Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ware Tada Shiru Taru (A Zen Proverb)

She was genuinely enthused and excited by what she read. "I've read your words and they are amazing. You're obviously extremely intelligent and have a unique perspective. I think it would be a grand thing to share these with everyone. You need to go out and get these published!"

"No," he groaned, hoping that would be the end of it.

"Why not?" she relentless pressed. "Don't sell yourself short -"

"Can't you understand? I don't want to." Pain swept across his face.

"I don't care if you want to or not! It's what you should do. It could change your life. Maybe you should open up and listen to someone for a change. You haven't been doing so hot, you know. You don't know everything!"

"I know what I want. I'm not here to publish writing."

"But you're so good at it! How can you say such a thing?

Pain - pain that dogged his heels year after year - sought him out like no other. Any soul of happenstance felt free to state what was best for him! Starved for attention, he allowed the meddling to happen but the pain, the pain it brought - the pain of continual explanation, the pain of no adequate answer, the pain of the break it always forced.

"Look, lady, just fuck off, OK?"

She stabbed him with verbal knives as she departed. She who professed to only want to help, to make the world a better place fixing one person at a time. Vincent writhed under her words as she departed for he had no protection. He had to stay true to what made him feel alive while imprisoned on a planet of the worldly and their "practical" ways, where only he could see what he saw and to whom no one could he justify his life. All life was an act of faith for Vincent.

Van Gogh's letters were indeed published one day - but only because of his true art. Ware Tada Shiru Taru is a Zen proverb I translate as "I alone know what I am content with". As a fellow fan of the Japans and its culture, I hope Vincent would approve of my applying it to him - and I ask all others to remember it to apply it to me also. Wakarimas ka? Domo!

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