And so I have reached my forties; lost my worldly desires and now preoccupied with creating. When I step into the back of my own mind, I find an infinite expanse of space. Here I can create and blow glass freely.

I want to live in freedom forever. Here is a world that lies beyond the reach of human sense. This is in itself is amazing, but if you only immerse yourself in your own world, contact with your environment will naturally decrease.

I never used to worry about this, but this summer I experienced an unexpected reunion with an old friend. Of course I was happy, but my feeling of surprise was even greater. This mysterious sensation was caused by a deeply emotive event that I cannot express in words alone. These coincidences continued for a while. After that, dramatic and mysterious reunions continued for a while as well.

“The Crossroads of Fate”

These words describe my current state of mind quite accurately. I am immersed in a sentimental and somewhat nostalgic feeling; considering things such as fate and chance. Even though time keeps flowing, even if you only share the shortest possible amount of time. No matter if people go far away or if they stay nearby, the fact is that the encounter happened. Of course this means there will be a parting too. These events have left their traces in my heart in some way and these traces will never disappear; footmarks, flight tracks, marks, scars, vestiges, atmosphere, shadows.
And smell…

At the change of the seasons, I feel a quietness of an old-fashioned colour in an interstice of human emotions. Where are these feelings coming from? I’ve been wondering about this for the longest time now. In the summer of this year, shortly after I turned 43, I started having the impression that these feelings are like a faint light that overflows from these traces.

Sharpening my senses, I tried finding the actual location of these traces. I felt convinced that something existed near my chest, near my heart or on top of my abdomen. I tried to pay more attention to it and to look at it even closer. One day, I clearly saw numerous threads crossing each other. I saw a mass of threads that could never be unravelled anymore creating a pattern of scratch marks of various depths with numerous curved paths crossing each other in a complex fashion. As soon as I had this clear vision, I realized something with a start; I felt as if I had discovered a new frontier inside my own body.

“These must be the traces that have been on my mind this whole time”

These traces keep changing all the time. The people that will cross my path in the future, even if it is only for a split second, will surely leave some kind of inextinguishable trace there as well.

When I tried to capture this feeling in one word, I was reminded of the Galician word “Saudade”, which carries a complex nuance that is difficult to express in other languages. I was also reminded of the word “Magone”, which exists in North Italian dialect and cannot even be found in dictionaries. Therefore, it is difficult for me to translate my feelings into another language.

They are both words that try to express emotions inside the human heart such as melancholy, yearning and sorrow, but they are more than just a simple nostalgic image. Therefore, it is difficult to express in my own language as well. If I were to be allowed a measure of arbitrariness and bias, I would freely translate it as “Even a chance meeting is due to fate.”

That’s what I’m feeling right now.

At the Crossroads of Fate…

Yasuhiko Tsuchida, Saturday morning, 29 September 2012, Venice is cloudy.