I was reading in the library on that dreary, rainy Wednesday when my gaze was pulled to the only bright object, a pool of water on the road.
A restless pool,
Lit from afar—
Never one shape.
The “here-and-now” describes a sort of very very close relationship between one and nature. Basho, though ambiguous about many things, was clear in this fact: to really write that perfect poem, one must be “emotionally moved by the essence that emerges from an object” (Doho within Inouye, 76). People who climb that mountain and see the greater truth, only to turn around again and return thus complete the Bodhisattva cycle and achieve makoto, or a “sincere” heart (Lecture 2/25). Upon returning, these close moments of nature, these intimate connections that struck Japan in prose, purpose, and art, happened naturally and without intent nor personal desire (Lecture 2/25). Thus the boundary between person and object became blurred lending many landscapes a human emotion. Basho let a magnificent scene “pervade his whole being”, he facilitated the fusion of butsuga ichinyo, or a heightened awareness of separation and commonality (Basho 122) (Inouye 78). I really am into this concept, particularly when Basho compares the differing “cheerful laughing beauty” of Matsushima to Kisagata’s “beauty of its weeping countenance”. I think there is some real value in being able to tap into nature’s unlimited reserves of beauty and complexity to change one’s outlook. Bit of a reach reference-wise, but in a recent song I was listening to (“Sunshine by Atmosphere):
Ain’t nothing like the sound of the leaves
When the breeze penetrates these southside trees
Leanin’ up against one, watchin the vibe
Forgettin’ all about the stress, thanking god I’m alive
Lose yourself in the scene—emotions and moods can be the most fleeting and turbulent whirlwinds so falling back on something as reliable and consistent as nature can be a great thing.