The Landscape changed every time I reached the end of a curve. It was like nothing I felt before. My knees were beginning to hurt from all the pedalling. Cold air came rushing into my lungs and I felt a sting deep in my stomach. Approaching the tip of the Japan Sea, I could see Sado Island about 20 km away. Grey harvested rice fields stretched all the way to the horizon and further in the distance there were mountains slightly covered in snow. As I try to picture what was between those V-shaped valleys, I see clouds and steam from the rivers covering the path. I first heard of the word “Matagi” right after I started my third year in college. They were graphically portrayed in books and were clearly from a different time. Looking at them in the pages was like peeking into a distant legend. Clouds slowly passed the ridges of the mountains, then quickly disappeared leaving me in the evening’s darkness. I could just make out the road ahead. As I looked back I saw the track I had walked along and for a moment I thought about going back. The pedals were frozen so I pedalled harder. It was a long journey. I wondered how many hours I had pedaled. Arriving long past dark, lights reflected from the snow, shining ever so slightly. For a moment I wondered what it must have been like to see light for the first time. I’d imagine we learned of darkness not from the day, but from light that shined in the darkness. Images of ancient people making fires came to my mind. The snow stopped. I could hear nothing but the sound of the tire running across soft, fresh snow. It was quiet. From time to time I could hear animal noises echoing from deep within the mountains. I turned and faced ahead, on top of the snow piled on top of the trees, I could see orange light shining through.
Size: 30 x 29 x 1.3cm