Friday, October 05, 2007

Tread Soflty

Since I couldn't go to one Kendo practice this week, I decided to instead raid the university library for interesting books (as long as I still can, which won't be long, as I now, err, rather spontaneously decided to fully move back to Linz; still can't believe I'm practically finished with my studies - it happened so fast and just when I was getting comfortable with everything).
So I read Musashi's Book of Five Rings the last days. I really liked the Ground Book. It contains some very, very nice analogies (even though it sort of told me with every word that Kendo isn't what I should do, hmmm). The other Books had some interesting tidbits, too - I particularly liked "Always keep in mind that you can clench your left hand into a fist and thrust it at your enemy's face" - but seemed less informative for me compared to the Ground Book. Maybe you need to do ji-geiko to get more out of them. I also liked the introduction and the notes (which were very helpful!). They made me look forward to reading Hagakure and Bushido.
All in all an interesting and quick read, although I'm not fully convinced by the translation. I have the feeling that it's a secondary translation based on an English translation.
The book also gave me lots of inspiration for new paintings, which is always a big plus!

This painting began with one sentence from Musashi, but then quickly went into the direction of William Butler Yeats:

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Which is an absolutely beautiful poem. Not for the love-poem-part, but for the last line. It's the purest expression of caritas. When I end up in an embarrassing situation, I usually just say or do anything to get the situation over with as quickly as possible. The problem is that this is sometimes, unintentionally, done at the expense of others. So this is a reminder to myself that other people have feelings too and that I should think twice (or five times or ten) before saying or doing something rashly to get out of a situation - because in the long run it's much more satisfactory for both to be careful in expressing yourself, so you say exactly what you mean and nothing else.

And here's probably the first environmental painting I've ever done. Created for the weekly challenge over at DAF.

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