Therefore I am going to finish off this essay by saying what I myself want, and which, to a satisfactory degree, I already have. I want to spend time sitting still, or walking slowly, wondering at and feeling the basic sense of existence, of being alive-dead, of watching my breath, of hearing all sounds in the air, and of letting clouds and stars caress my eyes. I want to let go of anxiety and turn it into laughter, and realize absolutely that life and death are two sides of the same coin. I want a female companion who will, alternatively, melt into me and wrestle with me, obey me and object to me, admire me and then suddenly show that she can do so many things much better than I. I want to write and talk for interested audiences, to charm them, and play with their questions, but also to listen to people who can tell me things I don’t know without being bores. I want to watch water which reflects many changing qualities of light and wind, and is visited by seagulls, pelicans, terns, grebes, and wild duck. I want to sit on some far-out rock or a lonely beach and listen to the waves and look at the Western sky at dawn. I want to shoot arrows so high into the sky that they seem to turn into birds. I want to see mountains and prowl through their foothills and forests, listening, at dusk, to unseen waterfalls. I want to sit at a typewriter, at certain times, carefully and meticulously putting into words what I feel—the challenge being that it cannot really be put into words at all. I want to go off to a colorful and spacious kitchen to experiment with some new kind of soup or stew, or method of steaming fish, or to see if I can cook with a wok (that is, a stir-fry pan) in the manner of the Chinese. Reminding me that I also want to play with the finest Chinese writing brushes and sticks of incensed ink, which you rub into water, and then try out the various ways of dancing on paper which are their form of ideographic writing. I want to be able to allay pain and sickness with the touch of my hands. I want to make a fire of charcoal and burn cedar leaves or sandalwood, late in the evening, while listening or dancing to classical or rock music.
I want to see the reflection of light in glass and crystal, and, lying on the ground, to look up at the trees patterning a vivid blue sky. At night to go to sleep beneath them, and to wake just before dawn when the stars can still be seen through their branches. I want to hear the bell of Nanzenji, a temple in Kyoto, at four in the morning - more of a gong than a bell.
I want to go to Sikkim and Nepal to see the Himalayas, but not to climb them.
I want to enjoy the company of certain friends, to eat Stilton cheese, melons, heavy black bread, and prosciutto, and to drink Gardener´s Old Strong, a British ale which is no longer available.
Earthly as it may be, that is a glimpse of my idea of heaven.