Sunday, September 26, 2010

Myself and the red-bellied newt (5)

So the newt was alive, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Once in a direct contact with the reality, a sense of practical wisdom took hold of me. I scooped the poor chap out of the tank, and put it on a dish. I changed the water with brisk vividness. I even washed the stones one by one, rubbing off the algae on the surface, something that I had never done before. I fed the newt, once it was back in the refreshed habitat. From its still posture, it was hard to tell whether the small creature was grateful for what I had done finally after all these days, or held a justifiable resentment against my negligence, which almost cost his life.

So the newt crisis was over. After that fateful day, I lived with the newt in peace, taking regular care of the tank, until a few years later, it died of natural causes. Although my conscience was now clear, a strange aftertaste lingered in my mind.

The fact that I was unable to come face to face with an unpleasant truth hurt me in a permanent way. In the sure knowledge of the gradually deteriorating situations, I could go about with my life as if nothing was happening. I could not bring myself to do the simple task of newt tank maintenance. There, you had it.

The whole process revealed something ominous and yet unavoidable about the human nature. The significance of the newt episode in my life remains and grows within me to this day.

(End of this essay.)


Tsumabenicho said...

Thank you for your thoughtful epilogue that reminds us of our empirical sin.

It was fortunate that the boy could live with his newt in peace after some hesitation.
I think our mind has many folds, and some of them are folded neatly with helpless existence like the red-bellied newt.
They sometimes reveal our selfishness and weakness silently, therefore they also hurt us deeply.

But a sensation of pain is very important, isn't it ?
It might be a bond to unite us to all other life.

Tsumabenicho(追伸) said...


砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

The stones you washed one by one are brilliant and make me cry.

I believe this small newt was fortunate to have a good friend.

Joybird said...

Thank you for the cool-headed comments on Senkaku isles. Like cold refreshment on a hot summer day, just what we needed. Keep sending the fresh breeze to the blinkered people please.

Tsumabenicho said...

今朝の連ツィ「特殊」のサンデルさんの姿勢に、透過する力を感じました。それでなぜかヘルマン・ロッツェの「妥当」を思い出しました。マルクスやエンゲルスと同年代のロッツェは、自然科学と思弁哲学のはざまで、どちらの「特殊」にも与しないすがすがしさをもっていたような… 細部はぜーんぶ忘れても、こういう姿勢は胸に残りますね!

Evelyn Corbett said...

This newt crisis somehow leaves me with a feeling of relief―of Mr. Mogi’s “normalness”--and reassurance-- of the “humanness” in all of us. I'm afraid my knowledge of newts is limited to what the encyclopedia has to say on them, but I hope this creature was able to live out a newtful life for the rest of its existence; as newtful as a kept newt can expect, at any