Snippets

"Maybe this is the only place I can come back to," is a line from Japanese film Patisserie Coin de Rue - the kind of film I watch to glimpse at a certain sensibility from my childhood. Though in this film, the protagonist is far more impetuous than anything I could recognise as my own; yet this seems to stem from her naivete as she figures things out heart - not head - first. That latter quality I remember at the dawn of adulthood as separating me from the more corporate minded.
It seems we may be born with unique markings; some people remain extremely pragmatic right up to the very end, when suddenly their literary nature pours forth. I always had it - but I recently read a poem Ruskin wrote when he was 11, in an essay where he marvelled at how he'd had the same concerns then as he did as a mature adult. I realised, by comparison, that my early poems... I would rather let drift away.
When I write literary nature, I do not mean this is expressed only by writing. The word "literary" may indicate an understanding of the symbolic exchange going on behind the scenes of life: once recognised, one may suddenly embark on a quest for romantic Ideals: they do not follow surface, logical connections; it is not unlike walking in the dark. Perhaps it is like learning to read: we may stare at the shapes on the page, and from the haze, an "OU" comes forth, as if we bumped into it, and we utter, "Oh!", as in "though", and in the relief of recognition.
But recognition is not for the faint of heart. It is much more frightening to see love up close than to read of it in a novel. Even if one has read one's whole life, one isn't necessarily an authority on experience.
To follow themes from the inside-out, as Ruskin does, following his natural line of interest, which is to be contrast with following ideas that one thinks make one look good, or following ideas that lead to tenure, etc, is to notice their natural recurrence: through connections that are always unplanned. Let us return to Patisserie: it is a film with extremely subtle sub-plots: of respect for locality of origin; of leaving fame in order to labour over one's very own shop, with affordable beauty. And yet even then, a circle is made: the little shop then caters to a worldly few.
But who has the courage to walk away from others' esteem? This is a source of much confusion. The retreat is a not a final destination, though it may become one. Do we not all long, deep down, for a circle to be made? If it reaches up to , this is not because we withdraw from others, but have reached our higher nature, and do we not wish for company to sing levavi oculos the moment when we step out of our narrow wishes, lies and dreams? "This is the only place I can come back to. My life can only begin from here." We could be anywhere in the world when this happens. We may wonder at how little we control the where and when of our own fruition.

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