Thursday, September 10, 2009

my light boat

it's cool slowing down in some ways because i know it's alright to move slowly.
slowly allows me to feel and see things clearly,
and in detail,
to feel the care that went into their making and their design.

really truly, it's cool.

it's like floating where once i'd
be running.

it's like moving from the idea of the whole in the part,
to experiencing that as real in each moment.

truly deeply.

wisteria and half moon bridge koitsu tsuchiya

boating in autumn

away and away,
i sail in my light boat;
my heart leaps
with a great gust of joy.

through the leafless branches
i see the temple in the wood,
over the dwindling stream
the stone bridge towers.

down the grassy lanes
sheep and oxen pass;
in the misty village
cranes and magpies cry.

lu yu


fishing boat yoshimune arai

27 comments:

Loren said...

I really love Japanese prints like this, particularly the first one.

Delwyn said...

Good evening /morning Steven

this is such an exquisitely simple poem - my heart leapt with a great gust of joy - to read it and look at the perfect ukiyo-e you have positioned it with.

Your post swept me up and plonked me down on path in rural Japan and I saw the red flapping tassles of a Shinto shrine half hidden in the forest...

thanks Steven

Happy days

steven said...

hi loren, i too have developed a love for japanese prints. they have a deep presence that evokes my sense as well as my emotions. thanks for dropping by! steven

steven said...

hello delwyn, it reminds me very much of the lovely revelation that was the nakasendo way walk that i got to take through your eyes and heart!!!! have a peaceful evening by the river. steven

The Bug said...

Most people think I'm fairly calm - I have a really easy job & no real stressors in my life. Nevertheless, I have a hard time with the concept of just being still, or drifting. I always have to be doing something - maybe even two things at once.

Tonight I'll make the effort to just sit in the back yard and listen.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the images so much. Japanese paintings and prints are almost always exquisite. How do they do it?

As for cool and smooth, all I can say is "life is but a dream." It is, you know.

Oh yeah, you definitely DO know! Have a smooth day, Steven!

willow said...

Ahh, this is rural Japan, just as I remember it. Beautiful words and images, Steven.

Barry said...

With great simplicity both the words and images take me away from my everyday and show me a different world and different possibilities.

Lorac said...

I am enjoying your site very much Steven. I am also enjoying your reading material as this is new to me and the pictures are wonderful I thank you for the lovely post.

Liza said...

I love the prints!
I also love your choice of the word cool. Makes me think of cool running water from a tap, and the feeling of my hand under it. I can get lost in that feeling. Slowed. Cool like water.
Cool!

ellen abbott said...

Thank you so much for continueing to post these Japanese prints.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely post, gorgeous artworks and poem!

Linda said...

Go to sleep Steven, you have school tomorrow. Sleep is so difficult to come by when your mind is abuzz with students and all that individuality. In the next week or so you will reach exhaustion and get your sleep pattern back. I'm smiling because this is SO my life. Does reading Lu Yu's poetry help? Sleeping tips are always welcome. =D

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful poem & artwork. I love the sentiment in your words & of the poem. Have a good evening.
Lizzy

steven said...

hello bug - i've provided myself the right to be calm. it's arrived as a possibility over the course of the last three years. a very difficult birth/rebirth at the age of fifty coupled with events of tremendous pain to myself and others around me at that time afforded me the opportunity to examine much of who i am and what i am. the result?! i can turn it to high when i want and put life on simmer when i need!!! this is a boy who can race at fourty km/h or cruise with hums and songs issuing forth from his skinny english throat at a much much more reasonable speed!!! have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

reya - life is but a dream - there are games inside dreams that are sweet as candy and games that are hard like shadows in an alleyway. what we do with those games and how much we are prepared to dig into them for the rich metaphors - well that's all a feature of the moment we're able to be in!!! yeah, hmmmm this part of my life is smooth and cool. almost!!! so close!! peaceful evening in dc. steven

steven said...

willow - i have never been to japan and so everything is digitized or at least analogie reproduction. it's strange to say that. stranger to feel it. have a lovely evening at the manor. steven

steven said...

hi barry - there are so many worlds available to us. i share this with my kids at school - i begin with the idea thata book is a world. total, complete, the rules are unique, the characters, the settings and the agreement the reader has with the etxt is that it is all real. as long as you are there. it is real. i tell them that this is the first and best escape after your own imagination. have a peaceful evening barry. steven

steven said...

hello lorac and i'm glad to see you here!!!! thanks for your kind comments. i like being here myself actually. it's cool to write blogs that you'd like to visit. i see from your profile that you write a heap of bloggy writing!!! wow!! i'll pop over this weekend when the roar of the week is a memory. see you. steven

steven said...

hi liza - cool is the wind rushing past me these last few days in the morning. i'm underdressing to get my body used to the cold. it helps build up the internal thermostat's understanding of what to expect and what to do about it!!! cool is the sound of jon hassell's trumpet in my headphones. cool is the essential goodness i hear in the clever people i know who see way beyond the surface of this old palce and share the welath through their knowing!!!! yowza mama!!!! steven

steven said...

ellen, i am so glad you love that as much as i do. they're incredibly good !!!!! steven

steven said...

hi linda - there are twenty eight lovely intense unique fragile iterations of people in my room as well as me. they know i love them equally, without distinction. so i can't sleep having given that much, knowing i will give more. you know this linda. it's no different than home life in that way!!!! but exhaustion is creeping in. i crash when i get home and then force myself to get dinners that are nice, help with homework, give love to my family. soon the groove will arrive - oh yes you're right about that!!!!! have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hi lizzy - thanks for the nice comment and thanks also - i'm busy tonight - cleaning for a staff party here - but i am also happy having made up a nice dinner for my kids and i and having helped out with their homework. my own work starts up now!!!! outside the sky is salmon streamers laid over a soft washed out blue sky. steven

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven~ Your appreciation in slowing down for clarity, seeing the parts and not just the whole, reminds me of tai chi which has a slow element, meditative, calm. I'm not sure of the Japanese equivalent: aikido maybe? I love the Japanese poetry and woodcuts you've shared for their reliance on nature for metaphor. Wisteria: a hardy climbing vine with scented lavender blossoms? and a humble fishing boat that has a lovely lantern reflecting light on the water? Such beautiful imagery.

steven said...

hu margaret, it is like tai chi - very much so. my dad used to "do" tai chi and my aunt still does. both spoke highly of its place in their lives - and for very different reasons. i love the little fishing boat with a lantern reflecting in the water. it is all simple metaphor and so much lovelier for it!!!! have a peceful evening. steven

Bee said...

"my heart leaps with a great gust of joy" . . . YES!

I experienced such a perfect fall day yesterday -- and that is just what I felt. What a pleasure to have it described so beautifully.

steven said...

hello bee, the colours are just beginning to turn here. mornings are noticeably cooler and of course the kids and i are back in school. all sure signs of the changing seasons. have a lovely day bee!! steven