Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Defintion of Kanjaku

light stripped of blue
warms the shoreline reeds
the oboe's voice

Summer morning, toes in wet grass, reaching for the kite resting on the back of the lawn chair, large piece of duct tape over the tear. Also an evening as dad brings the power boat in, the wind blown out, the waves gently slapping stones, me on the dock, watching, sand in a line on my thigh. Also up the West Fork, fly rod in hand, sweat drying on the back of my neck, the way the elderberry  flowers are half turned to berries, the redness of ripe against green. And recently the sound of cooling metal, the softness of the silence lying out across the lake after the engine is turned off.

 Near Regan Lake

There are moments, fat as summer raindrops, which hit you from a blue sky. The sudden awareness of awareness. The sudden appreciation of slackness that would be exhaustion if you had worked for it, the sudden slumping of something inside, like a pile of sand slumps as it dries out next to a sand castle. That very fine sound of grains tumbling. It is a pleasant sensation, a deep adjustment in the muscles. And complex, because while being relaxed and tired, it is also sharp like pricked dog's ears.

Brewster Lake

In Chinese the word is xian, in Japanse, kan. A state of mind that is free from worry, open to embrace the Dao. The root kan is joined to jaku, which means lonely or still. Jaku has a active element though, even in the stillness, like the action of making oneself loose and open. Shaking out cares, limbering up. One translator puts it simple as, "carefree idleness," and that is not bad, but there is the missing element of being open to the larger meaning in things, to being open to the smaller meaning of things. Being open to whatever there is without expectation or anticipation. Just letting go and being present.

Gray Lake

out over the dark lake
wing tips peep
sharp specs in the silence


  1. great post, Richard. my friends will like this also.

  2. Continue to remind me of who I really am. The blue....Thank you.

  3. Just came across your blog and really enjoy it. The last shot in this thread is really fantastic. Great work.