mjj (flemmings) wrote,


I've been in quarantine once before, late spring when I was, I think, twelve, because my brother had scarlet fever. I remember very little of it because of the gaps in my childhood memories. (I was told why there's gaps in my childhood memories but of course I've forgotten what the reason is, because my adult memory isn't that hot either.) I do recall walking round and round the perimeter of the back garden in an effort to walk a mile.

I've been out this weekend, to coffee shop and supermarket, observing the 2 metre rule and wearing gloves, and I have a dentist appointment tomorrow where *they'll* be wearing masks so I'm not too worried. But eventually it will get to indoors most of the time as the number of active cases rises. I can stay indoors fine when the weather is foul- did it over Christmas, I seem to recall- but the lack of personal interaction does get to me. Hoping the two metre rule works for a while longer...

Went to bring laundry in off the line in the cold spring westering sun, next door's garage door was open and eventually New Next Door emerged with cleaning supplies. Said hello and passed civilities but was suddenly of the Narihira mood:

tsuki ya aranu
haru ya mukashi no
haru naranu
wa ga mi hitotsu wa
moto no mi ni shite

Is that not the moon?
And is the spring not the spring
Of a year ago?
This body of mine alone
Remains as it was before

in either of its debated meanings:

Scholars have subjected this poem, Narihira's most famous, to several conflicting interpretations in recent centuries. The Edo-period kokugaku scholar Motoori Norinaga interpreted the first part of it as a pair of rhetorical questions, marked by the particle ya. He explained away the logical inconsistency with the latter part of the poem that his reading introduced by reading in an "implied" conclusion that though the poet remains the same as before, everything somehow feels different. The late-Edo period waka poet Kagawa Kageki (香川景樹, 1768–1843) took a different view, interpreting the ya as exclamatory: the moon and spring are not those of before, and only the poet himself remains unchanged.

What a huge difference a single ya can make .
Tags: rl_20, verse

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