Saturday, May 29, 2010

The view from my front porch

Hatsuboku Landscape has been a favorite since Alan Watts included it in The Way of Zen — a book I found excrutiatingly dull to read, but great fun to carry around my junior year of high scool. I have been permanently befuddled by the topic of Zen ever since. It was with immense satisfaction that I found this far more detailed image on the 'net several years ago, which allowed me to see, for the first time, the slanting splash strokes of a fishing village (not a Zen temple?!) by Sesshu at the base of the mountain. It must be said that, for somebody who was all about a special transmission beyond words, Alan Watts could spew the most amazing amounts of verbiage.

I (yes, I!) coined the viral neologism logorrhea several years ago because I'd gotten seriously depressed about never understanding books about Buddhism, despite a cornucopiastic cauldron of bulemic upchuck that accompanied my struggles to express what I'd learned, if only to my self. It wore my friends out very quickly, but the flow etched me to the bone before ever I saw any moon in my own skull bucket. It turned out I like art better than narrative. These days I don't understand art either, but I admire it greatly; while language has turned out to be the great linear narrative fallacy, an illusion, dream, map of maps, and a bit of foxy fun.

What's cancer, compared to that? Not much, I say. Not much.

"Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan." — Anon.

D. T. Suzuki's translation (into English!) of The Lankavatara Sutra was one I read cover to cover in 1975, in Washington, D.C., in a sleeping bag on a bare parquet floor in a one-room efficiency on Massachussetts Ave. I was supposed to be working. Perhaps I was. The book is incomprehensible.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home