Last year I spent two weeks in Japan

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last year, I spent two weeks in Japan.  Catching up with old friends was part of the visit.  I found them all older, sicker, greyer and — in the same dead-end jobs, in the same apartments, and with the same “one day I will x” plans, none of which have advanced an inch since I had left.

And that was 25 years ago.

I have since lived in four countries on three continents, learned four languages, new literature, new music and new art:  but for them, nothing has happened.  Meanwhile, fifty’s just around the corner, what chance the next decade will pass in the same way while they continue to muse about how “one day they will x”? When will they notice x isn’t going to happen?

I remember a story about someone’s uncle, born a penniless outcast in Hyderabad, who’d conceived the vision to go to America and become a self-made billionaire.  The next day he got up, bathed, prayed, ate his chapati, and — started walking west.  It took him three months to reach Bombay, and it is possible that he never actually reached America — but that is not the point, the point is — there is never any other time to do x than now.

Any statement which begins with “one day I will” really means “I will never”.


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