Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Japanese and Western Topography

The mountains of Japan seem very steadfast.  I don't think they can be moved.

Last year it was apparent to me that I would need to make changes on behalf of my new home.  But a year later, they are more than eating habits, social norms, language, and routine.  I think there is a deeper change being asked that I need to acknowledge.  It is a long-term acceptance of things as they are, of nature and the seasons, of the rules and hierarchies that dictate social behavior, of the possibilities and the impossibilities of life.  Life gives us things, people, situations, opportunities, limitations.  As a westerner I think, "How can I get something different, or make these things better, or change what I'm given?"  In Japan, I think there is a different option: "How can I conform myself to what I've been given, accept these things for what they are?"

How much can we change the topography of our lives?  How much should we?  It's an interesting question.  Perhaps it depends on where you are.

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