I’m tired of the harsh sea
and the mysterious earth.
I’m tired of chickens – we never know what they think,
and they look at us with dry eyes
as though we were unimportant.
[>A Certain Weariness< by Pablo Neruda]
“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is somthing you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.”
[Franz Kafka, “Betrachtungen über Sünde, Leid, Hoffnung und den wahren Weg” Excerpt from “Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer” (written 1917/18, published 1931)]
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the littledeath that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.“
“I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.
Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.”
Siddhartha: “Everyone gives what he has. The warrior gives strength, the merchant gives merchandise, the teacher teachings, the farmer rice, the fisher fish.”
Kamaswami: “Yes indeed. And what is it now what you’ve got to give? What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”
Siddhartha: “I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”
Kamaswami: “That’s everything?”
Siddhartha: “I believe, that’s everything!”
[Siddhartha talking to Kamaswami the merchant. Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse’s ninth novel (1922), was written in German, in a simple, lyrical style. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. (Source: Wikipedia)]
Now we are ready to look at something pretty special
It is a duck
Riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf
As he cuddles in the swells.
There’s a big heaving in the Atlantic
And he is part of it.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves
Because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is
And neither do you
But he realizes it somewhere and what does he do, I ask you?
He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity
Which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
How about you?
[The photo shows a 5 storeys tall Rubber Duck,
which was designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman,
against the smoky air of Hong Kong and tightly packed crowds.
The duck visited Hong Kong in June 2013 as an art project.
Internet searches for >rubber duck< had been banned in China
after Tiananmen square protestors mocked up images of the infamous 1989 event,
substituting the tanks for the duck. No kidding.]
These frozen berries for my breakfast this morning made me think of master Hanshan and his poems from the cold mountain.
“Men ask the way to Cold Mountain,
There’s no through trail,
In summer, ice doesn’t melt,
The rising sun blurs in swirling fog,
How did I make it?
My heart’s not the same as yours,
If your heart was like mine You’d get it and be right here.”
[>The cold mountain poems<, translated by Gary Snyder (1958)] [Follow this link for more poems from the cold mountain on wikiquote]
Le Puits (The Well) is a short film by Jerome Boulbes from 1999. Jerome Boulbes was born in Casablanca, Morocco, on November 2nd, 1967. Boulbes studied illustration at the Parisian school “Arts Decoratifs”. He worked a few years in video games and as a freelance technician, and then decided to focus on a more personal work. His first film, “Le Puits” (The Well, 1999), produced by Lardux Films, has been selected in many festivals and received several awards.
I know this short film for more then a decade now, but I still find it very moving. For me it clearly depicts a spiritual journey and even though I have seen it dozens of times I could still watch it every day.