All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all. I am just like everybody else.
– Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
What would Lenin have thought were he alive today, visiting this park that borrows his name? Lenin Park in the evening is abuzz with all sorts of people. Teenagers, parents, toddlers, neighbors, friends, lovers–everyone has been invited to this soiree except perhaps, Lenin himself. He stands cautiously above them with a gaze far removed from the present. Who thinks of monuments like these? Who decides that Lenin must look away deceiving his own philosophy of oneness with the people?
I look at what I had seen that night once more and pause to think of impermanence. Even Lenin appears to step down from his pedestal as the moment is seized by the constant blur of time. What remains? What is altered? Who is Lenin? And whose faces are these, at once present and later erased?
Tired today and slightly overwhelmed by the walking I had not been prepared to do. Spent most of the day at the National Library on a expedition–a hunt for photographs and documents undiscovered. That alone is tiring in itself and by late afternoon, I could feel my eyelids dropping. On the way home, I attempted to avoid traffic and congested train rides in exchange for firsthand experience of the city with its sights, smells and attitude. The dosage was stronger than I could bear. Walked from Divisoria to the Recto train station linking back to the artery that is Cubao–after which everything feels close and familiar. Upon reaching Cubao, I locked myself up in the bookstore excitedly coming away from it with a Tokyo travel guide.
At the cashier I read an email explaining how Japan may still be further away from me than I had previously imagined. I’m devastated…or maybe just exhausted. But I’ll welcome impermanence–if only it’ll work in my favor.