⟨ Book ⟩

Unmeasurable Things by Ayumi Kudo

Self, mind and dialogue.

Words / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung

上個月在京都,終於拜訪了惠文社書店,翻到這本《Unmeasurable Things》並一口氣看完了。

Last month in Kyoto, I finally had a chance to visit the Keibunsha bookshop, where I came across this book called Unmeasurable Things that I finished reading in one sitting.

起初是被封面的手繪人物吸引,再瞄到上頭的日語漢字寫著「自分、心、對話」,幾個字也剛好總括了書的內容。書中輯錄了作者Ayumi Kudo的49篇一行詩與圖畫,分別以日英意三種語言書寫,以「無法量度的東西」為題,簡單又直接地點出生命裡有過的情感波濤,甜美甘苦與共。閱讀的中途我不斷停下來,是有些情感被理解吧,而它就像個同伴給你抱一下。

I was at first drawn by the illustration on the cover, and soon noticed the three kanji words above the illustration that basically conclude the book — “self”, “mind” and “dialogue”. Unmeasurable Things collects 49 pieces of Ayumi Kudo’s one-line poetry and illustration. Written in three languages including Japanese, English and Italian, the poems used the theme “unmeasurable things” as a direct and straightforward departure point to discuss the ups and downs, sweetness and bitterness in a relationship. When reading the book, there are moments where I would stop and feel some of my sentiments being understood; the poems are just like a hug from a friend.

譬如無法用數字標示的情感、裡頭的溫度、所帶來的振動,所有和心有關的事情明明都很確實,卻又不像身體檢查般能被推進去探個究竟。

The emotions that cannot be expressed through numbers, the mood and effect they inflict… Everything connected to our mind is so vivid, but there is no way for us to have it examined like what we do to our physical body.

measure the darkness in a heart /

measure the distance between your hopes and mine /

measure the silence after you’ve gone /

measure the exact angle from which something good could fall /

measure the angle needed to see the world correctly

在描述苦澀深刻的情景,卻搭配著爛漫的圖畫,大概即使混沌過,卻明白日起日落都是順應自然,才能幽默地聊著那些灰溜溜的時刻。我想任何人在當中也會找到共鳴吧,只要有把張開的情感,輕輕梳好。

Although the lines describe moments of bitterness, the illustrations are playfully childish. After going through a bad time, one would perhaps understand that sunrise and sunset are only the routine of nature that we need to follow; afterward, we would be able to talk about the depressing days with a sense of humor. Be open to face your emotion and try to sort them up a bit, I guess there is always something in the book that you can identify with.