Sunday, February 25, 2007

Going from here to there

Gentle Reader Jer poses the question on self-definition on his blog; I've wrestled with various aspects of that question for years. Anyhow, I suppose that, to a large extent, our self-identifcation has to do with working from where we are, with all of our conditioning and circumstances taken into account:

Wrapped, surrounded by ten thousand
cut off, no place to go . . .

Until you're here, there's no way to get here.
Once you're here, there's no way to go.

"On the Road to T'ien-t'ai," Yuan Mei (1716-1798)


Sideon said...

Simple and stunning.

Thank you.

Randy said...

I got it from a recent collection titled "The Poetry of Zen," edited by Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton. I love the simple elegance of Asian poetry, at least as it's been translated into English.