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THE HOJOKI (MY TEN-FOOT HUT)

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   Petak, 02 Siječanj 2015 00:00

    [1]    Though the river's current never fails, the water passing, moment by moment, is never the same.  Where the current pools, bubbles form on the surface, bursting and disappearing as others rise to replace them, none lasting long.  In this world, people and their dwelling places are like that, always changing.
    [2]    When you see the ridgepoles of the impressive houses in Heian-kyo competing to rise above one another--dwellings of people of high status or of low--they look like they might stand for generations, but when you inquire you discover there are very few still standing from ages past.  Some may have burned down just last year, and been rebuilt since.  Or a mansion may have disappeared, to be replaced by smaller houses.  Things change in the lives of the people living in those houses, too.  There may be just as many people, but in places where I might have known twenty or thirty people in my youth, I may only recognize one or two now.  Some die in the morning; others are born in the evening.  That's the way it is with the people of this world--they are like those bubbles floating on the water.
    [3]    Nor is it clear to me, as people are born and die, where they are coming from and where they are going.  Nor why, being so ephemeral in this world, they take such pains to make their houses pleasing to the eye.  The  master and the dwelling are competing in their transience.  Both will perish from this world like the morning glory that blooms in  the morning dew.  In some cases, the dew may evaporate first, while the flower remains--but only to be withered by the morning sun.  In others the flower may wither even before the dew is gone, but no one expects the dew to last until evening.

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