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Back on the Moon

Lunar Module, descent stage, left behind on moon, top left
Lunar Module, descent stage, left behind on moon, top left

Past the Kingdom of Silla, to the mountains of Lake Biwa, where Basho and Saigyo rested from their long journeys. Like all of Japan, the view of the lake has changed since Basho was interred at the Temple of Gichu-ji on its southern shore. Saigyo guided the Persona back to his great metaphor, the moon:

In the mountains’ deep
Places, the moon of the mind
Resides in light serene:
Moon mirrors all things everywhere,
Mind mirrors moon . . . in satori now.

(Tr. William R. LaFleur)

Basho too taught the Persona the oneness of his vision, a Vinegar Drinker in his own way:

Four gates
And four different sects
Sleep as one
Under the bright moon.

(Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa)

Frederick Glaysher

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