Friday, September 12, 2014

In the Yard, a Couple of Graceful Twigs

Photographer: Jack Pal

      This is a striking verse of a poem written by Zhou Lu Jing titled “Hermit Crazy about Plum.” This version was translated by Chan Master Tsung Tsai and George Crane. Once more i borrowed a piece of Sean Murphy incredible book “One Bird One Stone.”

     This verse could pass as uninteresting, as most of zen short poems could pass as uninteresting if it is not looked at with the right eyes and understanding. Maybe, the more appropriate word to use it is not even understanding, but appreciation. Understanding in some level implies knowledge. However, because Zen is, in accord with what I was told once, a process of unlearning, the word knowledge should not be brought up in this case.

     I am not gonna try to give an intellectual explanation of this verse. That could easily become boring pretty soon. I am gonna tell why i chose this verse as the quote of the week. Once I was taking a seminary on self-improvement. The speaker was talking about the joy of living and appreciation of life. He said that when we become adults we tend to need more and more complicated things to find satisfaction. However, he said, children can find great pleasure on playing with the simplest things, even a couple of twigs. This is what this verse seems to be about: having the humbleness and the courage of finding the most sublime grace in a couple of ignorable twigs.
There is a quote from Marcel Proust that I use as personal signature in my e-mail. It comes very much into place here. i am going to close this comments with it:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Oh, actually… another quote. This is from Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

When you look at those twigs what do you see?

No comments: