museum ミュージアム

Tears 涙



Inside a pyramid in Egypt there are paintings of boats. They say that people used to live on the east side of the Nile River, while the dead had to cross the river to the west bank. In Benares, India, the ashes of the dead are poured into the river, while people cleanse themselves in the water. The river links the living with the dead.
When my father fell into a river and died suddenly, many people came and made offerings of flowers beside the river. My father, who was not able to leave this world with his family surrounding his bed, left his last place by the river alongside the street where he used to take walks. The place happens to be near a bridge in Kyoto that is said in local legend to be a place where, since ancient times, the spirits of the dead sometimes visit. I imagine that my father, who loved company, chose a place where the dead can be as close to the living as possible.
The river, however, is dry. I wonder if he is wandering along that dry riverbed. My father used to cry easily. He was moved to tears when he felt nostalgic, happy and vexed; sometimes he cried hard, noisily. Probably, as the things he cared about touched the bottom of his heart, tears welled up, as if from a spring uncovered.
Tears tell you where precious things exist at the bottom of your heart.
Tears allow you to meet someone you wish to meet, if it is possible.
Tears can remind you of times past, never to return.
If the tears that fall become a river, they might fill the river, where my father fell.