I flew to Paris from Narita. Right now I am in Charles de Gaulle airport, waiting for my plane to Berlin.
On the airplane soon after takeoff, there was an announcement to the effect that Mt. Fuji was visible on the left side. I looked out of the window. The highest mountain in Japan was seen in the far distance, with its peak just above the sea of clouds. What was striking was its metallic appearance. It was as an alien object, not really belonging to this world.
It was not the Mt. Fuji that I used to look at as a kid from the Shinkansen train. It was not the Mt. Fuji in a Hokusai ukiyo-e. The fact that a familiar thing suddenly appeared as something completely unknown left a lasting impression on me, and for the rest of the flight I was thinking of parallels, the alienation of the familiar.
Then I think the universe shivered and coughed, because I began to consider strange ideas like the possibility of a direct conversation with god.