This poem was born during the 2016 In Situ Graduate School “Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the Arts in Kyoto,” organized by IIAS and the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Japan (CSEAS).
I composed the poem within a workshop where the main theme revolved around the dialogue between urban life and the arts. The word ‘ENCOUNTER’ was the title of our sonic performance, where we thought of city as an orchestra. We captured the sounds of the city: the irrashaimase, the chatters, the noise of the arcade, the crisp of the walked-on snow, and more. We combined it with music, dance, and heart-felt words: this poem. Everything we did was new for us. We learned that experiencing a city was more of a chance encounter, while this workshop was all about chance encounter. We met with a new way to experience a city, we were challenged to present a new way of representing a city, and we met with new people from various backgrounds to learn from, to learn with, and to learn about.
Within the silence of Hieizan I saw you
Under the cloud, this cloudy day
Far down below
as the wind passed me by
And the leaves rattled
as the wind passed through
Descend I go to where you are
as your soft murmur is getting louder
The birds bow to the sun
This is the crossroad where we met
The destiny of our encounter
Will you be there?
I will be there when you unfold
Within the distant chatter I am with you
And I arrived with the whole me
I arrived at you
I arrived in you
Widya Suryadani, Indonesia