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Man riding horse in Vietnam.

The Journey is Home

The moon and the sun are eternal travellers.
Even the years wander on.
A lifetime adrift in a boat, 
	or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, 
        	everyday is a journey, 
                	and the journey itself is home.

Matsuo Basho (1694)


For most people houses offer a home; a strong foundation from which to set out on life, a resting place, a social focus. Most consider it fortunate to be able to cleave to a home. But some see instead the world of flux The tumbling waters of a river in Iceland. A page on flux. as more secure; more fundamental. Both Buddhists and Daoists view change as central to the journey of life, believing that both stability and division Heaped clouds. A page on seamless nature. are imposed by humans on nature’s seamless flux. While Basho was not a monk, he was a lay follower of Zen, and later in life devoted himself to writing, travelling, reflection and conviviality. He sought change and evolution; the burgeoning Fox running along distant horizon. Liminal - from whence the new. of the new. For such brave souls home is found in that journey.

Basho’s works have many translations, but Sam Hamil’s Narrow Road to the Interior and Other Writings (1998), from which the above text is taken, is outstanding.

The picture was taken on the road to Phố Lu, in the Province of Lào Cai, in northern Vietnam. It has a couple of curiosities for he appears to be sitting side-saddle, although in fact is not, however, he is wearing a woman’s hat.

Above hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 8th September 2018

Murphy on duty to this site