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coming and going

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I posted this in May and do so again today. It seems so apropos in the context of Tuesday’s hospice log, especially the part about our volunteer’s mom having entered and exited life on the same hospital floor, 47 years apart to the day.

Some time in February of 1360, shortly before his death at age 77, Japanese Zen master Kozan Ichikyo called his pupils together, ordered them to bury him without ceremony, and forbade them to hold services in his memory. He wrote this poem on the morning of his death, laid down his brush and died sitting upright.
Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going–
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
source: Hoffmann, Y. (1998). Japanese death poems: written by Zen monks and haiku poets on the verge of death. Boston/Tokyo: Tuttle, p.108.
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One response »

  1. Last night my partner and I watch the movie “Edvard Munch” which is 174 minutes in length… “famously described by Ingmar Bergman as a ‘work of genius’, Peter Watkins’ multi-faceted masterpiece is more than just a bio-pic of the iconic Norwegian Expressionist painter.”

    Peter I was reminded of your posting above about the Japanese Zen master because of a quote in the movie attributed to Edvard Munch “Life shakes the hand of death at the moment of conception.”

    http://www.moodbook.com/history/modernism/edvard-munch-art-works.html

    Reply

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