As I sit here, witnessing a sorrow that hasn’t crossed my chest in what feels like a lifetime, I think of where that youthful susceptibility has gone. For when I was under the influence of innocence, my ego, my subjectivity, ruled the mind with an inescapable iron-fist; there would be pangs of jealousy, anger, and pain as consistent as the passing of citizens through a metropolitan subway. And oh, how I identified with those people. In each unique ethnicity, those passing individuals were myself reflected back in demonic, distorted ways. The jealousy, the anger, the pain were palpable; they were organisms I could reach out and touch, and there was no escaping them.
Yet, now in the light of a new day, it’s as if I’ve moved continents; from the underground mess of New York to the cleanly, organized Shinkansen. The people are still there (perhaps even more), but they simply bow and pass on. Every once and a while there will be a rude tourist that doesn’t know how to act, but a simple lecture on chowa sends them off perplexed and slightly more considerate.
It’s an unnerving irony whereby acknowledging that there is no controlling the traffic, entails a hybrid control of it. Such a hybrid may not give the authority to eliminate certain thoughts and emotions, but it does filter the subjective associations that once plagued an underdeveloped Limbic system.
So I know sorrow is there, and perhaps it isn’t simply a passing bird, but like a chronic shadow that devours the light, there is no harm that comes from it. It is but an armed guard at the station keeping us mindful.