Contradictions and polarities

I am writing todays post from the Shinkansen train to Kyoto. Hurtling through the countryside at 300 kilometres per hour, finally seeing green fields after three days concrete.

Mt Fuji is enshrouded in clouds. 

I am lost in the contradiction that is Japan. Indeed, we have been lost for so much of the last three days.

Lost in the incredible honour and dignity, tradition going back into the BC era. And then the Harajuku Girls and Boys. Living dolls. So many living dolls.

Beautiful, healthy food – although extremely challenging for a vegetarian. And then crazy weird sweets – so much sugar. Queues so long to buy the latest sweet fancy.

It is this extraordinary polarity between the traditional and the modern – and how it is held with such a sense of normality, that I find fascinating. 

It almost feels like the Japanese Culture is enabling the tensegrity of very old and very young to give birth to the ever-evolving future with a grace I have not experienced before.

Most cultures fight to the death to prevent the new coming through. And in so doing, they hold back the steady river of emergence.

Even my journey on the Shinkansen is a polarity. From the mostly modern Tokyo to the very strong traditions of Kyoto.

When we can hold contradictions and polarities as the fulcrums for evolution and emergence, we can hold far more space for diversity.

In reflection of this, I consider so many parts of the world who refuse to even try to do this.

Photo Taken January 26th  2023