The fifth and final aspect of Japanese art is the willingness to laugh at the world and ourselves. Art work done by most zen masters often include a self-portrait that strips them of any delicacy. The gloves come off and nothing is sacred. Which is the heart and soul of any art, I suppose. Nothing defiled, nothing sacred. Even if art doesn’t teach us this, something will. When we take ourselves too seriously, events always contrive to make sure we learn the necessary lessons.
Before we take this week’s posts too much into our heads, here is Billy Collins to smack us with a hose:
Introduction To Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Thank you for practising,