So here’s some things you start thinking about as you age and you’ve built up a huge collection of beloved music (1700hrs — ten weeks — for me) and can only listen to it for maybe an hour a day:
Aging is very complicated.
…In failing health, and desperate to find the monk before he died, Emon Saburo decided to reverse his direction: instead of trying to catch the monk from behind, he would encounter him head on.
On his last legs, struggling up a steep mountain trail, Emon Saburo met with the monk who had stood eight times at his gate so many years before. Through his changed heart and great effort, he was forgiven; and the monk asked him if he had a final request. Reflecting on his life, Emon Saburo sought a most unusual boon: could he be reborn as the Lord of his province? This would put him in a position to do good for the people, and atone for his cruelty.
So the monk wrote something on a small stone and placed it in Emon Saburo’s hand. After Emon Saburo died, the monk buried him and placed Emon Saburo’s staff as a marker.
Nine months later, a baby was born to the wife of the Lord of Iyo — a baby with a clenched fist. Natural remedies failing to open the child’s hand, a priest was summoned, who charmed it open with prayer and incantation. As the child’s hand slowly opened, there was revealed inside it a stone bearing the words: “Emon Saburo reborn.”