Lady Nijo, a once imperial concubine turned Buddhist, named, as the court ladies would be in the 14th century Japan, after a street (2nd Avenue), writing in the distant year of 1307, shares the following travel note:
“I had given up my home completely, yet my thoughts quite naturally lingered on the possibility of return… These thoughts occupied my mind all the way to Osaka Pass… As I paused to rest, my glance was caught by a cherry tree so heavy with blossoms that I could hardly take my eyes from it.
Its blossoms detaining travelers
The cherry tree guards the pass
On Osaka Mountain.
I composed this poem as I continued <…> at dusk I saw prostitutes seeking companions for the night and realized that this too formed a part of life.”
The power and irony of ordinary perfection: an ex-concubine 2nd Ave. beauty is arrested by a sight of beauty of Osaka Pass, and gets a pass into self-acceptance.
The Confessions of Lady Nijo, 1973, p. 182-183).
Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is the author of "Eating the Moment" (New Harbinger, 2008), "Present Perfect" (NH, 2010), and "The Lotus Effect" (NH, 2010). He is in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit www.eatingthemoment.com