“Since my barn burned down I have a better view of the moon.”
Mizuta Masahide 水田 正秀 1657–1723, Japanese poet, samurai,
and student of Matsuo Bashō 松尾 芭蕉 1644–1697
Tradition of the Japanese has been to live in awareness of the unpredictability of nature and the transitory essence of life. Earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and fires can destroy whole cities and take tens of thousands of lives in the blink of an eye. Instead of responding from bleakness, the Japanese fostered a culture from deep appreciation of the beauty inherent in all things. Every daily act and aspect may be seen as a never-to-be-repeated opportunity to experience beauty and profound understanding.
In modern societies we are building structure that protects us from transience and uncertainty. Step out of your societal cocoon, whatever it may be, for a moment each of these upcoming clear autumnal evenings and experience what you can of the moon’s presence. It may be clear, dim, hidden by clouds, or invisible, but it is there.