Part I: The Spider’s ThreadIn 1938, Ryunosuke Akutagawa wrote a short story for a Japanese children’s magazine called Kumo no Ito, or The Spider’s Thread. In this story, the Buddha Shakyamuni was strolling alone alongside a lotus pond in Paradise. Between two lotus leaves and through crystal clear celestial water, the Buddha peered into hell. Among the suffering he observed a man by the name Kandata, whose sole good deed in life was sparing the life of a spider while walking through the woods. Touched by this act of compassion, the Buddha lowered a string of silver thread, taken from a spider in Paradise, to save Kandata from damnation. Kandata, overjoyed by the thought of not having to drown in the Lake of Blood at the bottom of hell or chased up the mountain of Needles again, began climbing the thread to Paradise. When the shadows of hell began to fade and the light of Paradise was visible, he looked down at the other sinners. Terrified by the assembly of people climbing the thread, Kandata feared it may break under their weight – and began yelling, kicking, and screaming – telling them this fate belonged to him and him alone. At that moment, the thread broke, and Kandata was flung back into the lake of blood with the rest of the sinners. The Buddha shook his head in disappointment, and continued his morning stroll along the banks of the lotus pond. Even an eternity of punishment, he thought, could not instill an ounce of compassion in the man.For those of you who have played through Skyward Sword, the parallels between The Spider’s Thread and the design of the Ancient Cistern are easy to identify. Many of the story’s elements manifest themselves physically – such as the pond full of lotuses bordering the meditating Buddha Idol and the white thread descending into a lake of bones and cursed Bokoblins – but other aspects of the story, and Buddhism itself, are worked into the active process of moving from room to room. The recreation of this story relies on both physical placement and progression as methods of storytelling, with no direct verbal references to The Spider’s Thread explaining their connection. The dungeon is designed to tell this story in two ways – through Link and the Idol, and the story begins to unfold as soon as you enter the Ancient Ciste
“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Acedia or accedie has a narrow religious definition but is a far larger and wider psychological and spiritual term relevant to the history of eremiticism and solitude.The narrow sense is that of sloth, indolence, laziness, as in the Western world’s list of seven capital sins. Eastern Christianity is a little more comprehensive in referring to seven “temptations.” Acedia is a psychological rather than moral condition, with implications for modern attitudes toward culture, conformity, and contentment. Acedia was a historical bane to monks, hermits, solitaries, and — by extension — to any one spiritually or intellectually inclined.Acedia and the Desert Fathers and MothersThe concept of acedia begins with the ever-observant desert fathers and mothers who first perceived and diagnosed the condition. Their first impulse was to shoo it away like a pesky insect by keeping occupied, as in the narrative of Anthony beset “by many sinful thoughts” and cured by angelic advice to stay busy plaiting rope. Poemen avers that “acedia is there every time one begins something, and there is no worse passion, but if one recognizes it for what it is, one will gain peace.” And John Cassian adds:
foto of izzy foreal in bellingen library
Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests and mines and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Plato; Or, The Philosopher”
ROBERT HENDERSONI am Koori, an Aboriginal man of 51 years, of the Wiradjuri People from the country known as Australia. I was on the streets for most of my teenage years although I did complete my junior certificate at high school. I hitch hiked the East Coast of Australia for 7 years stopping here and there to work. I spent time living and working in Kings Cross, on trawlers, in bands, mines and construction. Around the age of 30, I began working in palliative care in my local region and also trained as a professional counsellor, working with young people, families and the disenfranchised in Brisbane. I became aware of my interest in visual arts around ten years ago although I did win a portrait competition in Grade 1 at Buderim primary school for a self-portrait. Local artist Sam Fullbrook judged this competition.
“We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme,
who is inside the heart of the earth,
inside the life of the sky,
and inside the soul of the heaven.
May He stimulate and illumine our minds. “
The Gayatri Mantra.
Last Poem (J’ai tant rêvé de toi)
I have dreamed so deeply of you that you lose reality.
Is there still time to reach that living body and kiss
On those lips the birth of the voice so dear to me?
I have dreamed so deeply of you that my arms so used
While embracing your shade to cross themselves on my chest
Would not shape themselves perhaps to the lines of your body.
So deeply that faced with the true apparition
Of what haunts and governs me for days and years
I doubtless would become a shade myself.
O balance-scales of feeling
I have dreamed so deeply of you doubtless
There’s no time left for me to waken.
I sleep upright, my body exposed to all
The apparitions of life and love and you,
The only one who matters to me now,
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have given the gift of windchimes many times to family and friends that have lost a loved one. Years ago I found this poem and it is in the archives, just look under the “memorial board”. Everyone I have given the chimes to just loved them. Here is the poem, I’ve never been able to find the author of the poem. I type up the poem using a light blue cloud stationary. You can replace the “he” with “she” to make it appropriate for the situation. Song on the Wind~~~ Take these wind chimes that we I give you Hang them high up in the tree, Let the melody remind you Of the spirit that is heshe. He would have wanted song To come and fill our days. He would surely bring you laughter If there was any sort of way.