This track is from one of my favorite soundtracks of all time, The Last Emperor. Ryuichi Sakamoto is a genius–you should take a look at the rest of the album if you ever get a chance. The movie itself is superb also. Today, this song exemplifies the tensions within my heart perfectly. Yes, it is a sad song, but melancholy isn’t what I hear right now. What I hear is the deep, intense longing. The frantic searching. The unbridled passion. The helpless restlessness. I feel a pull in my soul, an energy waiting to burst forth, a call to dive headfirst into the unknown.
Sometimes when I feel this way, I think there’s something wrong with me. Why am I so unsatisfied with my life? What is it that I long for? Am I being selfish in what I desire? But now, I think maybe my longing doesn’t necessarily imply that I’m unsatisfied with my life. And in any case, every person should feel at once satisfied with what they have yet unsatisfied with who they are or what they have achieved. Because if we’re all content to sit back and enjoy our comfortable, familiar lives, who will be our pioneers? Who will be our heroes? Maybe it’s a good quality I have, to fear the routine, the familiar. I mean, it’s not like I long for stupidity (e.g. hitch-hiking across the continent or dropping out of college to “find” myself). What I crave is to learn.
I can’t get enough of languages. And cultures. The two are so invariably tied together that learning a language without being submersed in its culture frustrates me to no end. Where, there it is. The root of my rants. Simply stated, I want to travel. Not just travel like I do to China (21 days, in the comfort of my father’s money and status), but travel like assimilating the raw, pure dynamics of a culture. Is it selfish of me to want to drop everything behind and forge into foreign territory?
I declared my major a few days ago. Romance Languages and Literatures with a focus on French and Spanish. It is my dream to teach English to schoolchildren, les élèves, en France. I have fallen in love with French culture and I wish to experience it firsthand if only for a few months. The French people’s strict discipline, intellect and wit fascinate me endlessly. I fear, though, that I will never get a chance to live in France.
I think, now that I have relieved some stress by way of this long ramble, perhaps I need a better perspective on life. Perhaps I should start living in the present more and enjoying life as it is. Perhaps if you see me in a few days my problems will all be solved–my French class (A.K.A. The Thing I Enjoy But Makes Every Day The Freaking Same) wraps up tomorrow and I will be leaving for China soon.
Do you ever get restless? How do you relieve it?