: How can I protect you? I am likely to be gone, my personal world ended before the wider world ends. What can I do so that, when I am gone, I can still protect my friends? That's how I decided to write this. The topic was also in the song: To rise above fate. After all, humankind has done that once before, when we rose from instinct to culture. So why not again? It all made sense.
So is this actually going to protect you from advertising, propaganda, rhetoric, and all the subtle manipulation that is trying to shape your fate? Don't I wish. But I hope it is a small gift to take with you on the road. The brilliant road to tomorrow...
"Brilliant road to tomorrow" (Asu e no brilliant road) is another song by Atsuko, also performed by Angela, and also used in the anime Stellvia.
Visit the ChaosNode.net for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.