…Suddenly I thought of an old friend
Separated from me by miles of mountain and rivers.
Will we ever meet again?
I gaze toward the sky,
Tears streaming down my cheeks.
-Taigu Ryôkan (1758-1831), translated by John Stevens (Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf)
My very first (and very well loved) book of Japanese poetry was John Steven’s One Robe, One Bowl, translations of the poetry of the Zen poet Ryôkan (1758-1831), which I bought when I was about 16. Although I’ve never achieved much with my own on-again-off-again affairs with writing poetry, I was and am still greatly moved by the simplicity of his verse and Stevens’ translation of it.
As I am not a wandering monk and the Japan Post can attest that I own more than one robe and one bowl, I find it hard to choose one of his poems for my announcement that I am leaving Kanazawa, a city I have grown to love quite fiercely (though I fear it may be unrequited), for new opportunities in the US. Thank you all for reading these last four years; and don’t worry– I will continue writing about Japan, culture, media, and gender as always, just from a new location. There might be a gap as I figure out my Internet situation, get over jet lag, and hop around between accommodations, but I’ll be back and hope to be better than ever. And I’ll have a brand new shiny copy of the new Ôoku: Eien movie (preordered) to motivate me to finish the drama recaps; some new manga to review; articles outlined….
It really hurts to this place, but I’m going to keep telling myself that it’ll be okay eventually. I’ll be back in one way or another, maybe for a shinkansen tour of Hokuriku (coming in 2015).
I don’t know how to write about this in a way that doesn’t seem trite (see above), so I will write a verse of my own here and hope it will be sufficient.
Sorting through my possessions
I keep every New Year’s card, every purikura photo
How much I fear forgetting
How much I fear being forgotten
See you on the other side. 宜しくお願いします！