Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dreaming Down Roadways Of Evening : Antonio Machado

Lovers In The Moon Light 

~ Marc Chagall 

( 1887 ~ 1985)

I go dreaming down roadways

of evening. Emerald pine-trees
golden hillsides
dusty oak-leaves…!
Where does this road go?
I go travelling, singing,
into the road’s far distance…
– evening falls slow –
‘I bore in my heart
the thorn of passion:
Drew it out one day
And my heart is numb.’

And suddenly all the land
was silent, mute and sombre,
meditating. Sound of the wind
in the riverside poplars.

Evening’s more shadowy
and the turning road
that faintly whitens
blurs, in vanishing.

Lament, my song turns to:
‘Gold thorn, so sharp
Could I but feel you
lodged in my heart.’


    (1875 ~ 1939)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Farewell To The Father & A Letter On The White Ashes ..

A Letter On The White Ashes

When I deeply contemplate the transient nature of human life, I realize that, from beginning to end, life is impermanent like an illusion. We have not yet heard of anyone who lived ten thousand years. How fleeting is a lifetime! Who in this world today can maintain a human form for even a hundred years? There is no knowing whether I will die first or others, whether death will occur today or tomorrow. We depart one after another more quickly than the dewdrops on the roots or the tips of the blades of grasses. So it is said. Hence, we may have radiant faces in the morning, but by evening we may turn into white ashes. Once the winds of impermanence have blown, our eyes are instantly closed and our breath stops forever. Then, our radiant face changes its color, and the attractive countenance like peach and plum blossoms is lost. Family and relatives will gather and grieve, but all to no avail? Since there is nothing else that can be done, they carry the deceased out to the fields, and then what is left after the body has been cremated and has turned into the midnight smoke is just white ashes. Words fail to describe the sadness of it all. Thus the ephemeral nature of human existence is such that death comes to young and old alike without discrimination. So we should all quickly take to heart the matter of the greatest importance of the afterlife, entrust ourselves deeply to Amida Buddha, and recite the nembutsu. Humbly and respectfully.

~ Rennyo (15th Century)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

And For No Reason ~ Hāfez-e Shīrāzī

Gustav Klimt ~ The Kiss (1908)

And For No Reason

For no reason
I start skipping like a child.

For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the sun’s mouth
And dissolve.

For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.

For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!

When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.

Hāfez-e Shīrāzī 

(14th Century)

(Translation ~ Daniel Landinsky)