October 23rd, 2003



11 getsu 27 nichi ni Yoshida Shoin-sensei ga shinimashita.
On the 27th of November, Yoshida Shoin died.

On his journey to the place of his final rest, he and his loyal students were caught in a rain storm - the rain dripped and fell frm the pinetrees and he composed this poem:

This is the journey, I presume, from which I shall never return. We are all drenched here, at the pinetree of tears.

Kaeraji to
Omoi sadameshi
Tabi nareba
Hitoshio nururu

When I was young I sought stories like these to lve off of - I drowned myself in nostalgia, disaster, serious matters, history, death...It was not the most cheerful thing I could have done but I felt as if I were in tune to a more mature level of knowing: that of silent respect for things gone and past. I felt as though I were a spirit of mourning only - a ghost who did not really exhist. It gave me a sense of uniqueness because I saw all those around me living fast paced lives bent over worrying about clothes and hair and vain things. I saw myself as someone given a divine burden to mourn the dead and respect those things which have been forgotten and underappriciated by people. It was very depressing but I loved it because I felt holy (=different). I would rather be holy and dead than living and impure. and it was death I daydreamed about when there were rumors of in school-shootings..I really was such an idealist I was jealous that I didnt geta chance to proove my sincerity thru death (I, like Shoin-sensei, feel a strong sense of the need to proove our sincerity)....

Where, now has my sense of nostalgia gone for things lost? When I used to stand under the stars, storms, and sunsets and turn my face and smile with tears at that which I know I have bearly touched and must be parted from. Bittersweet melancholy in a peaceful and personal dimension. Silent inner sadness and realization. I used to be so in tuned to this to the point where I was tainted by it I think. Much so, I think. I think I would be lost if I had not changed...and change came drastically in a place called Croatia.

I was looking for purity and for holiness and I did not find it in the world of man around me. I constantly secluded myself from it all in disgust at people's love for the perverse and ugly. I still feel offended by it. The only things which I could find of beauty were things of wisdom and things lost - innocence lost.

And I feared above all loosing my own innocence - I tried to avoid that for as logn as humanly possible..because, somehow, I understood then, what it meant. That I would not be able to be the idealist any longer mourning fallen beauty and dreaming of my own death. I KNEW somehow, though I couldn't put it into words, that I was going to have to forsake this way of life and I didn't know what else I could do - I did NOT want to become like the rest of the world. I had nowhere to go, but I was being pushed into that nowhere so quickly. I thought maybe if I go abroad I could make a true adventure of my life and conqour the fears I ran from. This was only the final straw of my naivety. Never go abroad for that reason - I thought I could manipulate the system - I actually thought I could! But the system is the one who beat me! It forced me to finally face my adulthood. But even then I had a severe goal: just making it to July 9th so I could come home.

It was when I got home that the struggle over survival ended and that of ideas began. I didn't know what kind of person I wanted to be...I didn't have a clue what a person was supposed to be like in the ideal. I never had a specific hero I pointed to and said: he's my role model. (Though now I might claim it is Shoin-sensei but uhhh - lol). I don't know how exactly I got to where I am now, but I did a lot of writing, angsting, complaining, thinking, drawing, writing... But I somehow got to the point where 100% sadness and and 100% ditsy-happiness without thought. I needed to find a balance between content happiness with life and an appriciation for a beautiful and "living" life and also a serious and wise side. I am sorta at a point like that now...I am soo happy as I have hardly ever been - well happy in a free way without the burden of guilt or the feeling that I owe a debt (as I did to Mr. Fleet). And in not trying desperately to find wisdom, it is finding me...Growing up still has me fearful of what I shall do and I still cant come to grips with marrige or kids, but I dont dwell it..which could be bad - lol! But yeah.. I am really enjoying life right now!