Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Begging Water

Begging Water
by Scott Bradley


The well bucket
Taken by the morning glory;
I beg for water.

This is a haiku by Chiyo-ni. Aitkens (A Zen Wave) discusses it in the context of another haiku by Basho and takes it somewhat differently than I.

The poetess looks for water at a disused well, but a morning glory has entwined the bucket, and its cerulean blue flowers pierce her heart with their beauty.

She begs for water. Elsewhere? Or here, of the morning glory? Aitkens has her go elsewhere (and thinks it is her well), so as to not disturb the morning glory. I don't know, but sense that the deepest sensibility here is found in the relationship of the poetess and her need for water and the world she must disturb to get it. Hands together in a namaste, we beg for what sustains us of a world of beauty we must wound in order to live. The hunter thanks his kill for the life taken, understanding they are together of one whole.

Such is life; we must take to live. But to do this with reverence and thankfulness, is to experience a oneness with all things and to understand our own similar transitory nature. We, too, dissolve into the Whole.

The poignant heart of this haiku is that she paused, wondered at beauty, and let that beauty move her in her choosing. The choice was secondary.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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