The jets of the outgoing river… They are continuous; but they are all not the same, old waters. Through the windmills floating foam bubbles… they then disappear, they will contact again, but for a long time to stay – is not given to them. People that are born, that they die… where do they come from and where do they go? Both the owner and his dwelling, they both leave, rivaling each other in the fragility of their being, quite like dew on bindweeds: then the dew will fall, and the flower remains, but in the early sun it will wither; then the flower fades, and the dew still has not disappeared. However, although she did not disappear, she could not wait for the evening.
Since then, as I began to understand the meaning of things, more than forty springs and autumns have passed, and during this time a lot of unusual things accumulated, which I witnessed.
Once upon a long time, on a troubled, windy night in the capital, a fire began, the fire, turning now and then, turned around with a wide edge, as if opening a folding fan. The houses were covered with smoke, near the flames were burning, ash flew to the sky, the flaming flames flung across the blocks, people… some were choking, others, enveloped in fire, died on the spot. Men and women, noble dignitaries, ordinary people killed many thousands, up to a third of houses in the capital burned down.
Once in the capital a terrible whirlwind had risen, the houses that he swept with his breath fell instantly, the roofs flew from their homes like leaves in the autumn, splinters and shingles rushed like dust, people could not hear voices from a terrible rumble. Many people believed that such a whirlwind – the herald of future misfortunes.
In the same year, the sudden transfer of the capital happened. The emperor, the dignitaries, the ministers moved to Setzu’s land, to the city of Naniwa, and after them everyone was in a hurry to move, and only those who suffered a failure in life remained in the old, dilapidated capital, rapidly declining. Houses broke down and rafted along the Edogawa River. The city was turning into a field before our very eyes. The former village is a desolation, the new city is not yet ready, empty and dull.
Then, for a long time it was and I do not remember exactly when, for two years there was a famine. Drought, hurricanes and floods. Plowed, sowed, but the harvest was not, and prayers and special services did not help.
The life of the capital city depends on the village, the villages are emptied, gold and rich things no longer value, along the roads a lot of beggars wandered. The following year, it became even worse, sickness and sickness increased. People died on the streets without counting. The lumberjacks in the mountains were weakened by hunger, and no more fuel, they began to break houses and break the statues of Buddhas. “It was terrible to see a gold pattern or cinnabar on the boards in the bazaar.” The stench of corpses spread on the streets. “If a man loved a woman, he died before her, parents – before babies, because they gave them everything they had, for example, at least forty-two thousand people died in the capital.
Then a violent earthquake happened: the mountains disintegrated and buried the rivers under them; the sea flooded the land, the earth opened, and water, boiling, rose from the crevasses. In the capital, not a single temple, not a single pagoda remained intact. The dust rushed like thick smoke. The rumble of earthquake was all that thunder. People died in houses and on the streets – there are no wings, so it’s impossible to fly to the sky. Of all the horrors in the world, the most terrible is an earthquake! And how terrible is the death of crushed children. Strong blows ceased, but the tremors continued for another three months. This is the bitterness of life in this world, and how much suffering falls to the lot of our hearts. Here are the people who are in a dependent position: there will be joy – they can not laugh out loud, sad at heart – they can not cry. Just like the sparrows at the nest of a kite. And how people from rich houses despise them and do not put anything at all – the whole soul rises at the thought of it. He who is poor – he has so much grief: you become attached to someone, you will be broken by love; you will live like everyone else – there will be no joy, you will not act like everyone else – you will look like a madman. Where do you live, what work should you do?
Here I am myself. I had a house by inheritance, but my fate changed, and I lost everything, and now I weaved a simple hut. For more than thirty years I suffered from wind, rain, floods, and was afraid of robbers. And he realized how worthless our life is. I left the house, turned away from the vain world. I had neither relatives, nor ranks, nor awards.
Now I have spent many springs and autumns in the clouds of Oharayama mountain! My cell is very small and cramped. There is an image of Buddha Amida, in the boxes there is a collection of poems, musical pieces, instruments of biwa and koto. There is a writing table, a brazier. Medicinal herbs in the kindergarten. Around the trees, there is a pond. Ivy conceals all traces. In the spring, waves of wisteria, like purple clouds. In the summer you listen to the cuckoo. In the autumn, the cicadas sing about the fragility of the world. In the winter – snow. In the mornings I watch the boats on the river, I play, climbing the peaks, picking brushwood, praying, keeping silence, I remember friends at night. Now my friends are music, the moon, flowers. My raincoat is made of hemp, the food is simple. I have no envy, fear, worry. My creature is that cloud that floats across the sky.