Notes On Attention Paid

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02 Meditations:

The haiku of Issa…

… the poem that stand out today is about a snail climbing Mt. Fuji… the poet backs the snails endeavor but urges slow and steady… the apparent futility of a snail climbing a mountain is the poem’s pivot point… the snail might be viewed as the poet and climbing the mountain a spiritual quest… does the poet remind themselves that slow and steady is the way to go?…

… another poem about an Oriole singing at midday…

Image in the Public Domain

… the Black-naped oriole is the only oriole extant in Japan, and is a relatively rare sighting… it is not related to orioles of Europe and the United States…

… so, that an oriole is present and singing at mid day next to a river, an exceptional moment?… there doesn’t seem to be symbolism beyond that… birds in general are related to death and rebirth, as they are in many cultures, but no special significance seems to be attached to the Black-naped oriole…

… so, an Oriole singing at midday while the river flows quietly is perhaps a contemplation of middle aged life…

… the Oriole seems to be more important in Chinese culture…

and then i learn that the Japanese have adopted the Chinese character for Oriole to represent the Bush Warbler, their equivalent to the Black-naped oriole… both birds have beautiful songs and both birds herald spring… so, it is possible that the oriole in the poem is a bush warbler… and the poem gets seasonal reference by its presence…