Monday, November 01, 2004

I read Basho tonight. As I read through the moments of his life he had printed in haiku I felt a bond between us, and yet a distant sadness as well. His walk through nature was like that of Adam through that first garden, a cascade of delights that could only be spoken of sparingly, in humility and silence. Perhaps that's something the Japanese held on to in their poetic forms and understanding of mono no ke, the mystery of things.
So as I read Basho I smiled and sighed and wept internally for the revelation of man's soul as God intended it--companion of nature, audience and actor in the greatest work that will ever exist; yet equally, full joy, it seems,has eluded us since we left that first garden. All we can hold on to are the moments of being in it all--a picture beyond words.

How I long to see
among dawn flowers
the face of God
Man's end-
a bamboo shoot,
or less
Sick on a journey-
over parched fields
dreams wander on

-Basho (Each of the above is a separate haiku)