Tuesday, August 18, 2009

late night cleaning

"Knowing that it is the earth that we walk, we learn to walk carefully, lest it be rent open. Realizing that it is the heavens that hang above us, we come to fear the echoing bolt of thunder. The world demands that we battle with one other for the sake of our own reputation, and so we undergo the sufferings bred of illusion. While we live in this world with its daily business, forced to walk the tightrope of profit and loss, love is an empty thing, and wealth mere dust before our eyes. The reputation we grasp at, the glory that we seize, is surely like the honey that the cunning bee seems so sweetly to brew only to leave his sting within it as he flies. What we call pleasure in fact contains all suffering, since it arises from attachment. Only thanks to the existence of the poet and the painter are we able to imbibe the essence of this dualistic world, to taste the purity of its very bones and marrow. The artist feasts on mists, he sips on dew, appraising this hue and assessing that, and he does not lament the moment of death. The delight of artists lie not in attachment to objects but in taking the object into the self, becoming one with it. Once he has become the object, no space can be found on this vast earth of ours where he might stand firmly as himself. He has cast off the dust of the sullied self and become a traveler in tattered robes, drinking down the infinities of fine mountain winds."

--Natsume Soseki, from Kusamakura

I'd like to rewrite this section, this entire book, really. But, regardless, what I can only imagine is the beauty of the original is discernible behind the fog.

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