General · 1st January 2015
A little over a week ago I was sitting by a campfire on a cold night in the Sierra de La Laguna in southern Baja. A man named Edgardo had guided us on a three day trek through the mountains, and on this our last night he had a treat in store. As we huddled in towards the fire's warmth he recited a poem called 'Hokusai Says' that had become deeply important to him.
I can't think of better words than these to accompany our kind into a brand new year. I hope they speak to you too.
(Hokusai was a 19th century Japanese artist and printmaker, and his print 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' is one of most enduring works.)
Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive --
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn't matter ifyou draw,
or write books. It doesn't matter
ifyou saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn't matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
He says don't be afraid.
Don't be afraid.
Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
Comment by Paul Ryan on 2nd January 2015
There's a lot of wisdom there! Speaks to me too!
Comment by Sheelagh Elmitt on 2nd January 2015
What a beautiful expression of how we could all live our lives.
So simple yet so profound.
Comment by Gretchen on 1st January 2015