Quentin S. Crisp Quotes
I never seem to find what I’m looking for, though. I suppose I feel, these days, too aware of schedules and things, to let myself get lost in the rain. Anyway, I came back home, and it was still raining, and as I was approaching the driveway of the house, and the front garden with its bushy flower bed, I caught a cooking smell from somewhere on the air. I don’t know why, exactly, but it appealed to me as a Nagai Kafu moment.
Western progress (from one damned thing to another) seems to be essentially the MO of nowhere fast. But, on the other hand, the don’t-set-foot-outside-your-own-village/cave ideal or injunction that you find in Buddhism and even in the Daoism of which I’m fonder, seems . . . defeatist. And more than that, it is in contradiction to what nature actually does. Somewhere, somehow, I feel as if these two opposing principles have to be reconciled.
Zen, on the other hand, is not so dogmatically sterile, though there are certainly traces and more than traces of this austerity. However, with Zen we have not only the void, but the fertile void. The ink lines in a sumi-e painting show this fertility of the void ever ready to brim over into existence.
If you look at the ox-herding pictures – specifically the newer set of ten pictures rather than the older set of eight – you see that after the blank circle of the void, the cycle comes back to a river flowing by the roots of a tree (both strong symbols of nature, the life-force, the unconscious) and to the wanderer returning to the market place, which is the realm of human society and activity.