the evanescent beautiful

On Sunday morning, Evan was sitting on his bed, spacing out and trying to decide what to eat, and I saw the snow through his window.


Swirling in the air

Window frame, your silhouette


Last week we talked about influence of Buddhism on Japanese interpretations of life experience. The three fundamental elements of existence, anitya, duhka, and anatman, which represent impermanence, suffering and no-self respectively, are compatible with the idea of evanescence in Japanese culture. When Buddhism first came to Japan, these fundamental ideas were transformed and combined with Japanese understanding of the ever-changing nature of the world, which is polytheistic, animistic, and shanmanistic (Inouye 32.) The non-symbolic understanding of symbols is an example of how Buddhist ideas fit into Japanese context, where gods are tangible and available, and our relationship with nature is close but ever-flowing. The close tie between our surroundings and us also explains the importance of natural imagery in Japanese poems (Inouye 34.) In As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, her poems are always based on her observations and feelings aroused by nature. She saw rustling bamboo leaves, the autumn moon, and fragrant blossoms, and the scenes echo her sorrow from being apart with the loved ones and moving from place to place. As we discussed in the lecture, the ever-flowing nature of life, and our attempt to maintain or pursue a permanent relationship that we are experiencing now is futile, sad, but beautiful.

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One Response to the evanescent beautiful

  1. Marshall says:

    I enjoyed your poem immensely. It does a beautiful job of capturing the special kind of snow we had this weekend. The framing with the window makes the imagined image especially vivid. The pause after the first line feels a bit forced. Perhaps it could be condensed to two lines?

    It would be great to hear more of your thoughts & reflections in the week summary!

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