I was just thinking about the book I’ve been slowly reading – slow reading is required for Autumn Light as it is the kind of book that makes you pause and think, it’s the kind of read where you want to pace yourself, enjoying the moment, enjoying the scenery that Iyer paints for his readers, of Japan, of his life in Japan.
It has been many years since I’ve been in Japan. I’m sure so much of it must have changed, and yet plenty has remained the same. I have such strong memories of the trip, although the guy I went with is someone I’m no longer in touch with.
And I can picture the people and the places Iyer writes about so easily, even though I’ve never been to the neighborhood he lives in.
The book makes me think of my dear friend in Japan. We met as flatmates at graduate school in the UK and she is still one of my good friends today, although I haven’t seen her since she attended my wedding in Singapore. She was the first person in the university housing I talked to, and she shared her dinner with me that very first night that I arrived (she had arrived a couple of weeks before, to take up English classes). And every Christmas she makes sure to mail me some tea and snacks from Japan.
It is not by the light of autumn that I write this. It’s still winter in Northern California but it has been a very mild and unfortunately dry one. It’s currently 21C at 3pm and I’m watching the shadows grow longer in the backyard. My Japanese maple tree is still bare and I am looking forward to seeing it’s splendid red leaves again. But I can’t help wondering if I’m taking care of it properly. I am no gardener and I marvel that things actually bear fruit in my backyard.
So this is Tuesday and I realize this isn’t quite a usual post from me. But I hope your week’s going well. What have you been up to?
I really enjoyed your post. I don’t think I could bear to live abroad because I wouldn’t want to get close to people and have to leave them and not be able to see them easily again. It’s something that I’ve had a problem with since I was small, I don’t know why. I haven’t thought about it much until this reminded me. This is a book you have made me want to read. But it’s not out in paperback yet, what a wait that is going to be!
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Hope you get your copy soon. I’m thinking of buying one for myself to reread!
Different from your usual posts, yes, but equally enjoyable. Looks like Iyer’s contemplative mood has transitioned nicely from the page to you!
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Thanks Claire! 🙂
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