100 days…95th day

photography, spirituality, Uncategorized

Song of Chugen

My parents departed long ago.

How often I grieve in sadness!

I had only two aunts left:

100days95Last year I went to Kyoto and sobbed.

This year I moved to the shore of a lake and river.

My grief multiplies as I move through space and seasons.

Monks perform an urabon ceremony* after cleaning the temple.

The chanting of sad voices resounds to the red banners.

Then a cool breeze arrives;

cleansing and darkening showers merge with the dust.

Rain over, plantain shadow under the leaning sun-

the spirit of my father appears before me.

100daysbutterfjlydoubleexposure

After the ceremony I return to the monks’ quarters,

making a silent dedication for his liberation:

“Spirit, do not stay sunk forever.

Quickly prepare a boat and cross to the other shore.”

~Ryokan**

*Since the early days of Buddhism,

the Urabon Ceremony is a time set aside

for people to pray for the

peace and happiness of the deceased.

**cited:

Sky Above, Great Wind

Trans: K Tanahashi

100 days…84th day

photography, poetry, spirituality, Uncategorized

Clipped Wings

dreamingdoubleexposure

How did it come to this?

A forced landing, weakened wings

a solid source of former strength,

taking you through 

dark clouds and heavy downpours.

 

Those resilient wings assured your

bodily independence

as you soared through storms,

high winds battering

and pressing upon your life.

whiteblossom

 

Now those same weathered wings

bear evidence of missing feathers,

thinning bones and shrunken wingspan,

no longer able to lift and sour

or glide with the gusto that carried

you through turbulent tempests.

 

Slowly, slowly you learn to accept

those clipped wings, to be content

with nesting in the arms of elderhood.

csublossomsb&w

 

You submit to this final appendage

of your journey, bid farewell

to cherished autonomy

and slowly fold your worn wings

in peaceful surrender.

                                                        ~Joyce Rupp*

 

*cited:

Fly While You Still Have Wings

Joyce Rupp