Thursday, October 29, 2009

This World Of Dew

Life is temporary and fragile, like a dewdrop. This whole world is temporary and fragile. Getting attached to life and this world is silly, or so Issa would like to believe. So his Buddhism taught him. His philosophy created the ideals of non-resistance and unsurprised acceptance of suffering in this transient world. After all, nothing could last.

Still, his heart would cry out against the tyranny of such a philosophy. His heart didn't mirror the ideals. His heart seems to have longed for a peace that went deeper than a mere acceptance that "Life is suffering" (the first of the Four Noble Truths taught by Buddha).

And his heart never seemed to quite accept the perfectly passive role that he tried to assign himself. Even in the image that he loved to use to remind himself of these ideas he had a hard time making the image fit the world in which life goes on.

The second poem below was written just after one of his children died.

A world of dew
and within every dewdrop
a world of struggle
This world of dew
is only a world of dew . . .
and yet

Bonfires for the dead-
soon they'll burn
for us

Delighted by bonfires
for the dead . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.