Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kotona (Kyoto VIII)

I don't know if 'kotona' means something in Japanese, but in Finnish it means 'at home'. It's ironic I should stumble upon a sign like that (the photo below) while wandering around Kyoto one night. Because all the time I'm having conversations with myself about the significance of traveling here and the meaning of difficulties I've had settling down to Kyoto. I don't have that much of daily practical issues to solve anymore. Wherever I go I'm accompanied with a constant zeal to dive head first into the deeper meaning of this place but most of the time I end up banging my head against some concrete wall which I thought would be a penetrable shallow image. 

I don't know which gives in first, the wall or my head. Maybe it's like a mirror I'm jumping against at, it's supposed to break my image of myself rather than me breaking the image of this place. It feels like this all is a too beautiful picture that needs to be teared down to see the undercurrent. Like ripping layers out of paintings. But more than me getting under the skin of this culture, it seems that this culture is giving me the orders, to reveal myself, to bow down as deep as I can just to break my image. And I accept that gladly. But it's a process, not a sudden big bang. I wish I have time to end that process here.

Kyoto feels like home but I feel like an outsider. All I say is a lie.

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