Billions of seeds, but only a few watered. Which plants will grow?
Such is the state of living within a particular culture or region of the world. No matter what your background and history may be, you will be exposed to a new method of cultivation in a new culture. Japan has been good to me. I often wonder what elements of my soul that have been allowed to bloom here will desiccate if I return to the west.
There is a certain acceptance of silence here, and a greater acceptance of poetic outlooks on everyday life. There is a a humbleness, a respecting of one’s life, but a view of one’s life as merely a character along a long river of lives coming and going. A reservedness that allows one to see listen more clearly within oneself, and to recognize the follies of egotism and self-inflation.
A certain gratitude that is given throughout the day, and expressed in ways that the English language does not allow for. The way we greet people throughout the day, the way we bring out hands together and give thanks to abundance before meals, the way we bow silently to a mountain shrine high up in the clouds. The way we are struck by the sun and the emotions brought upon by the changing of the seasons.
No need for rush. Time taken during the day to heat water and sit in a bath. And the availability to relax and sit in hot water, whether you be pulling off a highway roadtrip or hiking deep within the isolation of the mountains.
As I see more in this the world, my heart grows in new ways and becomes enabled to feel things it did not know it was capable of. But as I grow, limited by whatever cultural fishtank I am in, I will never be fully at home. Never allowed to swim in the ocean that is the totality of what my heart has learned that it can feel– always waiting to hear sounds, smell scents, and feel loves that I remember from distant dreamlike pasts, but knowing that as they grow dust in the attics of my heart’s deepest and loneliest valleys, that many of them will never be felt again.