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Sometimes a poem is enough.  And maybe a monk's bowl can be replaced with a camera? I don't know.  

First days of Spring-the sky

is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.

Everything's turning green.

Carrying my monk's bowl, I walk to the village

to beg for my daily meal.

The children spot me at the temple gate

and happily crowd around,

dragging at my arms till I stop.

I put my bowl on a white rock,

hang my bag on a branch.

First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,

then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:

I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.

Time is forgotten, the hours fly.

People passing by point at me and laugh:

"Why are you acting like such a fool?"

I nod my head and don't answer.

I could say something, but why?

Do you want to know what's in my heart?

From the beginning of time: just this! just this!


Ryōkan (1758-1831)

I remember something from Thich Nhat Hanh about an ocean and its waves. About manifestations.  About no beginning and no end.  No birth and no death.  And I think of this in the context of loss within this life.  And that last embrace in Riga, Latvia.  

Daniel Wickwire

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