Friday, December 11, 2015

Carpe Diem #877 Experiencing the Deep North; making the coolness; crawling out (short episode)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Experiencing the Deep North ... I titled this episode, because we are going deeper and deeper into the deep north of the Southern Island of Japan, Honshu, together with Basho and his companion Sora. This journey is not only an adventure, it's also a spiritual path. I have read recently the Narrow Road again and I still find new themes, new knowledge, new spiritual practices and achievements.

As I am preparing this episode a post which I once wrote for my personal weblog comes in mind and I think it can explain the idea of the "Narrow Road" a little bit so I will share part of that post here with you before we are going further on our journey into the deep north.

closing the garden
no one to disturb my thoughts -
Virginia Creeper

© Chèvrefeuille
Virginia Creeper
In this haiku the closing of the garden is meant to give the mind some peace, but also to search for the deeper meaning of the thoughts. Thinking about the future? Thinking about life? All thoughts that are tumbling around in my mind. My head is so full of thoughts that I sometimes think that I need a second head. But ... that's of course not possible ... so I have to retreat for a while to order my thoughts. I have to close my garden, my house to find the peace back in my head, body and soul. Then I will find my freedom of thoughts back and that is the deeper meaning of the Virginia Creeper. The spiritual meaning of Virginia Creeper is 'seeking freedom and progress'. So the deeper (spiritual) meaning of this haiku is:

'To find freedom and progress in thoughts I have to empty my head by going on a retreat'.   Isn't it a wonderful haiku? So less words, with so much meaning.


I visited Seifu in the town of Obanazawa. He was a rich merchant and yet a man of a truly poetic turn of mind. He had a deep understanding of the hardships of the wandering journey, for he himself had traveled frequently to the capital city. He invited me to stay at his place as long as I wished and tried to make me comfortable in every way he could.

making the coolness
my own dwelling place
here I sit

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

crawling out
from under the shed
toad's voice

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


The above episode of "Narrow Road" will continue tomorrow with two other nice haiku and of course our next part of the "Narrow Road". Until today it was a great adventure, but there will be more adventure to come ... and I hope you all will go along with me ... as we walk the "Narrow Road" together with the master, Basho, himself.

under colored leaves
the voices of thousand ants
preparing for winter

© Chèvrefeuille

walking through the forest
thousands stars sparkle in the black sky
between bare branches

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not bad, not bad at all ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 14th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, an eyebrow brush; such stillness, later on.


  1. Thanke, Kristjaan, for putting so much work into the prompt.

  2. A wonderful post again in this wonderful CDHK month. Really what you do is amazing. I was going to base my haiku off your stunning 2nd haiku, then got carried away, as one does.

  3. The translation I have has the shed as a silkworm nursery..such a beautiful haiku either way. Thanks for this whole series Kristjaan. And Hamish I could smell the coffee in the hot desert air, reading your haibun.

  4. What a marvellous concept: the voices of those thousand ants under the leaves!

    1. I do so agree with you Blake ... a fantastic image! Bastet