Reading old diaries in the garden

May 27, 2005

How few things matter, in retrospect. The breeze rustles the leaves of the sycamore, drowning out voices a few gardens down I don’t want to listen to, two different worlds juxtaposed, I fall back into my peaceful solitude in the rustling of the leaves, reading through old diaries cover to cover as a prelude to burning them, three faded relationships flicked through the past few days sitting contented out in the sun. A note springs out at me:

Santoka occasionally felt too attached to his diaries, then he would burn them or throw them away. Before he left Gochu-an he burned the few possessions he had accumulated.

I do very little, I sit in the garden and watch the seasons change. That is all.

The foxgloves are marvellous, every time I look at them the bees are in and out of the spires of flowers, even in the rain.

As the sycamore shade advances I notice the lilac blossom is all brown, dark over there now. Its lilac light has gone out.


[Taneda Santoka (1882–1940) was a Japanese poet and bum, whose life story and writings I find inspiring]