Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Caught Between Two Tigers

I was told the famous story about the man who falls. He is hanging above an abyss, clinging to a thin branch of a tree growing between the rocks. He may, with some effort, be able to pull himself up, but there is a ferocious tiger there, growling and showing its teeth. If he lets go, he'll fall into the claws of another tiger waiting below. And while he hangs there and worries, two mice come along. A white mouse and a black mouse and start nibbling through the branch, his only security. Anybody who 'studies' Zen will, at some time, get into a similar position. He is sure he has to do something, to give something up. He cannot refuse to do something because the position he happens to be in is disastrous. But whatever he does will not improve matters. And while he hesitates and worries, the mice of 'yes and 'no', 'this' and 'that', 'good' and 'bad' nibble away.

That is excerpted from Dutch detective novelist Janwillem van de Wetering's non fiction book "The Empty Mirror" about the time he spent in a Zen Buddhist Monastery in Kyoto Japan in the 1950s. At one point he told that story.

I guess that some of that rock and a hard place echos with me right now.

Photo is of my Meiji period bronze Buddha - modeled after the Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu). Shot on a large tree stump on the edge of a farmer's field this afternoon.



Karen Sather said...

Nice photo and intriguing story. Reminds me of a story I think is Maybe so, Maybe not...about a farmer who thinks something is bad and then turns out good, but is a chain of reactions. Very valuable stories waiting to be glad you shared!

Carmi said...

If anyone can navigate that tight little in-between space, it would be you. You're a creative, Mike, and creatives always seem to figure out how to turn the impossible not only into the possible, but into something for the ages.

Mike Wood said...

Thanks Carmi and Karen.

I hope I am creative enough.:)