Another characteristic of sumi painting is that with sumi painting you have to listen to the rhythm of the universe, the rhythm of the world…. (M)ind is like the sound of the pine breeze in the sumi painting. There, on the paper, is the pine tree… And you can feel the breeze, and the sound of the breeze, from the painting. (from Breeze in the sumi painting in Returning to Silence by Dainin Katagiri)
Not knowing the pine tree as root, branch and bark opens me to a deeper, more intimate knowing. Intimacy is a deep understanding of the pine tree – so deep that the feel of the breeze, the sound of the wind through its branches is evoked through the most subtle of forms. A line, a space, a curve, a gaze, a touch, glint of golden sunlight there in black ink on white space.
And then gone.
From our friend Ikkyu again:
utterly without end,
the mind is born
to struggle and distresses,
and dies – and that is emptiness.
Thank you for practising,
Images from top: Ikkyu poem in grass script; kanji character oto /sound