On this trip it was different. There was something about the Japanese approach that called to me. The care for your art, the desire to do it well for the sake of doing it well. I keep using the word 'art' because there isn't a better word for it in my lexicon. Art is that which is designed that makes a human being feel, and the care with which the Japanese approach their craft, their cuisine, their typography, that made me feel. If you watch a sushi chef with his knife, and an understanding of how hard it is to do what he does (and I've tried, believe me), it gives you faith in human will and passion again. To make the perfect amaebi, hand-warmed sushi rice, custard-like tamago, it must take passion.
I think that when I was younger, maybe I didn't notice because I hadn't developed the judgment to notice. I couldn't tell the difference between good and average sushi, bad liquor vs. wondrous liquor, good tamago and everyday tamago. And I do think I miss something by noticing the difference. But I also gain something as well.
Every door we pass through as we age shuts behind us. In that small click as it closes is both tragedy and triumph. I hate endings which is why something inside me sobs when there's an irreversible change, but I love beginnings - I love beginnings - and all it takes is the right narrative to see a new beginning every day.
I was watching an interview at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference with the Emanuel brothers (Rahm and Ari) the other day. They're quite controversial figures - Rahm being the former Obama White House chief of staff and current Chicago mayor and Ari the CEO of William Morris and muse of Entourage's Ari Gold character. But as I watched the interview, I became increasingly fascinated by them - not for their accomplishments or beliefs, but rather the passion they have for what they do. It emanates from their very pores. And they've stayed sharp because they continue to be passionate about what they do - they're dead sharp and I love it.
It reminds me as I move forward in my career that you can stay sharp, that our human will, our human passions, our constant and active assent to our lives - "I will" - does not have to end. There is a new beginning to be captured every day, if we chart for our selves our own narrative.