Monday, June 29, 2009

You must live

Soseki Natsume , in his beautiful collection of essays "Inside My Glass Doors", recalls a woman who visited him at his domicile to confide her woes. After narrating a painful history of her life, she asks Soseki whether she should live.

"I am afraid that the beautiful state of my mind would be marred as the time passes. I cannot bear the thought of a future when all memories would have been lost, and I continue to live on like an empty soul" she says.

The clock strikes eleven. Soseki says that he would walk her. It was a silent night, with the serene moon shining on the street. At the corner, the woman bows and says to Soseki "I am honored to be accompanied by you thus". Soseki answers that he is just a human being like her.

"Do you really think it is an honour?" Soseki asks. "Yes" the woman answers. "Then you must live". Soseki says to the woman.

Soseki walked her a little further, before returning home.

We don't know what happened to the woman after that evening. Soseki died a year after this essay was published.


R.Yuzuriha said...

Whenever I read "Inside My Glass Doors", I imagine how attractive he was. Since I read it in my teens, I have sometimes piked up this book, and every time I have felt what is essential.

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

Soseki composed a piece of haiku poetry in the same year, 1915.

(kanzou no ichirin sakinu kusa no naka)

single daylily
stands and opens up
in the grass
(forgive my poor translation)

This haiku was a piece added to the picture of his friend.

I feel Soseki's keen sense of color in this piece. The orange of the daylily makes a beautiful contrast with the green of the grass.

I think the scenery of this poem is also in silence, except the sound of the wind.....

koichi.I said...

When I read this post,I heared a voice "I must live" in my heart.
I am 26 years old.
My life is not very good.
But I want to live.
I have no job.
I have not much money.
I write short stories and poems.
"You must live"
I want read the Soseki's essay.
I will seach OPAC.
Thanks you, Ken Mogi.