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Sleeping quietly

August 30, 2006

After we talked for a while, he asked, “Have you had a death in your family?”

“No, I just left someone.”

I spoke meekly. I did not mind that he had seen me crying. I was not thinking about anything. I simply felt as though I were sleeping quietly, soothed and contented.

This comes from Yasunari Kawabata’s short story, “The Dancing Girl of Izu.” It’s kind of an odd choice, I realize, since the “someone” that this college-aged student left is a 14-year-old girl he initially mistook for several decades older. Still, this small piece is particularly evocative.

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One comment

  1. If by “decade” you mean one year, I guess you might be correct. You Zen people are so cleverly inscrutable: using one word when you mean another. Ha ha! But, yes, a few decades and a few years are virtually indistinguishable when seen from the point of view of infinity.



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