Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Revelation of the Poet Basho Divine

In Japan, on Matsushima Bay, a peacock passed a dragon in the light of day, two ferry boats progressing in their opposite directions. We were on the peacock,

contemplating pine-enshrouded little islands that pervade the bay like earthly stars within a navy sky or cherry blossoms being blown into the wind and rain.

But none of these descriptions do that setting any justice. In his journey on the narrow road, the poet Basho wrote a haiku on each scene he saw except on this one. No inspiration could exceed its revelation.

Tao that can be named is not the Tao. But tradition has him writing just the name of Matsushima and an exclamation word or two. Three times. The one becomes the two becomes ten-thousand exclamations!

Holy Mother, this astounding universe is either unbelievable or overwhelming if approached with any small amount of true attention. Dragon or the peacock: either way, it's not your doing.

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