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Everyday Things

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kanji

The realities of life are most truly seen in everyday things and actions.

Shiki must have been intensely aware, intensely alive, when he had the experience described in this haiku:

Oh, how I enjoy
Eating a persimmon
While Horyu temple bells boom.

You can almost feel with him the vibrations entering his ears and the juices running down his gullet. He was really living.

The rainy season!
The doorway is flooded
And the frogs are swimming there.
                                          
                                           
— Sampu

What a way to react to one's house being flooded! Yet can you think of a better way? The rains come; the flood waters rise; into your entryway come not only buckets of water but frogs. So you sit and watch the frogs swim.

Moon adrift in a cloud:
Why don't I borrow
A little juicy melon?
                                           
  — Shiki

A cloud happens to darken the moonlit landscape. There happens to be a melon patch right here. And it would be borrowing, not stealing. So—who's counting? Man cannot live by moon viewing alone.

This is indeed the way things are on planet Earth.