I was on my way to Olin and heard the sound of birds on a tree besides Metcalf Hall.
A tree without leaves
In the freezing gale
If the world is ever changing, then how should we deal with it? The women writers of Heian period chose to dream, reflecting a shift from utsusemi to hakanasa which means the evanescence of the human world. Since the reality and dream share impermanence, for these female writers, they became complementary to each other. For some, like Lady Sarashina, dreams even became the substitute for reality. She “lived forever in a dream world” and she was so obsessed with romantic tales that her only hope was that a handsome man would visit her once a year (Sarashina, 71-2). However, as her life progressed, she changed her view on dreams. After realizing the futility of dreams, she regretted her obsession with dreams and fantasies when she was young and devoted herself to religion (Sarashina, 119). From a Buddhist perspective, given that the world we live in is an illusion, how can dreams possibly be anything close to truth? According to Nagarjuna, in order to obtain truth, one must be kept away from impermanent and deceiving external things (Tsunoda, de Bary and Keene, 94).