「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


A way out

By Samantha Loong


The movie Labyrinth is one of my all-time favourites. One of the scenes I love is when a friendly worm strikes up a conversation with Sarah, the main character. Sarah explains how she can't find any turns or openings in the labyrinth. The worm replies, "It's full of openings. Just you ain't seeing them. There's one right in front of you." Sarah looks and doesn't see anything. "No there isn't," she insists. The worm tells her, "Of course there is. Try walking through it. You'll see what I mean. Things aren't always what they seem, so you can't take anything for granted." Sarah approaches what looks like a wall, continues to walk a little further towards it, and finds that there is indeed an opening — it was a clever illusion.

I remember gasping at how magical that scene was. And I decided to start calling similar situations — where you accidentally discover ways out of a seemingly impossible problem — a Labyrinth Worm moment.

I hadn't thought about that scene for a long time, until I started looking for a new running route in my neighbourhood. After getting lost, I decided one Saturday morning to secretly follow another runner. She began to run along one of my previously unsuccessful routes that led to an enormous storm drain and a beach that was too sandy to run on. As I began to wonder if she was going to turn around just before the beach, she suddenly turned into the storm drain. I had passed it many times before, but assumed it led nowhere. But there she was, running directly into it. I followed her. She suddenly turned left and disappeared. I sped up, even more confused and saw that, just like the hidden opening in Labyrinth, hidden from view was a very narrow, very steep staircase out of the drain and onto a major road where she continued running.

"LABYRINTH WORM!" I inadvertently yelled, pumping the air with my fist. The runner I followed was now nothing more than a small dot in the distance. Maybe, thinking I was stalking her, she had picked up her pace.

I had convinced myself all this time that there was no way out of that seemingly dead-end situation. But actually, the only barrier was in my head — all I had to do was go a little further and I found a way out. And it made me wonder what other mental barriers all of us put up — barriers that can be overcome just by going a little closer, and looking a little more closely. According to Japanese friends, this year is apparently one of my "bad luck" years. Here's hoping I can successfully apply my Labyrinth Worm theory and survive 2016.


先日他界したデビッド・ボウイも出演している『ラビリンス/ 魔王の迷宮』は筆者のお気に入りの映画の一つだ。最近、あることがきっかけでこの映画のあるシーンを思い出した。

The Japan Times ST: February 12, 2016

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版