Kyoto in the Rain

Dear Dazai,

It’s cold. It’s raining.

And I’m so happy.

I stood looking at a delicate hedge of irises today, as the rain dripped from my umbrella down my back, and I felt like crying. Not because I was sad, or overwhelmed, or panicked, but because the sight was so magnificently beautiful.

There had been 1001 golden Buddha statues in Sanjusangendo, all of which were magnificent in their own right, the age and sheer vastness of the sight impressive but it evoked less emotion in me than the garden outside.

As the very charming hotelier here mentioned, upon my second stay, that I have come home to Kyoto. It’s true, I’m here and a wave of peace has enveloped me, where I feel more at ease with the universe. Each breath I take is more meaningful, each heartbeat rings true and I have forgotten for the moment any worries I have.

This will not last.

But when it has ended, I shall have these memories to remind me of a time when it did. I shall have this time to look to, to embrace and to encourage when I feel like it has become too much.

So today, although I am not anxious or worried, I am writing to you to tell you how much being here has helped. How happy I am. Because it is important to remember these moments as well. I never intended for these letters to simply be a chronicle of the hard times, but a celebration of the joyous ones as well.

The wisteria is coming into bloom and the leaves are bejewelled with the rain.