Ex-Wwoofer and his new wife came to visit. They are from Japan. It was very good to see Leo again with his lovely partner. They were very gracious and a lot of fun. Seems Leo has been talking about our place for the last few years to anyone in Japan that will listen. And his new wife listened. So, they came. Vancouver, our house, Hawaii. Kind of a honeymoon with a hiccup in the middle.
Leo is an intelligent young man trying to find the right place for himself in Japan while, at the same time, feeling a pull towards Canada and living like we do. He would rather live in a log cabin, I think, than in a 300 square foot apartment in Tokyo. He’d rather see wolves and whales than Toyotas and Hondas. In Tokyo he works twelve to fourteen hours a day in the office of a big company and then, of course, commutes an hour or so to do that. And it is not satisfying him. He is one of those Japanese who is not comfortable as a ‘Company Man’. So, he is searching.
I, of course, suggest crazy, off-the-wall, Gaijin-thinking and I am sure it just serves to add to his confusion but really, I can’t see anyone who is healthy and smart spending their youth like so many young Asians seem to……………..Well, I suppose……………how so many young people are obliged to these days.
This urbanization trend/movement/migration is an international phenomena not peculiar to Asia. Young people all over the world are leaving the small villages for the jobs offered in the city. It may seem logical but, in the long run, I think it will overstress the cities and all those who go there.
And, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sometime.
So, naturally, that makes me think of going in the opposite direction. And we did. If everyone is going to the city, it must be wrong! If it is not wrong now, it soon will be. If it isn’t sooner, then it is later. That is how your basic contrarian thinks and I am basically pretty much a contrarian. I think Leo is, too. And I suspect that our Leo will do something rash like apply to come to Canada…………or something…………..
The search for meaning, eh? To live just for the sake of life is not enough it seems. The human condition includes a need for meaning, a purpose, a goal, an overarching plan that we think we can get our heads around.
I don’t think we can. The picture is too big.
In the end we will have simply contributed in some small or large way to the legacy that is our species. We will have added our bit to the pile. Like ants that take leaf cuttings, we are not fully cognizant of the piling or the process, we are just there to do our part as best we can. And, if you are a smart ant, you enjoy it right from the get-go. If you are not such a smart ant, you keep looking for just the right leaf in just the right place and then you go for that one hoping you will be happy when you get that one to the pile.
That is what I did. And it worked. I lucked out. My advice to Leo: If you can’t be smart, you had better be lucky.