Fukushima and Not Doing. 無

Thinking about Fukushima today, March 11, the fifth anniversary of the Tōhoku Disaster, I find myself in silence. Not empty silence. More along the lines of creative action often being about not doing. In particular, not doing the obvious. Rather, attending to the world with openness and receptivity. Abiding in the tension of not doing isn’t empty silence. It’s a vibrating silence. Something along the lines of 無 (mu) in which one abides in the tension precisely because there does not exist a binary yes or no.

“Mu becomes appropriate when the context of the question becomes too small for the truth of the answer.” ~ Robert Prisig

In the face of Fukushima, when the context of the question becomes too small, the truth of the answer resolutely defies certitude. Abiding in the silence, as the truth of the answer looms, causes me to wish for easier, safer certitude. I’ve been slowing learning to resist certitude. To abide in silence.

Translating poetry with my friend Sora has taught me to pry the fingers of certitude from the throat of beauty. Silence — not doing — is the only way this works. If The Creator is love and The Spirit beauty, then the deeper lesson has been to pry the fingers of certitude from the throat of The Divine, again in silence. 無.

Thinking about Fukushima, I sense that whatever is to be spoken can’t be spoken. Therefore, in silence I look forward to not doing as the first step to creating, as the first step toward art.

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