Gray day

Yesterday evening it was starting to get dark and looked like it was about to rain.  I noticed that the sky was a little bit unevenly colored in one spot.

A white line on gray sky

Perhaps a plane’s trail

Fades nonetheless

The idea of mu, nothingness, is both comforting and difficult to fully grasp.  In the face of troubles, stress, unpleasant emotions, and other difficulties that people often encounter in life, it seems very good to focus on the nothingness that is everywhere and accept that  “there is no distance between us and the actual world we live in” (Inouye 63). I do agree with Merton’s emphasis on “the tragedy of a life centered on ‘things’” and the ego as a root of “hopeless struggle with other perverse and hostile selves competing together for the possessions which will give them power and satisfaction”(Merton 82).  I also see a lot of truth to his statement that “to be absolutely nothing is to be everything.  When one is in possession of something, that something will keep all other somethings from coming in,” but I have a hard time imagining how you could exist without holding on to anything at all (Merton 109).  True, you would be open to new experiences, but it seems to make enduring relationships of any kind impossible.  Since by nature we are social creatures, it seems like there must be some sort of ideal middle ground or balance that allows for some meaningful connections to be kept while accepting nothing in other senses, but maybe it’s all or (completely) nothing.  Noh theater seems to be a good expression of detachment from self given the fluidity between characters and the dead and the living, but I see a paradox in the lines “life is a lying dream, he only wakes/who casts the world aside” (Atsumori 64).  It could also be said that once awoken you’d be in a dream, since I imagine a state of being free of attachment to the world and open to anything being rather dreamlike as well.

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One Response to Gray day

  1. I had the same dilemma with nothingness- I feel like there should be a middle ground and not just all or nothing. As I do see the importance of letting go of everything in some aspects to be open to new ideas, I think at other times you can open yourself up without having to let go of everything entirely. Maybe it’s just about accepting that what we do have is not going to last and will change at some point, so we must embrace nothingness because it’s not really possible to maintain attachments in an evanescent world anyway. Also, I really like your poem because I felt like I was there seeing exactly what you saw.

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