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Making innovation work for good. T:@inspirechilli

Saturday 31 December 2011

You are responsible for your rose

Every place has its cipher. A symbol for its meaning. And so, for Japan, buried amid the mountain, lake and ryoken of Hakone, there lies the unlikely museum for Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the writer of The Little Prince.  I remember receiving my copy of his book when I left the Royal Academy of Dancing, a present from a favourite colleague who wrote, `the is for adults too, for you`. The book has held its place through the years in a confused pile of Foucault, Michael Wood, Rimbaud, Fassbinder, Lou Reed, and Baudelaire, littered by my bedside. But it is in Japan, in an unexpected Disneyland of imitation French buildings, that the story finds its moment. Re-reading the museum`s narrative of Exupery`s dramatic life and death, I realise the power of his message - that `what is essential is invisible to the eye, only one`s heart can properly see`.  It seems a fitting epitaph to a country where one can find space and time to watch steam rise from hot water on a mountain side onsen, feeling the thoughts in your body and mind melt into the air, losing awareness of yourself to the essence of hot and cold on skin.  This is what we have mislaid, burried, forgotton, hidden. It is no wonder so many mistaken programmes promise transformation, to avoid the art of becoming, of connecting, of changing how we see what makes us. We are fools gold, digging deeper for egos in the mud, earning honours of no honour instead of flying to touch the sun and moon of who we are. The rituals that shape how our hearts see, lead a year into being. Where are they? On New year`s eve, Japan remembers its suffering with songs of hope, false snow and glitter, a cabaret that smiles on.  The lampshade shakes to a minor tremor; I sip on wine and play cars with a 3 year-old who won`t remember me. They say, soon, this place will be destroyed by the waves, for human spirit to re-build again.  Like 2012.

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