“This is my road”


Beautiful colors and beautiful music.

Lately I have watched some early episodes of the anime Guin Saga. At first I liked it: It was drawn with unusual beauty and rich colors that made the imaginary world seem intense and larger than life.  And there was the ending song, Saga by Kanon.  I was amazed to hear the beginning of it, which did not sound Japanese at all. And indeed it was not, at least not the lyrics: “Benedictus qui venit in nomine – in nomine domini. Hosanna in excelsis.” Then it switched to English: “This is my road” and eventually Japanese. The melody changed as well, though it is still beautiful, albeit not as ethereal as for the first breaths.  It flits fluently back and forth between English and Japanese. The girl pronounces the English perfectly (although she falters slightly at the Latin) – I have later found that there is in fact a full English version of the song, although it is subtly different from the mixed-language version, as can be expected.

The anime, unfortunately, let me down over time. There is a darkness running through it that disagrees with me (though I am sure many like it), an undercurrent of betrayal and helplessness, not only versus others but also toward the characters’ own feelings, an overwhelming fate which only the greatest hero can stand against, and even then with difficulty and the occasional help of some unknown greater power. The bleakness of the characters and their world contrasts painfully with the beauty of the art and music. It is unlikely to be resolved either, for the work on which the anime is based stretched well past 100 books and ended unfinished through the death of the author.  There may some kind of irony in this, and a lesson for me as well.

The song is still beautiful though.  It and the pictures gave probably at least some of the inspiration to the story idea I wrote about yesterday.  Certainly when I listened to the song afterwards, I could see how it resonated in parts with what I wanted to write.

As usual, translation is almost certainly erroneous in some detail but tries to catch the impression on me when I am in doubt. The translation from Latin is pretty exact though, and the English words, which I will mark in the text, remain unchanged. For the time being, you can hear the original on YouTube.

Blessed is he who comes in the name – the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. / This is my road, it shows me where to go. Here I stand, this is where I am.  The faces of my parents are faded far away, yet when I close my eyes I can still hear their voice. This is my road, and I keep walking it, surpassing even endless time itself. This is my life, and I open the door; together with my destiny I make my own road.

Now that I look at it, it is disturbingly similar to my story idea, although I have probably bent both of them a little to get closer to each other.  But the concept in particular of surpassing or eclipsing or overcoming time is one I have specifically picked up from Japanese songs, where it appears in various forms.  In fact, the entry that kind of set off my new direction – six years ago already – was about “surpassing numerous destinies while one is alive”. Or at least that was how I saw it translated.  I understood even less Japanese then.  I suppose now that it could also mean “many people surpassing fate in their lifetime”, but I kinda like the idea of passing several lives’ worth of destiny in one lifetime.  If it was ever possible, this is the time, and we are the ones who are called – challenged -  or tempted? – to do it. You may say, that in September 2003 I started on another destiny.  I guess that is what some people call “midlife crisis”, except for me it is the opposite of a crisis, it is an opportunity, a door to brightness opening in a dimly lit room.

So if I get the opportunity to write that story, it will be about myself, in the most abstract sense imaginable.  As if condensing my life into one sentence, forgetting everything that made that sentence come into being, and expand it again into a book.

Perhaps I should stick with non-fiction.  But people would probably not know it was non-fiction or even believe it if I said it.   And yet, this is my road…

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