Of Place and Wind 13: High above the clouds on my way back from Europe

Tetsuya Kaida concludes his article series titled「場」と「風」“Of Place and Wind” by reminiscing about encounters and partings.

I am writing this as I sit on an airplane flying from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, to Japan. I am finally heading home after a trip around the Northern Hemisphere, which took me through Chicago in North America and Bucharest in Romania. Again, it was a journey full of wonderful encounters.

- In Chicago, standing in the harsh winter wind that was brushing over Lake Michigan, freezing our cheeks, I spent moments of creative time in the company of the four gifted designers whom I call the ‘Fantastic 4’, and of many other people of great artistic sensitivity with whom I had become acquainted through them…
- In Bucharest, standing in the wind that was blowing in snow from the Black Sea or perhaps from Transylvania, I spent moments of academic time together with Professor Angela Hondru, a mother-like figure and honorary citizen of Japan, and with the students with whom I had become acquainted through her – young people overflowing with energy and enterprising spirit, who will mold the future of this land…
- In Zagreb, standing in the wind that was racing around the thousands of islands of the Adriatic, I spent moments of innovative time conversing with the so-called ‘revolutionary professors’ with whom I had become acquainted half a year earlier through a university lecture and with the inquisitive students who are exploring new paths under their guidance…

I parted from them with a smile, my heart full of warm memories. Promising to meet again.

“Encounters” and “partings” – two words that I am particularly attracted to.

Encounters are preceded by feelings of expectation. They charge the place with emotion and open your heart to the freshness of a new wind. In the end you part, carrying with you the reverberations of the experience.

As one who has no literary talent, I had never before attempted to express my thoughts in writing like I did this time. I think of you, the Reader who, by some twist of fate, has borne with me thus far. I cannot help but wonder that such a humble piece of writing has turned into the reason for our encounter.

Someday we might meet face to face. Or we might not. Whether the future will bring us closer or not is beyond the reach of my imagination. In any case, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for having read to the end. We part here for now.

To quote one of my favorite songs by Mr. Children: “Farewell for now… When we no longer know who we are”.

The Swissair plane, which until a moment ago was shaking in the jet stream, is now flying peacefully through the sky towards Japan.

When I get home, I’ll go to the Thermal Waters of the Dragon Spring Temple. Engulfed in the steam of the open-air bath and caressed by the spring wind, I’ll be watching the Moon. And, in an inward whisper, I will thank her for today.

By Tetsuya Kaida

(This article originally written and published in 2010.)


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