David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

25 November 2015

Ikkyu and the TARget

Ikkyu (1394 - 1481)

The poem :

Rinzai’s descendants do not know Zen.
In front of Crazy Cloud, who dares to explain Zen?
For thirty years, on my shoulders I have carried
The weight of Shogen’s Red Thread Zen.

The accompanying calligraphy :

I am teaching you the gateway to essential Zen. 
Zen is endlessly discussed with empty phrases and 
pretentious words; 
all that effort goes on and on missing the mark…

Former Abbot of Murasakino Daitoku Zen Temple, 
Jun Ikkyu, world’s number one venerable priest.

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...