While the new year catches up on us quite fast and furious… Funny how 21 December 2012 (the supposed Doomsday of some sort) took forever to come and when it passed, life starts chasing us down, leaving us breathless again.
I have been catching up on the Rurouni Kenshin anime and also devoured a whole chunk of its original manga after the movie (like in my previous post) like a rabid fan would. What makes this story work so much better than a thousand other anime series, is the difference in the motivation of the main character. The story captivated me in ways that I didn’t imagine possible.
So much of these anime we watch is of the coming-of-age variety. The protagonists trying all so hard to find out what they are made of and what they are capable of… of discovering their latent power and their future. But Kenshin was different. He had been capable of so much by being a legendary assassin, but he tried his best to atone for his past… Much of the story was about him trying to find peace within and to leave the past behind. He may not be able to undo the wrong, but he chose to make the best of the situation… without breaking his oath of not killing, ever again.
But the past clings on to him. Like how it clings on to us like a stain, easy to mess things up real bad but just so difficult to clean off. That’s the intrigue of the Kenshin story. He’s been through so much crap… made mistakes so bloody, he’d live with the guilt all his life. But still, he tries his very best to trudge on.
As time pushes us forward, while life drags us kicking and screaming to our inevitable graves… The past could seem like a burden, but the stuff we’ve been through, is what made us the way we are now. For better or for worse, we still have to try to let go. The core idea of Buddhist philosophy – the act of letting go – is actually the hardest to accomplish.
There are things that I cannot let go as well. My problems are borne mainly out of pride and vanity, so it’s nothing too serious. In fact, they seem minuscule in contrast to what some other folks go through, on a daily basis. I try to tell myself that every time life gets me down, although it may not seem to work all the time.
But like Kenshin, I am also trying to find the peace within, to live a life of simplicity and love. That takes some sorting out over time. I just hope the past won’t cling on too tight… or not for long, anyway.