* Letter from Seiji Koga to Florian Von Banier, dated 1843
. Seiji Koga wrote this letter to Florian Von Banier
only months before his death. The letter is not a communication
, Von Banier had long sinced died. It is, if anything else, simply beautiful. Some of the reasoning behind Koga's writing of the Letter to a Son of Florian Von Banier
is explained in the ghostly epistle
printed below. Postmodernist Jean Luc Nancy
wrote of this letter that it is, "The purest expression of the possibility of letter-writing, namely the secret destination of every letter, as it wrestles itself against arriving at its destination. The secrecy of letter-writing is always invoked as if the addressee were dead. One can always not send the letter, just as Kafka
never sent the famous Letter to His Father
. All addresses
. The hands of a writer
are always haunted
, as if their first love, now betrayed, sits in judgement behind the opaque walls at the Post Office
The letter was addressed to "The Esteemed Father who is a Flower
". That it is written to
(in a manner of writing) Florian Von Banier
is indicated by the addressing of a "Florian" in the body of the letter, as well as referral to a "Jerszy"--the first name of Von Banier's adopted son and only heir as legitimized by the Courts. This letter was never published, and was found amongst some of the volumes of Seiji Koga's Haiku
which were printed only after his death. I retain a copy due to an excellent 'archaeological dig
' conducted in Japan
by a late student of mine, Harold Xiaochou
. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Xiaochou, for the fine character of your son.
Complete Selection of Seiji Koga's Letters.
The Esteemed Father, who is a Flower,
Where have we gone to, now, my boy, my father, my truest friend? You have been dead for many years, Florian. I have only just finished giving the lessons to all your sons, as I promised before you died, when we were young, perhaps beautiful, certainly primitive, and always happy. Aren't happiness and youth the same thing?
Finding all of your sons was a monumental project. I have been unable to work for years; now I am dying; soon I will join you; under the earth; also in Grace of God. I found only fifteen of your children. One of your sons was female--contrary to your expectations. She is beautiful. Her name is Pilar La Bonita, Pilar the Beautiful. She lives in a small jungle town not far from Bogota. Were you ever there? I did not know. An old woman spoke softly of your name, your face, your breath, your sex. I knew I had found your child. When she was a woman, you can imagine my surprise. Later I found that she was born both a man and a woman, but that she had been made a woman by the doctors. Her beauty is breathtaking--men lust after her and go insane from her imagined whispers, there is a flood of suicide blood in the path she leaves behind her. I wanted to love her, too, but did not, out of respect for your name. She has never born a child. She died last year of rheumatic fever. I dream of her every night. All of the other fourteen, I have visited or written to. I have advised them as you advised me. I have hoped for their fortune, dreamt of their happiness, and prayed for the peaceful daily meditation of their minds. Of the others you spoke, they are all mythological. One was a statue. The other was certainly not your child, for his hair was as blonde and long as the son, and his mother's was as black as yours, his mother's mother's so black that always she required a lighted candle in her vicinity or else her dark head would suck the light of those objects nearby.
All fifteen children are happy. They have inherited your soul. Be happy, Florian, be joyous. We will all dance and sing together at the marraiges and births of your five-times grandchildren. In heaven, peace flows as freely as sake. In heaven, love is as plentiful as grains of rice.
I have wanted to work for years on flowers. I have studied them intermittently, when time allowed, in the pauses between my devotion to your offspring. Always Jerszy was there to help me. I am so proud of him. He is a lily. He is a panther. He is a stream, trickling from the coldest mountain. His heart burns ice. Flowers are my passion. I will study them now--now that I have paid my homage to you. But I will die soon.
Will you place, with loving hands, white flowers over my grave? Will you remember me with bliss in your heart? Will you smile if my name is whispered to you in the night wind? Will you be the earth beneath me, who am bamboo, who am panda, who am mountain? I am devoted to your soul. I have hoped, for centuries, that you will also be devoted to mine with ritual prayer, sweet rememberance, constant meditation, and a nostalgia as joyous as the festival of lanterns in Kyoto. Please bring me to heaven... slowly.
As I have always written,
I Love You,
Your Seiji Koga