November's Pictures of Subtle Beauty

Updated on November 14, 2017
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The 11th Month

Traditionally for those who live close to the land, November is the month of the end of farming and gardening and the beginning of a short season of feasting and relaxing. The seasonal journey of the sun is a metaphor for the gardeners and farmers work. As the daylight lengthens in the spring, the tasks begin, increasing in the number and frequency until the sun hits its midsummer height. Then the length of day begins to shorten, as does the tasks of the laborer until both the sun and the Gardener rest at the winter solstice.

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“On a withered branch

A crow has settled-

Autumn nightfall.”

Basho

(A perfect example of the “quiet, thrilling loneliness’ of “Sabi”, one of the four “flavors” of Haiku.)

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"This dewdrop world-

It may be a dewdrop,

And yet-and yet-"

Issa

“Aware” concerns things that have passed, but it is not a nostalgia. Rather it is consciousness on the cusp between an ache for the transient beauty of this world and a realization that this impermanence is the very form of Life.

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“Yugen” cannot be explained at all, it has the flavor of deep unknowable mystery, of scenes caught not through human eyes.

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“Wabi” is the “unexpected recognition of the faithful ‘suchness’ of very ordinary things, especially when the gloom of the future has momentarily checked our ambitiousness…”

Alan Watts

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