2 Zhang Jiabin

I was on my way to Olin and heard the sound of birds on a tree besides Metcalf Hall.

Birds chirping–

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).

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3 Responses to 2 Zhang Jiabin

  1. The way you’ve shaded in your picture is amazing. I also really like your haiku- you’ve painted a clear picture of the scene without excessive use of descriptive language.

  2. I really admire your haiku as well. I had not heard someone use the word “gale” in quite a long time, and a “freezing gale” certainly does communicate the moment well. However, it’s interesting that the birds were not quiet, but chirping. Your drawing is great as well; it has a great sense of depth which I think was important for that image.

  3. Jiabin- Incredible drawing! The shading is on point.
    I also found it interesting that the birds were chirping. I can’t tell if it complements or combats the gale. I imagine it would drown out the bird noises.


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