Having survived half a century it would be nice to say that I’ve acquired some deep wisdom that I can pass on to people. But the truth is that having spent 17 years writing articles whose remit was that they had to be interesting enough for people to want to read them in a foreign language, I feel rather emptied of knowledge. I understood the world, albeit naïvely, better at 20 than I do at 50. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; if it weren’t so, there would be no room for awe or laughter.
Yesterday I counted the books I’ve read over the last 14 years for my literature classes: 182. Sure, many of them are not that long but it’s still an awful lot of information that has gone in (and mostly come out) of my brain. This all leads me to a verse from James’ song Five-O:
I’ve been looking for truth at the cost of living,
I’ve been afraid of what’s before mine eyes.
Every answer found begs another question;
The further you go, the less you know
The less I know.
So much for the introspection; there’s no point in writing a blog to satisfy your own whimsy because nobody will read it. So, I offer you a bit of Japanese wisdom1. The diagram should be pretty self-explanatory. May you find your Ikigai – I’m still looking.
 wisdom – knowledge derived from experience, sagacity, insight
 to pass on – convey, transmit
 remit – specified purpose
 rather – somewhat, surprisingly
 albeit – even though
 naïvely – ingenuously, innocently
 room – (in this case) possibility
 awe – wonder, astonishment
 laughter – laughing, hilarity, humour
 sure – (in this case) admittedly
 that – (in this case) so, very
 to lead (lead-led-led) – take, guide
 Five-O – 50
 to beg – (in this case) provoke, elicit
 whimsy – whim, caprice
 pretty – reasonably