Letter from Seiji Koga
to a supposon son of Florian Von Banier
, dated 1840. The addressee, Hrsgy Valksas, was at the time probably living somewhere in Magyarorszag
. That Von Banier is his authentic parentage is not confirmable, but Seiji Koga
's letter is itself excellent evidence. Von Banier had no legitimate children, except an adopted son. He is said to have sired many children on his voyages--loving all, knowing few.
Complete Selection of Seiji Koga's Letters.
Your father, now dead, asked me to write to you to offer advice on your choice of career. I am only a scholar, Herr Valksas, and my advice on such matters is irrelevant--the wind whispering secrets through willow branches--the birds do not discern the secret message, nor do the fish--the ink of my breath is invisible.
Here is advice: you must always be strong, like candle burning in finite.
Your father was a great man. He taught me much of what I know. But everything I have learned of God, if you will accept the name, I learned from God. Your father told me many years ago that you were considering entering a monastery in your native country. I do not know if you have made this choice in the years that have passed, in the seasons that have bred the lilacs' cruel mistakes; perhaps you have followed another dream and are a great warrior or political leader. Perhaps you have devoted yourself to taxonomies of the zoological or enythmological world. Still, I will write to you of that which your father requested, for my love for him ceases not, and my advice to you would be the same no matter what the subject.
There are so many flowers in this world. There are botanists in your lands, I hear, who are cataloging them. Some draw images representing the shapes of the flowers, others press them onto a page, and write script beside their delicate, dried forms. I would never understand such a vocation. Each flower deserves a catalog. If I could write haiku for flower, I would. Yet I am but an empty instrument. I am but hollow vessel carrying foreign languages in my heart. I do not understand the true meaning of words. If there is anything to be understood, and I am dying now so know that these are the words written by a man near the end of his life young Herr, it is only the faith in God that is to be enjoyed. It is God's holy secret that I enjoy between the decaying fossils of my fingers, my lips, my thoughts. I am a gong, resonating everything that is in God's secret. The haiku I have written are only so many ways of erasing a layer of skin that hide's God's true face. If time were infinite, the haiku would write themselves beneath my hand forever, and finally my face in God's would be revealed.
In short, your faith must be unwavering. Your soul must be the simple line that holds the ocean, despite its wild waves and currents, beneath the crust of the land. Your soul must be the empty void air between two people that separates their speech and holds them from each other's arms. Your soul must be pure, lily. If you must be something, be flower. If you must be flower, be lily, blossoming on water, housing the earth in your tiny shadow.
Be not surprised that,
I Love You,
Your Seiji Koga