I’m struck by a familiar feeling, or rather I’m invaded, filled, as one fills with fever I’m filled with a familiar feeling and it seems to stretch me through space, it makes my body feel light, hollow – the preceding words are all wrong, or not quite wrong but dislocated, they’re all in their intended ballpark but none in the catch, I can sense the semantic spaces stretching prettily like stretches of grass stretch, and the words are little flags stuck here and there nailing down pieces of meaning as if, let to themselves, they’d slither away at the first opportunity, but the words I need would be in the unnamed empty spaces, lying mutely between the phonemic flagpoles, patches of thought which I can see but not grasp, comme une nébuleuse où rien n’est necéssairement délimité; a familiar feeling fills me; its unname lies near desperation, or inspiration, or discentration, definitely an -ation, but there’s nothing I can stick before the suffix, this poor forlorn modifier haunting the nébuleuse for a root to attach to; there are seven thousand languages in the world and the majority of them will be dead in a hundred years, well not “dead”, languages are æthereal things, abstract systems, they’re not like us animals, they’re like numbers, except numbers are eternal and languages, though not alive, die, except dying means moving matter, rotten flesh blossoms into flies and earthworms, and the end of a language is another, terrible thing, worse than death, literally an entire universe fades into full nowhere, that imagination-defying condition called a no-where, I don’t mean “figuratively” literally, I mean literally-literally an universe, and out there somewhere, or not “out” but somewhere, inside one of those uncharted dying universes, the word I need is nonliving; and probably the only ones who still know that language are a couple of natives of some sort or another, and they live-live on some small island about to be submerged by global warming, and the two are about to die from old age, grandpa’s heart will soon beat one last tired pulse, grandma’s telomeres will just get too short after a hundred years of tireless cellular division, and grandpa and grandma don’t talk to each other anymore anyway thanks to a petty incident thirteen years ago involving distant cousins, spirit taboos, and a basket of fresh fish, and in the whole wide world the only ones who have ever heard of these two are their children and grandchildren, already their adults and grandadults now, and generation two hates the boring backwards beach village and can only understand some of the language, not speak it, and even that is already fading, and they made damn sure not to pass a single word to generation three, who now lives in the city and watches Netflix on old cathode-ray-tubed televisions, and when grandpa and grandma are gone their skullbones will lose the delicate electrochemical patterns that they used to carry unheeded on the beach everyday, patterns which are the final faded signal of what was once the glorious Holy Language of the Victorious Clan of the Sky Antelope or whatever, and not only their skullbones but the entirety of existence will lose that tightly-woven pattern of sounds, semantics, and algorithms which, like all languages, is so endlessly complex that no human being could consciously apprehend it in its totality; that delicate pattern will unravel unnoticedly and be no more, taking with it the word I need, the word that describes this need/hope/pull/pulsion to do something/anything/nothing/all things, to become/be-go more than one, to do something larger than anyself, to ravel what was started and to finish all only to unfinish right away, this paralyzing need to move, move, move forward, and in doing so to be, at last, here.
Today I noticed I misspelt the name of my college in the Japanese-style business card I had prepared: instead of 「哲学文学人文科学部」, I wrote 「哲学文学人文科学科部」. I have like 500 of those things and I’ve been giving them to everyone. People were kind enough not to mention the mistake to the self-styled kanji researcher.
Woke up to bad dreams & general bad feeling. Luckily, all I have to do to improve my mood in this country is to go outside.
I skip breakfast, still full from last night. Even at lunch I can’t have much of anything. It’s a good feeling.
We had a pleasant light rain in the morning—and heavy, ecstatic wind by noon.
Just a quick heads-up: I’m still taking notes about life in Japan every day, be it on the moleskine or directly on the computer. I’ve just stopped publishing them because transcribing & editing, however lightly, was taking too much time. I’m favoring the experiencing self a bit more now (after all, poor experiencing self went through like 30 hours of hell on Mount Fuji; I’m generously rewarding him with tons of wagashi).
Welp! One third of the time’s already gone.
Woke up early to yet another mystery call; a man who said “good evening” (in English) before hanging up, around five in the morning. What’s up with this phone? This is starting to feel uncomfortably like a typical plot of Japanese horror cinema.
I dozed back into bed, and later, instead of doing due homework, spent a half-hour answering a question in the Internet (“What is the max number of moras a kanji character can have?“).
After all the studying last week I was feeling confident; but when the weekly quiz came for real I didn’t do all that well. Continue Reading →
Someone called my room at three in the morning. I took the phone the third time, but there was no answer, not even an African-sounding language like the other time; just some background noises. Luckly, by now my body has taken to a healthy rhythm—sleep around 23h, wake up by 7h—and not even the Great August Deity who Illuminates the Heaven at four-fifty stops me from sleeping again.
Hellish hot sunny day. Spent it feverishly trying to finish the report before deadline. What do you mean, “outside”?
I’m kind of bothered that even now I couldn’t take any good shots of the mountains. Continue Reading →
Has the backlog really built so much? We’re in day 19, and here’s the draft to day 15 still unpublished…
Another day of studying, and since I didn’t even carry the moleskine, it makes for a particularly skimpy post.
Stayed up until late overloading my Anki a little bit with kanji for the quiz today, but it turns it it was tomorrow. Ops.
Has it really just been twelve days? It feels so long already.
With all the tourism and shopping and photos, I didn’t really do any homework during the weekend. I started yesterday, at a leisure pace because it was due tomorrow. Or so I thought, but turns out they were for today. Ops. Continue Reading →