Sunday, February 21, 2021

hidden beneath the leaves


a six mat room off the lecture hall, veranda sliders opened to slick black rock round with age and gravel awash in white snow, ink mixed, the abbot's scroll complete, brushes clean, master ko considering the small tiger sawn oblong of ancient oak, its patina gently scraped, him crosslegged, considering, but some hesitation stalls emptiness, clarity: beneath the stout little cup of mashiko clay on his pine shelf is the crumpled letter from oregon, much traveled that, his book of poems published, would he come? feeling indifference or? and what might he reply? ... while a thief in the night has stolen two bags of rice and one of radishes, the abbot's harsh words, the gardener's curse, the professor saying, so, who dares befriend this degenerate reprobate?

friend: Japanese, tomo; Chinese, pang jau

The kanji for friend is often thought of as two hands, right and left, reaching out to each other. However, the old kanji for two right hands clasped is considered the origin of this character. The notion expressed is one of mutual support.

Tao Te Ching 27 (Feng and English):
If the teacher is not respected,
And the student not cared for,
Confusion will arise, however clever one is.
This is the crux of mystery

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