Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mokou, Patchouli, Yuuka: a narration

Once, I was very much into Fujiwara no Mokou, and that was because of how I viewed myself back then.

It all started because she – along with Kaguya – were perhaps the first few Touhou characters that I’m familiar with their backstory, even before I really gotten into the series. And her decidedly different design from majority of the series’ characters – those pants and cigarettes are hot, man – added with the angsty backstory cemented her as a favourite.

But I would later realized that I’ve only felt an association with her because of my own insecurity and anger – but unlike her, my anger was directed inside. I was angry at myself for all my inadequacy, I blamed the environment for having lead me to where I am, feeling a sense of not belonging, I was self critical that I couldn’t break free from what I appear as not being able to fit in. I had all this anger inside, and it was eating me.

And I continue to hold on to the past of Mokou, drawing my own parallel version of tales of angst and bitterness with life. 

Eventually I realized I have to make peace with all that has happened so far – that I can’t stay angry and insecure and discontent all the time. It was perhaps not a coincidence that I have then shifted towards different characters, which I see it as myself trying to align to a new outlook and perspective.

Maybe we tend to find narration in even the most unrelated events, but I think there’s more than plain fanciness that I eventually shifted to Patchouli Knowledge and Yuuka Kazami.

I held these two in equal light, because I’ve come to see that they represent the duality in myself. Patchouli represents my leaning towards being immersed in reading and learning, as well as my interest in the art culture (if you would count magic as a part of art), while Yuuka leans more towards my affinity for geology, being an outdoor subject and it’s relationship to nature.  

Their personalities are perhaps a contrast to the respective subject that they represented for me: Yuuka, being a more free spirit is what I would view my ideal self in the appreciation of art – in life, as in death, there is beauty – with her field of flowers representing the metaphorical and literal canvas for works of art, whereas Patchouli, as well as having the right personality – I imagine her to be obsessive – in the pursuit of knowledge, is certainly bound to the whole business of hierarchy and subservient, with the Scarlet Devil Mansion something of an allusion to the ivory tower, with the library being her area of study, her trove of information, her field. 

Over time these two contrasting approach and personalities try to make themselves more assertive, because I was under the impression that you cannot be one and the other; that the field of technical and art are hard to reconcile; that you cannot tied down with a sense of responsibility while being free spirited; that you either have to be know everything or simply try to get on with life; that you have to be either an idealist or a cynist; that you must either be a builder or a destroyer.

But the more I try to separate these two sides, the more I feel like I’m not being true to myself. That I’m condemning myself to live two lives. Eventually, I’ve realized there is actually a reason why I feel equally drawn to both of them: how their different images was a reflection of the different image that I try to project myself. And the more I try to separate these two sides, the more it really tires me out.

Surely, there must be a point where these two apparently differing sides can reconcile. There will always be a middle ground. Extremeness is not something we must stick with religious fervor. We have a choice to go for the middle ground. 

Returning to Mokou, I now view her as someone who represented change. No longer does she need to enslave herself to her past: she has the option to decide where her life is to be. And I no longer feel the need to connect with her angsty past; I've made peace with her, you could say. 

We should let go of the past and start writing our own story. And by that, we shouldn't make ourselves that so one dimensional as the main character of that story. 

Funny just how much narration we could create if we really think of even the small mundane thing as personal preference eh? It all really started when I wondered why was it that I have an affinity for these specific characters, and it really took off form that point.  

This series of rambling serve to remind me there's always something you could learn, if you spend your time thinking about it. And I'm not done learning yet. Every day is where I shall be learning something. 


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