Under our trees there sits a statue of a Buddha in meditation. I visit often – sometimes with my feet and sometimes in my mind.
I won’t die.
I’m not going anywhere
I’ll be here.
But don’t ask me anything.
I won’t answer.
Death poem by Zen master Ikkyu who lived from 1394 to 1481.
As we have seen in the comments to the previous post “Beauty in Death” there is a cycle to everything. We are falling away from summer towards the resting of winter that will nurture the sprouts of spring, bringing them to the full blossom of summer again. We know this. We know this like our breath. No thought is required. Yet, like our breath it sometimes helps to focus on it just for a moment or two. Focus on the fullness of the cycle and then pause on death – as it is a necessary part of living.
You may wonder what this has to do with creativity. I propose that when we are inspired by the fullness of our living, and of our dying, our creative work benefits. There need not be a god or goddess or Buddha in the bushes of our creative work. We only need to pause. It is in the pause at the top of our breath where we pick the moment to press the shutter button; our hand knows to release the brush stroke; our keyboard finds the phrase; or our voice hits a note. These need not be perfect. It is through their ordinariness that our creativity goes beyond perfection and holiness. Somehow we know during this pause that there will come a day when we shall release that breath and it shall be our last. From this same place I believe the brilliance of our creativity is released.
With this in mind, I ask us to pause as if it were our last breath.
Sprout Question: What might your death poem be?
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Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.
From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada