mjj (flemmings) wrote,

De ramis cadunt folia: autumn's empires are falling down, winter's closing in. Enough leaves remain on enough trees in sufficient autumn colours-- ochre, umber, sienna-- to recall the brocade glory of just a week ago; enough trees have gone completely bare to remind me of the drabness to come. But still I get little memory frissons of various somber yellow years as I walk the leaf-washed streets- '58 in my serge convent uniform, playing in the leaf piles in the darkening back yard; '85 reading Soseki and Takuboku on Brunswick Ave, fatally around the corner from the now defunct Book City; 2000 biking down to Chinatown Central for hideously overpriced Saiyuki tanks. Good times, good times.

And totally misplaced, a memory of having coffee in an Omote-sandou kissa with Fearless Leader and paleaswater on such a November afternoon as this. Which was in fact February, but Yoyogi park was still awash in yellow ginko leaves and it *felt* like November. (Though Tokyo November was usually shirtsleeve weather, which is more disconcerting than I can say.)

The thing about being born precisely midcentury is that one's age always lines up with the years: no difficult math needed to remember what year I turned 24 or whatever. Possibly this is the reason why, after 30, I stopped thinking of years in terms of what age I was ('when I was 36') and only by date ('in 1986.'). Age qua age had simply ceased to matter. So 41 or 48 or 53 mean nothing to me; I didn't even notice I was those ages at the time; whereas the words '91 or '98 or 2003 are full of associations and memories.

In my teens and twenties I was acutely aware of my age, as one is, and of each year's difference-- "OMG now I'm 27!!!" Glad that stopped; but alas, it started again at 60. And now I think in ages again, after three decades of not, though the years will still assert their individual identities still. 2012 is definitely not 2010 or 2013: it feels quite different.
Tags: japan, rl, saiyuki

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