Old Age, Writing and the Sentiment of Things by Yao Xiang Shakya

Posted by on May 9, 2017

“If you don’t write of things deep inside your own heart, what’s the use of churning out so many words?” Ryokan, Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf

Yes, I say. What is the use of churning out words if they do not come from deep within….where darkness and the unfamiliar live. Write, write, write….without worry, the worry that there are countless unread words buried in basements, catalogued under dust.

So….don’t worry. Dive into the darkness of your own life and pull up from where the pressure is dozens of times greater than standing along the shore as a bystander. It is there, in the terrifying depth, in the dark where the dragonfish and the frilly shark thrive.

Bring them up!

You’ve lived a lifetime already….can you produce your own light yet? Have you forgotten you are the light of the world?

You’ve learned to swallow whole the vagaries of life….have you made a meal of them yet? Have you forgotten how to cook?

You’ve hunted all your life….have you found the truth yet? Have you forgotten what you were looking for?

We sit here together in the candle light.
How much longer will our prime last?
Our temples are already grey.
I visit my old friends
Half of them have become ghosts.
Fear and sorrow choke me and burn my bowels ….Ryokan

Forget the sentiments of the old ghosts. Stop checking the mirror. Stop visiting the graveyards. Dive into the depths, return to where you came from….your mantra is write, write, write….for your own sake….for god sake, write.


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