Saturday, August 26, 2023

Life and Art. Art and Life.

One morning this week, as I walked along a shadowy but sun-dappled path through a grove of trees, I came upon a single golden pine needle hovering vertically in mid-air, at eye-level, above the path. The needle was suspended on a single gossamer thread.  Unmoving, it captured the angled morning sunlight of late August.

I walked on.  A few minutes later, I remembered this (which has appeared here in the past):

    On Something Observed

Torn remains of a cobweb,
     one strand dangling down --
a stray petal fluttering by
     has been tangled, caught in its skein,
all day to dance and turn,
     never once resting --
elsewhere in my garden,
     no breeze stirs.

Kokan Shiren (1278-1346) (translated by Burton Watson), in Burton Watson, Japanese Literature in Chinese, Volume II: Poetry and Prose in Chinese by Japanese Writers of the Later Period (Columbia University Press 1976), page 27.  Kokan Shiren was a Zen Buddhist monk.

So goes our brief stay in Paradise.

Josephine Haswell Miller (1890-1975), "Studio Window" (1934)