mono no aware

(…) Recognition of the impermanence and transience of life is a central tenet of Buddhism, and indeed of most Eastern philosophies. Buddhism holds that life is marked by three key qualities. The first two are impermanence and insubstantiality, referred to in Japanese respectively as mujō (無常) and muga (無我) However, unfortunately, most of us live in denial or ignorance of mujō and muga, clinging resolutely to phenomena that are intrinsically subject to change. This kind of clinging is then the cause of the third “mark” of existence, namely ku (苦), which translates as dissatisfaction or suffering. However, the promise of Buddhism is that liberation can be found through a deep understanding and acceptance of mujō and muga.

This is where mono no aware comes in. With this mood, acceptance of impermanence and insubstantiality is elevated into an aesthetic sensibility, a state of mind that actually appreciates this ephemerality. This does not mean impermanence is welcomed or celebrated. There is still sadness present in mono no aware, a sorrow at this transiency, of the loss of people and things that are precious to us. However, this melancholy is suffused with a quiet rejoicing in the fact that we had the chance to witness the beauty of life at all, however fleetingly. (…)


birds from the tv antenna

the wind up bird winds up the world from the old television antenna


               Ptak nakręcacz naprawdę istnieje. Nie wiem, jak wygląda. Nigdy go nie widziałem, słyszałem tylko jego głos. Przysiada na gałęzi któregoś z okolicznych drzew i po trochu nakręca sprężynę świata. Sprężyna zgrzyta. Jeżeli jej nie nakręci, świat staje w miejscu. Lecz nikt o tym nie wie. Wszyscy myślą, że świat jest poruszany jakimś wspaniałym, skomplikowanym olbrzymim mechanizmem. Ale tak nie jest. W rzeczywistości ptak nakręcasz lata w różne miejsca i wszędzie po trochu nakręcając sprężynę, wprawia świat w ruch. To zwykłą sprężyna, taka jak w nakręcanych zabawkach. Wystarczy nakręcić, lecz nikt poza nim jej nie widzi.


            The Wind-up Bird exists for real. I’m not sure how exactly does he look like. I’ve never seen him, I’ve only heard the noise he’s making. He sits at the branch of the tree and slowly winds-up the world’s spring. The spring grinds. If he doesn’t wind it up, the world stops in one place. Nobody knows about it. Everybody thinks that the world is functioning thankfully to some mesmerizing, complicated grand mechanizm. It’s not true. The truth is, the Wind-up Bird flies to different places and everywhere, a little by little, winds-up the spring, makes the world go round. It’s just a regular spring,  just like the one in the old wind-up toys. You simply wind it up, yet nobody can see it, but him. 

Haruki Murakami, “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle”