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「我是一個站在甲板上的孤獨航海者,她是海。」Murakami, Kafka by the Shore.

Traveling with friends is a state of being always and never alone.
Like everything else in this world, there are two sides to the joys and trials that come with traveling this way.
Most interesting is the fact that traveling together does nothing to change the aloneness we each inhabit individually.
The cities we are crossing mean completely different things to us, and each day is a fabric of emotions, experiences, and memories that are united only by the intention of traveling together.

The presence of solitude in my days is recognisable,
anything that sparks a tiny flame of joy however brief is a welcome sojourner.
The egg blue walls of our room in the morning sunlight,
and the privilege of being the first one awake, three other steady sets of breathing.
The flat warm feeling of staircases, so much like another I know from many years ago.
A different kind of conversation with the same person.
and always, laughter.
The first spoonful of a meal.
The first respite for weary feet.
The first water drops on a sweatstained body.
Even grief and pain have their place.
Even anger and bitterness.

Solitude is rest because for a while the heart learns to stop being wary of the world, and tries to embrace all it is without fear.
And in this solitude we realize that the world embraces us back in fragments, while we feel ourselves in whole.
Fear of that realization is loneliness.

I am traveling with a Murakami,
Kafka by the Shore. a Chinese translation.
I read him most often on transit and in bed, and the entire opening of the novel occurs in transit.
What a profound solitude it is, to travel alone with a character, in two separate worlds at the same time.
What a profound solitude it is, to travel alone with a group of friends, in completely different cities at the same time.

「我真正在尋找這樣一個像是世界凹洞似的安靜地方。
我閉上眼睛吸進一口氣時,那就像溫柔的雲一樣留在我裡面。
真美好的感覺。」村上春樹,海邊的卡夫卡。

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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