Kyouka Suigetsu / Mirror Flower, Water Moon

Nonfiction by | October 28, 2007

All your life you believe that you are happy, that everybody in the world is content with his own life. You believe that there is no such thing as being two-faced. You believe that people are like you, gentle and kind. When something bad happens, you forget that incident; that information is stored in a place where nobody else knows. All of you live in a lie and create a façade to cover up the grime. But what you don’t know is that the world mirrors the way you act and the lies slowly begin to build up. These days, the entire world is simply one big fat lie, hiding behind a mask that shows luxury, wealth and happiness. We’re all living in one great illusion, which we all believe is reality.

Here’s the thing: you wake up one day like any other kid on the block. You eat breakfast, take a bath and brush your teeth. Everything around you is normal, ordinary. People are happy; you bask in the glow of the morning sun with a warm feeling in your stomach. On the other side of the world, things are different.

On most afternoons, you would hear little children outside the gate, asking for some slices of bread. They wear tattered clothes that cling to their bodies like leaves on a tree. And on most afternoons, you would tell them to go away, that there’s no food in the house and nobody’s at home, save yourself. They would leave, and you go back inside the house, listen to the radio and wonder if the neighbors are going to give them food. The world is one strange place.

Everyday, when you go to the city, you can see malnourished children walking from one building to another, or offering to guard your vehicle from unsightly strangers. It’s not just the children, though; adults sit in corners with their palms open and beg in hoarse voices for a little change, a little food and a little sympathy. Other people just pass them by, not caring to lend a hand.

When you go to dark alleys, you see something else. You see walls decorated with paint, dried blood, remains of gunshots and marks from knife slashes. The alleys are littered with cigarette butts, broken bottles, and old cans. Time can’t heal these scars.

A little later, you’re home and you’re watching the news on television. You hear about the never-ending war between Lebanon and Israel, or whatever country’s on the brink of genocide. You hear about the government getting more corrupt each day, the economy of your country going downhill one second and going up the next; you hear about violent deaths, more poor people and terrorist attacks. Then you turn the television set off and go to sleep, indifferent to the suffering of others.

Everything is the exact opposite of what you have recently seen. Your whole day seems to be perfect: you don’t see little children with dirty palms and torn clothes, you see your friends playing at the nearest playground with big smiles plastered on their faces. You don’t see the poor begging for alms; instead, you see your neighbors talking cheerfully with one another. You don’t see tainted walls; rather, you see pastel-colored houses. And when you watch the news, you only hear about people trying to make the world a better place.

That is what you believe to be the condition of the world today. These things happen everyday and are mostly shown on the news. But people couldn’t care less. The world itself is an illusion. You think you’re happy because you’re not poor, you’re not hungry, and you’re not dying. But what’s delusion anyway when you see that many people aren’t happy with the way life’s treating them?

* Kyouka Suigetsu, is the name of a sword in the hit Japanese anime, BLEACH. The sword has the ability to create an illusion so real, that whoever looks at it believes that they’re living in reality. The name Kyouka Suigetsu suggests its illusionary properties; the moon reflected in water and a flower in a mirror are things that can be seen but not held. It is a Chinese saying for seeing and desiring something that is a dream that cannot be easily grasped in hand, teaching people about temptations.

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