there is this . . .

am i dreamer
or is dream dreaming me

does it matter after all, if i am or i am not

does sun feel the heat of day
does light see its image in the dark
during rain, do fish absorb more water
and would brown bear rather be horse

does it matter after all, the curiosities

when fish and water are one
when light and dark are indistinguishable
when brown bear is neither content nor discontent
when questions cease and ideologies melt
when there is no helping and no taking
. . . there is this

Enso

The artwork here is an ensō, which in Zen Buddhism is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited strokes. It is meant to express that moment when the mind is still, allowing for creation. It symbolizes enlightenment. I find it visually and spiritually elegant. I appreciate its spare message and the void it represents, called mu. Those of us from the Abrahamic traditions frequently misunderstand this concept and think it is nihilistic and depressing. It’s not.

The ensō is done as a part of spiritual practice and it is a kind of meditation in the way that all creative efforts are meditation. It is a wonderful example of the Japanese aesthetic, wabi-sabi. In that spirit, I kept the poem simple and included white space in the layout. With all that is going on in the world, this seems a good time to publish “there is this …” again.

© 2013, poem, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved; illustration ~ Ensõ , calligraphy by Kanjuro Shibata XX via Jordan Langeller under CC SA 3.0 unported

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