As the epilogue of J-C told

It was the day of part time job today. Two events have occurred to me. They were closely related in my inner world.

The regular health check up for myself has reavealed that cataracts had progressed more than expected.  Sooner or later, I need to undergo the surgery. And I got a bit hypertensive. It was a kind of inheritance from my mother. The lab exams may reveal something wrong more. Old age is coming on me for sure.

Another thing was that when I examined a baby at the outpatient of the hospital, one month old almost newborn, I was caught by an idea that this baby was on a flow of continuous life. A flow from me to him. I used to love the epilogue of "Jean-Christophe" by Romain Rolland. It encourages us to go after some great being, possibly Jean-Christophe himself, or any great soul in the world. Go over him and live your own life, it also told. In my young days when I repeatedly read it, I was on the side to be told to do so. Now, I felt I was on the side to tell the baby to live his precious life. That part of the great novel has come in my mind. I have scarcely had that idea coming from the deep emotion while I worked for children as a doctor. Or even anytime.

Being conscious of my own age, I think I have reminded myself I should deliver something good in life to the next generation, actually the baby in front of me today. It was a kind of religious feeling which appeared to me without any forecast. I felt I were told to be ready for the time.


  1. Hi Shin,

    Rolland is no longer fashionable, unfortunately.

    I first came across his writings when I was in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India in 1976. A fellow traveller recommended that I spend a day or two at the Mahatma Gandhi library there, which included many hundreds of volumes of Gandhi's writings and those of some of his closest associates, including Tolstoy and Rolland. I don't remember a great deal and just glanced through his works, but the remaining impression was of a deeply humane person. Since then I have read a great deal of Gandhi and of course Tolstoy, one of my literary heroes.

    In those days my generation was searching for something deeper than materialism. Life seems to revolve in a great circle, and now we are older we tend to return towards the things which moved us as young students, but which were unfortunately set aside in the quest for a mundane livelihood.

    By the way my father had a cataract operation a few years ago and can see much better now. It is a simple procedure. But of course, being a doctor you would know far more !

    All the best.

    1. John,

      I could imagine you reading those books in South India in your young days. Rolland is surely already a novelist forgotten in the world for now. But his writings are still clearly in my memory. I used to get a set of his works even though I could not read through everything those days. They might be somewhere in the book storage room. His philosophy was really against the materialism. He was searching for something noble and ernest in life. One of his favorites was Beethoven and his works. Jean Christophe was planned after Beethoven's life. I have read a lot about his enthusiasm for Beethoven in his correspondence with an italian lady. It was before I got interested in classical musice when I repeatedly read this novel. They called this work as a cultural novel in a good sense those days.

      By the way, I happened to remember that Rolland had written of Brahms as an nasty epigonen of Beethoven. I was convinced that Brahms had written too poor pieces just imitating the great forerunner. However, I am loving Brahms so much now. Maybe, Brahms was too akin to Beethoven for Rolland.

      I could imagine you were in quest for something true or more humane in young days. Of course, without being conscious of that. And, we are getting back to the origin again when we could see the whole lives behind.

      Thanks for the info on cataract operation. I am happy for your father. I know it takes only 10 min or so. I would consult to an ophthalmologist very soon. Even though I hate seeing any doctor as a patient. I hope the surgery will work out.