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There’s Fungus on my Tree

 

I’m on the quest for the Holy Grail, but no one really cares about that goal. As if one day I’ll finally have it, but no one will care.

But as a matter of fact, there’s a lot of different holy grails I’m after, more than there’s time for. The one I really love. The one I really want. The one that others want. The one that I already have … etc.

I want to go home, but when I do it’s over, and so am I. This is “life”, and it’s so fragile; that which I can see at least. But in the end it doesn’t really matter, right? All those dreams of perfection: clouds around the mountain.

My way of living is a struggle over mountains, broken by periods of waiting in the valley. Is it the only way? If life really is about “the Path”, then the definitions really don’t matter. Why is it that I care so much? Why am I constantly reminded by blissful experiences that my efforts are so small?

Questions. Memories. You can’t remember the experience of perfection. I think about aikido, and sometimes its good or bad. When I practice again I experience and remember that feeling of happiness … and it’s not the same thing as what I remembered in isolation. If life is just to be lived, why all of these thoughts? Emotions.

There was once a time that I believe I was sufficiently content. But I know more now than I did back then. It seems simple now looking back. I want to go back, but I can’t, because I’m here and need to move forward. But there is some kind of return that I feel is necessary. I want everything from back then, but I want it with all the stuff I have now. It’s too much. Now I’m faced with a puzzle: I need to make less with the too-much I have now. It’s like a magic disappearing act.

The beauty of Japan is limited and asymmetric. There are minimal ingredients, and they aren’t “perfect”. It’s in this limited and assymetric world that we paint a picture; one in which we live. By making the most of those ingredients available to us, and leaving space for the perfect to form in an abstract image, or emotion, we find some kind of sufficient contentment. If there is a perfect symmetric world that really exists, I don’t see it. I read about it, and think about it, but I don’t see it.

In this forest, I will pick the pieces for my picture. A few modest entities that won’t be so much too fill one’s whole view. Just enough objects to tempt further dreams, but give sufficient work to tire my efforts. So at the end of the day I can look at my forest garden content, but excited for tomorrow’s work.

A green background. Carefully placed blots of grey. A slice of flowing blue. And one red flame.

A beer, and a moment of hazy elated calm before falling off to sleep. Tomorrow will come after a full-night’s rest. I can do this.

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