Discover more from The World of Tosh Berman
Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
“I have a habit of leaving places at the wrong time, just when something big may have happened to me.” I love to escape and locate the source of my pain, which is a desire for my own personal version of anxiety. “Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.” My very reflection is a source of endless entertainment for me. Everyone who knows me that “writing is my vacation from living.” So to be in a room that is endlessly reflecting yours truly is a form of heaven that is man-made. Or I should say Tosh-made.
I’m sort of like the elephant that left the jungle to visit the big city. Tokyo is not exactly a big city, but more of a metropolis. It’s bigger than life, and the source of my work here is supposed to be bigger than life, which means bigger than Tokyo. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” With that in mind, I set out to take the world that is out there, and somehow make it mine. The only way I can do this is to edit what I want, and not want, and place it on a blank page. The problem is people have a tendency to pull me in a direction I don’t want to take. They do it because they’re concerned about my welfare, or even for egotistical purposes from the other party. Once you have your mission, it is almost an art form to stay on the narrow path, and not let the unfamiliar noise remove you from that road. It’s easy to get lost, and there are so many false street signs to tell you to go in that direction or “in that way,” when in fact, by instinct, you know you’re doing the right thing. Even if you do cause a certain amount of destruction here and there. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. ”
What I fear the most is missing the last train home. To be stranded and knowing your existence second-by-second till the next train arrives, many hours later. Or going to a lecture that is in Japanese, yet not knowing that language, but just sitting in the audience trying to figure out what can’t be understood at that moment and time. Time is stopping. Time is not moving. Time there waits for no one.
I came from the jungle to be here, and I realize that one can’t entirely leave the jungle because it is home. And the characteristics of the house are terrible. A famous philosopher wrote that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating! So what! We are interested in the mechanism that ensures that it really is a pudding we are eating and not a poached baby elephant, though we think we are eating our daily pudding!” To analyze the world in a sense is to cut yourself open with a sword and letting your intestines to fall out of your stomach on to the sidewalk.
As I write, I can hear the sound of wind running through the space between the buildings. It’s eerie, but the music is beautiful. It makes me sad that I will never write anything that is as beautiful as that sound. Nevertheless, I will never go back to the jungle. Home is there, but here I tend to lose myself, and to be lost entirely, is a blessing.
Inspiration by Nico, Babar the Elephant, Cecile de Brunoff, Eugene O’Neill, Louis Althusser, Oscar Wilde, and of course, the city of Tokyo.