walking into 2005

Today marks the beginning of the second year of Ruby Street. It was one of my resolutions to start a blog last year and I've made it through. Many happies, Ruby!

I began the blog with a theme of walking, which has wandered off of late, but I've recently been reading some Japanese poets on the theme. In particular, I have a book called For All My Walking, which presents free verse haiku by Taneda Santoka, as well as excerpts from his diary. Santoka was born in 1882 and died in 1940. He was a bit of a failure in his life, measured by the rules of normalcy. He was an alcoholic, a failed businessman (the family sake business) and then became a Zen priest and spent the rest of his life walking and begging (and drinking), as well as writing haiku.

So here are some excerpts:

"November 9, 1930. What Fayan said, "Each step is an arrival." Forget about past walking, don't think about future walking; one step, another step, no long ago, no now, no east or west, one step equals totality. Get this far and you understand the meaning of walking Zen.


the deeper I go
the deeper I go
green mountains


drizzly rain
only one road
to go by


passing through
I don't understand


warm again tomorrow
stars out
promise of good walking"

[trans. Burton Watson]


Andrew Burke said…
bewdiful, Jill. I'll puruse him further ... I love dat stuff :-)
Happy New Year - still Old Year here, but the midnight hour is coming up fast ...

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