The travellers of eternity

Days and months are travellers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling. There are a great number of ancients, too, who died on the road. I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind — filled with a strong desire to wander.

It was only towards the end of last autumn that I returned from rambling along the coast. I barely had time to sweep the cobwebs from my broken house on the River Sumida before the New Year, but no sooner had the spring mist begun to rise over the field than I wanted to be on the road again to cross the barrier-gate of Shirakawa in due time.

The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home. Even while I was getting ready, mending my torn trousers, tying a new strap to my hat, and applying moxa to my legs to strengthen them, I was already dreaming of the full moon rising over the islands of Matsushima.

Finally, I sold my house, moving to the cottage of Sampû for a temporary stay. Upon the threshold of my old home, however, I wrote a linked verse of eight pieces and hung it on a wooden pillar. The starting piece was:

Behind this door
Now buried in deep grass,
A different generation will celebrate
The Festival of Dolls.

Oku no Hosomichi - Matsuo Bashō

Don’t read books!

Don’t read books!
Don’t chant poems!
When you read books your eyeballs wither away
leaving the bare sockets.
When you chant poems your heart leaks out slowly
with each word.
People say reading books is enjoyable.
People say chanting poems is fun.
But if your lips constantly make a sound
like an insect chirping in autumn,
you will only turn into a haggard old man.
And even if you don’t turn into a haggard old man,
it’s annoying for others to have to hear you.

It’s so much better
to close your eyes, sit in your study,
lower the curtains, sweep the floor,
burn incense.
It’s beautiful to listen to the wind,
listen to the rain,
take a walk when you feel energetic,
and when you’re tired go to sleep.

Penned by Chinese poet Yang Wanli in the 12th century

Unfriended

To some,but not all, of my Facebook friends. Yes I unfriended you, don’t take it personally. I unfriended you probably because I am not interested in the topics you shared (or I am in general not interested in you and or your live style). When I open up Facebook I do not want to see misery. I don’t want to be confronted with pain, with posts about dead, injured or mistreated dogs / cats, old news, dead children, politics, boring sports or some thing you found on the Internet.

I want to keep Facebook a pleasant experience for me. I like to see the stuff you really do in your live, the things you do together with your friends, with your family, with your children, the trips you take, the nice pictures you took. The stuff you do to make others happy, the challenges you take. The cool stuff, the nice stuff, all topics that inspirer me.

Facebook is different for everyone, some people like to share things that I find unpleasant. If that’s your world that’s cool, I just don’t want to see your shares anymore. Don’t take it personally.

I also share and post stuff that is probably not interested to all: my running stuff, the pictures of my kids, some zen wisdom or a music track. I understand entirely if you don’t want to see this, then I highly recommend and encourage you to unfriend me. Just do it. I won’t take it personally.

Enjoy your life