Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Turning to the head of his bed, he noticed a single camellia blossom that had fallen to the floor. He was certain he had heard it drop during the night; the sound had resounded in his ears like a rubber ball bounced off the ceiling. Although he thought this might be explained by the silence of the night, just to make sure that all was well with him, he had placed his right hand over his heart. Then, feeling the blood pulsating correctly at the edge of his ribs, he had fallen asleep. For some time, he gazed vacantly at the color of the large blossom, which was nearly as large as a baby’s head. Then, as if he had just thought of it, he put his hand to his heart and once again began to study its beat. It had become a habit with him lately to listen to his heart’s pulsation while lying in bed. As usual, the palpitation was calm and steady. With his hand still on his chest, he tried to imagine the warm, crimson blood flowing leisurely to this beat. This was life, he thought. Now, at this very moment, he held in his grasp the current of life as it flowed by.

~ Natsume Sōseki, “And Then” (1909)


Photo (edited): commorancy with Pink Camellia, Hakone Japanese Gardens

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