By Roger Keyes
Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says everyone of us is a child,
everyone of us is ancient,
everyone of us has a body.
He says everyone of us is frightened.
He says everyone of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive–
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
Even if you know this poem, it’s always worth reading again, even slower this time!
I like to read this poem, slowly, mindfully and stay present with each word. Roger Keyes finds away to express Hokusai’s paintings in words, he paints with his words, and it speaks to a deeper part of me, I hear the whole story with my heart insted of my thinking mind. Roger Keyes is speaking about what Hokusai’s paintings say to him – and in turn as we read we absorb these simple mindful instructions into our being connecting us to a real presence as we imagine this savouring the essence of each moment. ‘He says keep looking, stay curious’, this is how we learn about our minds. ‘He says keep doing what you love’, why do we forget to do this? ‘he says every one of us is a child’ – can we connect with our playful and curious child self? ‘He says everything is alive’. If we sit long enough in our practice we can get a sense of that through insights we have during our practice. ‘It matters that life lives through you’ we learn in our practice that what we experience is not us – thought, feelings, sensations… they are all life moving through us, life living through us. It is hard to not be afraid sometimes, but somehow this poem soothes me into the thought that we all expereince fear, but like all things, it is just life passing through.
Kristine has entrusted me with her precious Wonder Words slot while she has a well-deserved holiday – and next week, Jacky!
I hope you enjoyed it. Have a good week.