"They say Ryokan's brushwork
was unaffected and free-flowing.
That's the goal of these poems:
no duplicity or guile,
just simple, honest,
direct, and free.
Crisp and clear as a
northern summer dawn."
These cloudy days rather fit my mood: stormy, blown around by the wind, promising darkness. But they also can reveal to us something of what David Hinton wrote about:
"Chinese ancient sages assumed that this immediate experience of empty awareness was the beginning place, that dwelling here in the beginning, free of thought and identity, is where we are most fundamentally ourselves . . . you can begin at the beginning anytime, anywhere. A simple room, for instance, morning sunlight through windows lighting the floor; a sidewalk cafe, empty wine glass on the table; trees rustling in the slight breeze, sunlit passersby; a routine walk through a park, late autumn trees bare, rain clattering in fallen leaves . . . emptying our minds completely . . . we gaze out as if it were sight seeing for the first time, gaze with no expecting at all . . . wanting to see them then as they are in and of themselves, free of all of our tenuous human stories about them, our ideas and beliefs."
It was windy yesterday, and cooler. Rain perhaps tomorrow. The cold front making life more difficult up north affects us, but with fewer problems.
"A long and gracious fall this year.
The leaves are down. Gardens: emptied,
manured, tilled, smooth and waiting . . .
Fall planting—peonies and tiger lilies—done . . .
What else is there to do? . . . we are ready
for the snow. Ready now to come inside. Time now
words and music, poems and shakuhachi. Time now
to light some incense, sit and stare at candlelight."
"here comes the brimming,
the flooding and streaming
out of the clouds
and into the leaves . . .
The sky seems stretched
like an old black cloth . . .
And the moon steps lower,
her luminous masks, brushing
everything as she passes . . ."
Autumn in Missouri
"The autumn air, chill and clear,
moves in to stay."
Spare, and yet beautiful . . .
Photography authors often say an image should not just be about what is there (sometimes called "documentation"), but should reflect or call up a mood, idea or emotion. I'm feeling scattered and uninspired so this image may serve for what that feels like. I like the image; it's a reflection in a pond—from my trip to Yosemite earlier this year.