I have been watching this series on and off for years, long enough that I moved here and there and people around me came and went. Sometimes the seasons or even the dates synced with reality which makes the scenes look magical. Finally the journey came to an end at Kashugaru where no reception was held for Sekiguchi-san, just like every other stops. However I am wrong in saying so, as every stop presents its own discoveries, adventures, encounters and revelations.

It was about a very long train trip of Sekiguchi Tomohiro-san in China. The trains ran through shimmering mist of Spring, steaming heat of Summer, golden harvest of Autumn and wintry fields of snow. Nature was resplendent with serpentine rivers, sublime mountains and endless sand dunes. However the towns and cities mostly looked dull with ugly looking bulky tall buildings and were cramped with people, a stark contrast to the romantic sceneries beyond. All the encounters were heart-warming yet short-lived. As the bonds were forming, the departure was nigh on them. It made me cry to think that they would never meet again and the inexorable passage of time invariably dilutes memories whether bitter or sweet. They didn't even have the means of communication which we take for granted nowadays. The present day has its own problem though that communication systems in China and the rest of world don't really talk to each other. The world is becoming stranger as I witness. All the great power of technology is channelled into manipulation and encumberment.

Our dear readers may have noticed a recurring theme in recent blog posts. I started to get affected about 7 years ago when I realised that there were people who cared about me, but it had subsided until recently. Yes, I am acquiring emotions.

People sang beautiful songs on trains or in their villages. Those were simple songs; yet the fiery emotions were carried by gently undulating notes. Many people gave gifts, especially food, to Sekiguchi-san whose first Chinese words was probably 好吃. He kept a picture diary with his reflections on the journey. People were friendly, but the dark side of me had wondered how much was the influence of the camera. I looked at the warm smiles again and my dark thought dissipated. The camera simply drew people together and tactfully pierced the barrier of shyness to let friendliness shine through.

The long long journey ended. Sekiguchi-san stood at the end of the rail tracks, a wordless metal plate marking the end. Yet the space extended forever on. He wandered the streets of Kashugaru and continued his journey.

(There is so much to write about. However it is hard to write down everything into a coherent blob. I have conflicting ideas and limited time for reflection. I have priority elsewhere. All the choices of what to pursue and what not to shape each individual. We cannot live a tree-shaped life where we try out every branch of paths.)