“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Posting this one a bit early, as I’ll be off the grid climbing later this week in Nagano. Really looking forward to this upcoming trip. I’ll be able to focus for roughly a week on climbing some of Japan’s most famous routes. It’s a good chance to keep training in order to do some big stuff down the stretch. We rented a tiny car for the trip, almost small enough to be remote controlled. The remainder of our funds will go to the “Papa project,” a small kickstarter with a goal of making everyone in Japan call me Papa.
I was in Shiga not too long ago hanging with Hip Hop Nith. On Saturday we decided to get some pizza, because we so rarely get it in Japan and we were both craving some. In Japan, Pizza Hut is a big deal. It’s a night out; a close a million dollar deal with some cheesy crust type of restaurant; a propose to your girlfriend at the salad bar type of place. Coming from America, where Pizza Hut is only an option when there isn’t another pizza place within a 50 mile radius, I was surprised to learn about Japanese Pizza Hut Culture (hereafter referred to as JPHC). So after Hip Hop told me about all this, I threw on the tuxedo, hired a limo, and we set forth on the eight minute journey to Japan’s premiere Italian Ristorante.
Upon our arrival we realized there were no seats or tables. What we had stumbled upon was some sort of Pizza Hut take out hub. Needless to say I was devastated. There was none of the anticipated class, yet three times the price of a reasonable pie in the states. I suppose pizza is one of the things I’ve taken for granted, especially growing up near New Haven. I’m trying to make a point to justify the two paragraphs that I just wrote about Pizza Hut, but I can’t.
This past weekend Sensei and I went down to Tokyo with a friend of his, where he proceeded to lose me within a matter of minutes and then ride the train in every possible direction but the one we were trying to head in. We were going to meet with friends that we hadn’t seen in a while and we told them originally that we would be there at 8. That time changed drastically after Sensei said he would “meet me at the track.” Mere seconds before our train’s arrival, I received a frantic text saying “don’t get on the train!” I complied and watched as the train pulled away, and then received a casual phone call: “Hey man, we are on the train.” The very train I was commanded not to get on.
Well the joke was on him, because even though I had to wait 15 minutes for another train, I still managed to beat sensei there by fifteen minutes, a seemingly impossible feat that only came to pass because the train that Sensei had abandoned me for was actually headed in the opposite direction. So while I was at first mocking him for my mistake, quickly the joke was placed, yet again, back on me, as I waited for his train to arrive. But we made it and had a great time.
Too often when I’m skimming a blog or an article the author comes off as some all knowing being that has five steps for the perfect life. Either that or the author is claiming to know, at like age 23, all there is to know about being happy and fulfilled. I was 23 just two years ago and I’ll tell you from personal experience that I did not have the degree of enlightenment that it takes to get published by Elite Daily. But a lot of these posts are narrow minded and make incredible assumptions about what people in the world can and cannot do. Not everyone has a passport that allows them to just up and leave, and not everyone has the luxury of just getting up and leaving. But I’ll give it a try. Here are five things that will make you have a better life:
1 – Stop
2 – Reading
3 – Senseless
4 – Clickbait
5 – Articles
I think if you work hard at something, you can make it happen. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be in five steps, though, unless you have the privilege that a lot of the people who write those articles do. I’m aware of my own privilege in society, and in having that, I think there is a responsibility to acknowledge it consciously when writing.
For people who can’t run off to another place, please don’t think that you’re doomed because someone with an easier path thinks they know all the answers. This week’s quote by Rilke is something that I’ve always thought is extremely relevant and well said because it embraces questions. I have such a hard time with the unknown, as I’m sure many of us do, but thinking of them as books written in a foreign language is something so incredible; because no matter how difficult the language might be, the ability to learn it is never out of reach. So instead of looking for answers, it’s okay to be comfortable in your questions.
What a roller coaster ride of emotions that was.