I woke up this morning to the smell of incense but I'm still not sure if it was real or imagined. Sometimes the past and present blend together so seamlessly; often it seems at the change of seasons, when growth is so easy to see. The sun is starting to migrate south and all that flourished in its presence is lingering and starting to let go; is it possible not to mark the passing? I was transported to my high school bedroom, watching the smoke rise and swirl, sinking into all my clothes and books. A time of knowing differently, and a subtle change with every season that has brought me to here, saying goodbye to a "before" as I've done so many times, so many times that I've become familiar with the coming and going, something to which I used to be completely naïve.
And now the smell of incense catches me as I round a corner to the river. I smell it on the clothes of my shodo teacher, I burn it in my tatami room. How close I am to another time. I could easily slip into that different knowing, where the world is so much newer and full of mystery. So many years we spend looking for greater self-knowledge, banishing uncertainty, seeking greater control. Before shedding another layer, that time makes itself known again, reminding the value of youth. I'm still there and always will be, poised between "before" and "what is to come."
Towards what are we moving? Sometimes it seems so absurd and the world so full of life. So full of life. The trees in the wind; even the clouds are moving in the sky.