Monday, September 5, 2011


Soaring for sushi, settling for shiitake.

"When are you coming back from your travels?" my colleague asked me today at lunch.

"My travel insurance ends in the beginning of next year's August." I replied without much hesitation.

"I didn't ask when your insurance ends - I asked when are you coming back."

I smiled at him because he was right. I couldn't give him the right answer for his question, so I settled with some mumbling and a few words of awkward reasoning. He didn't mind - obviously. He wasn't really interested in when my arrival time would be. After all, we probably would never see each other again after I have quit at my current job. His only intention was forcing me to realize something, and he was the person I would have never expected to do so.

I'd be lying if I told you that I haven't given much thought to it. I have, I really have. Setting a foot on the road is a dangerous affair. One step and the road might sweep your feet away. My intention is to come back from my travels but in a way, I don't think it will ever be possible again. I think I have set my foot on the road ages ago but this journey is most likely the most important step, the only one I needed to take. I think I won't be able to stop travelling after this and I highly doubt I'll spend another full year home for a long time.

Japanese kitchen is something I don't know much about. I made sushi for the first time this summer and it was an ambitious effort. But I want to try again. And again, again, and again. I will be satisfied when I know how to roll a square-shaped sushi roll with the bamboo mat.

Ambitions make life worth living. They set a visible destination for your everyday actions.

There are some villages in Japan, which are specialized in cultivating shiitake mushrooms. They are a precious food in Japan and are used widely in common kitcked cooking as well as fancy five-star restaurants. The shiitake mushrooms grow on tree trunks, which are set leaning against each other, forming a fence of mushroom and wood. The villagers bang the tree trunks occasionally with a smaller log to make the mushrooms grow faster.

When I'm 64, I want to begin my day by banging a small long on tree trunks that are filled with the tiny outbursts of mushrooms. I want to see the different shades of brown, the jungle of fungi - filled with the lighter colored mushrooms (the children of the sun) and the darker colored mushrooms (the children of the moon).

The simple things in life make it worth enjoying. They make our lives soar past us, floating on a gentle breeze.

There are different ways of coming back. Coming back to life being one of them - and this version of coming I intend to keep on doing until I can lay myself down on the fields of clover, down by the river, smiling.

.from dust to the beyond.

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