moon painting

Won’t you sing?

I will get up and dance.

How can I sleep

with the timeless 

moon this evening?

~Ryokan (K Tanahashi: Sky Above, Great Wind)




In the mountain shade,

water in the moss

drips between rocks.

I feel a glimmer of clarity.

~Ryokan (K Tanahashi: Sky Above, Great Wind)


morning sky

Chat about the snow

on Fuji’s peak–

and summer is no more

~Sanjonishi Sanetaka (S Carter, Haiku before Haiku)
mindforest“When I look at the trees in front of me, my mind does not go outside of me into the forest, nor does it open a door to let the trees in. My mind fixes on the trees, but they are not a distant object. My mind and trees are one. The trees are only one of the miraculous manifestations of the mind.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh (The Sun My Heart)

beauty in patterns of shadows


“My mother was remarkably slight, under five feet I should say, and I do not think that she was unusual for her time. I can put the matter strongly: women in those days had almost no flesh. I remember my mother’s face and hands, I can clearly remember her feet, but I can remember nothing about her body. She reminds me of the statue of Kannon in the Chuguji, whose body must be typical of most Japanese women of the past. The chest as flat as a board, breasts paper-thin, back, hips, and buttocks forming an undeviating straight line, the whole body so lean and gaunt as to seem out of proportion with the face, hands, and feet, so lacking in substance as to give the impression not of flesh but of a stick–must not the traditional Japanese woman have had just a physique? A few are still about–the aged lady in an old-fashioned household, some few geisha. They remind me of stick dolls, for in fact they are nothing more than poles upon which to hang clothes. As with the dolls their substance is made up of layer of clothing, bereft of which only an ungainly pole remains. But in the past this was sufficient. For a woman who lived in the dark it was enough if she had a faint, while face–a full body was unnecessary. …we…create a kind of beauty of the shadows we made in out-of-the-way places…we find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.”

~Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, (In Praise of Shadows, pp.29-30)