Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Bill arrives in the heavenly Grotto

The birdsong there is perfectly played heavenly music. And even the breeze blows in time. You can close your eyes and enjoy the meeting of your face and the warmth of gentle sunbeams. Meanwhile a sense of utter peace is settled over every twig and branch. Rising green is all around. 

One only appears within this world by becoming lost. And by leaving you’ll lose the way back. Yet, though a mythos akin to holiness pervades the very air inside this vast abundant grotto, and a complete harmony is immediately self-evident to all newcomers, quite a different reaction is seen when Bill Ronpatt washes up on those shores, coughing and spluttering as he struggles to rid his lips of the pure spring water that’s found its way in.

Bill stands to survey his new home. His legs ache and his head hurts. He can’t see nowhere to sit down. Only old tree stumps and greasy rocks surround him. He feels thirsty, but can’t think where to get a drink, especially not with the constant sound of that freshwater brook running. He’s so hungry he could eat a horse. The fact that ripe peaches and picture-perfect cherries are hanging all around just adds insult to injury. Confused and unsure what to do, with his irritation piqued further by the blooming sun shining in his eyes, Bill snaps and loses it entirely. Why won’t these birds stop their incessant chatter?  

“Will you be quiet, you stupid bloody birds? Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”, he shouts. The birds are silenced, but only momentarily. They go on singing. Meanwhile, entirely unaffected by this bellowing ingrate, the trickling of the spring water over rocks in the stream, and the brushing of the breeze past the trees, merely carry on regardless.  

Plum Branch and Bamboo by Chen Ji-ru

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