if

nothing

comes

next

 

Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Hotei

 

best keep an eye out for it!

 


Image: Painting of Hotei by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Hotei is one of Japan’s seven lucky gods. Officially he’s the God of Contentment and Happiness; in the West he’s known as the Laughing Buddha.

He carries a large cloth bag over his back, one that never empties, for he uses it to feed the poor and needy. It includes an inexhaustible cache of treasures, including food and drink. Indeed, the Japanese spelling of “Hotei” literally means “cloth bag.” He also holds a Chinese fan called an oogi  (said to be a “wish giving” fan — in the distant past, this type of fan was used by the aristocracy to indicate to vassals that their requests would be granted). Hotei is most likely based on the itinerant 10th-century Chinese Buddhist monk and hermit Budaishi (d. 917), who is said to be an incarnation of Miroku Bodhisattva (Maitreya in Sanskrit).

More information here.


 

blessed are those who know nothing for certain

 

Bill Viola - Firewoman, 2005

 

blessed are those who know nothing for certain,
whose curiosity keeps them beyond the claws of conclusion,
who seek as an impulse of wonderment rather than for gain,
who question everything the pundits proclaim as truth;

whose questions deliver them, willingly or not,
to the fiery face of the Unnameable, and
who find the courage to keep a “yes” alive in spite of terror;
who come back speechless and trembling with gratitude

blessed are those for whom the encounter enlivens a capacity
and a willingness to hold both hands out to the world
(one to hold grief, the other, gratefulness)
for their heart knows the two as one;

who, without choice, stand naked in knowingness;
whose fulfilment is refreshed with every breath;
who are quietly content (which is not to say inert or passive)
in spite of all that life appears to heave at them

blessed are those who know these contented ones,
who count them among their friends and neighbours,
who seek them out for their simple wisdom, knowing
they have nothing to spin or sell – nothing to bestow
other than their crazy head-shaking heart-healing joy:

innocent – ingenious – immanent

 


Image: Bill ViolaFirewoman, 2005. Detail from video/sound installation.