Time Travel by Jetlag

[February 25, 2012 at 04:30]

Do we read to escape from loneliness? To fill the void that people have left behind with words penned by a stranger, the feelings that we are unable to articulate, all transcribed beautifully on coarse brown paper. Or do we read to reveal that emptiness within - glaring at us like the gaps in between words and the empty pages that follow after the last sentence in a book.

「 Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the Earth put here just to nourish human loneliness? 」– Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

Humans are made to experience loneliness, whether or not we have friends or are in a healthy relationship with a partner. The capacity to feel lonely is not removed or superseded with companionship, but rather, I feel that it is minimized? You feel lonely when you don’t have anyone to miss, you feel lonely when you miss someone. And quite honestly, I am not sure which is harder to bear. Sometimes, even if in a happy relationship, one may sought to discover loneliness, in order to gain that convoluted assurance in that one’s entirety of being is not hinged upon the existence of someone else.

These are some things that keeps me awake as the night recedes into daybreak.


On the other side of the world,
you pass the moon to me, 
like a loving cup, 
or a quaich. 
I roll you the sun.

I go to bed,
as you're getting up
on the other side of the world.
You have scattered the stars
towards me here, like seeds

in the earth.
All through the night,
I have sent you
bunches, bouquets, of cloud
to the other side of the world;

so my love will be shade
where you are,
and yours,
as I turn in my sleep,
the bud of a star.

– Carol Ann Duffy


Town of Cats

While waiting for the last ferry to get to another island, I headed back towards the playground surrounded by pine trees (one of my favorite things besides sliced bread, and donuts and pancakes and ...) in Megijima. Blame my squirrel instincts for my penchant for pine cones.

As I was trying to kill time with a photo shoot of pine cones in ~*natural lighting*~, I spied a creature lurking in the distance from the corner of my eye. And I wasn't quite sure what to do when it started running towards me at a speed that compromises the island speed limit. It did not help that I was a surviving target/victim of copious sneak attacks by the friendly bookshop cat where I used to work. Since then, I have developed a slight fear towards skinny and agile cats.

I soon decided that it just wanted to be fed and is probably harmless. Unfortunately my lunch consisted of a can of royal milk tea so that was basically all I could offer. Strange enough, it attracted more and more cats as they came slinking out of the shade. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by cats waiting to be fed, as other festival goers looked on in curiosity. (Perhaps wondering the cats were part of the triennale – "これ私はフィード猫" artwork.) It was a strange experience as I have never once been surrounded by so many cats before and that almost got me into trouble.

I got so distracted by the cats – when I abruptly checked my watch, it told me that my ferry was about to leave the port. Panic-stricken, I left the cats and ran for all that was worth leaving them with what little I have and quite upset that I didn't bid a proper goodbye.

The look of abject disappointment

The look of abject disappointment


I thought about how I could have been left on the island with the cats and Murakami's short story 'Town of Cats'. I couldn't help but associate his works with the Japanese islands that I have visited as they give off the same sense of mystic as portrayed in Murakami's works (most of it accounting to the fact that I was by my own). I have read and reread the 'Town of Cats' a couple of times, and I love how it hits a poignant note about truth, loss and life.  I hope you will enjoy it as much I did.

When a vacuum forms, something has to come along to fill it. That’s what everybody does. / Haruki Murakami