Monday, January 7, 2008

Zen Monks Composed Jisei, or Death Poems, According to Ancient Tradition, Often Using Forms Such as the Haiku, Waka, and Kanshi

It’s January in Ohio, and it’s 64 degrees outside. That’s insanely unnatural. Insanely. It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago I wandered in a yard filled with several inches of snow and slush where now only mud and a few wanton puddles remain. I poked about my garden for a bit, still unsettled by the weather on the whole, worrying about how it may affect the welfare of my plants, tossing out a few tea dregs for fertilizer, and was not a little surprised to hear a few noises of spring.

I recently received a few book recommendations from Herr Kremling, and I’m very happy with the one that I brought home this weekend thus far. Zen in the Art of Archery is a fascinating read thus far, in which Eugen Herrigel goes out to explain more clearly the religion of Zen Buddhism, which, for many westerners, is nigh impossible if not impossible itself to understand clearly at all. Herrigel explains this, and how many of the phrases often used to try and describe Zen leave many highly confused, and he even explains how hard it was to find a master to study archery under due to previous experiences the masters had had with western students. I’m eager to finish, but I don’t want to rush through it, so I’m trying to savor it this week, particularly since I probably won’t be able to get to the archery range this week myself.

German Word: Now that I have a desk calendar filled with random German phrases, I can cheat a little in this section and just grabble a phrase from there every now and again. Unexpected uses for holiday gifts always bring added cheer, I suppose. Unfortunately I believe that I’ve already gone over the phrase it shows for today (the irony…), es schneit / it’s snowing, so I’m still on creative duty on this end of things. I don’t believe that I’ve given the translation of my favourite beverage, tea, which is simply Tee pronounced “tay”. Kaffee (koff-ay) seems to be more the drink of choice on campus, but a lot of Americans overall prefer coffee anyway.

My copy of Zen in the Art of Archery just hanging out, waiting for me to come back and curl up with a nice cup of tea, possibly green.

The rolodexes that I filled for my father…. They took forever seriously hours…. There were nearly 1000 business cards that I had to sort, alphabetize, staple to their little cards, and cram in there… But now they’re done and snazzy!

Danilo enjoying the odd weather… at least the standard non-summer Ohio sky looks normal.

The lack of snow and fact that I’m wearing a light hoodie rather than my heavy coat create an unsettling combo. The grass looks happy, though.

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