Clear stream, no stopping point

清流無間断(seiryuu kandan nashi)

The beauty of this scroll comes from the serene imagery it provokes: the thought of a clear, fresh stream with no rocks stopping its path. Rivers with rocks in the way are hostile, throwing white, foamy water at the dark boulders, trying to get past. But a stream with no rocks is calm and delicate.

The ideal spiritual state of mind is represented by this statement: a limitless feeling of calm, forgetting troubles and deadlines, letting the beauty of life embrace you. There are no rocks in your path. Your life is unblemished. Nothing is hindering your progress towards your hopes, dreams, goals, whatever. You are locked in a state of ultimate serenity, because, for now, nothing’s in your way. There may be rocks ahead, but not now.

~ Isabel


hana – flower

Upon first seeing this scroll, I didn’t know the English translation, so I let my imagination run with it. I was struck by how simple it was; just a few small brush strokes on the paper, yet it seemed so lively. To me, the brush strokes looked like a small bug hovering over a bud just about to flower. I sympathized with the bug. I could feel its quiet anticipation for spring, as well as its patience wearing down. This is how I have been feeling the last two weeks. The snow has melted, but without the beautiful flowers the days still seem dreary, the air still seems stale. We long for a place to sit in the sun, and to enjoy the beautiful colors and the sweet air. Like the bug we watch and wait. It drums its wings impatiently as it watches the bud, and I drum my fingers on my desk watching the garden outside my window. Maybe tomorrow there will be a flower.

~ Katie


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