Sunday, November 26, 2006

mono no aware

It's a Japanese phrase I may have read before, but it had slipped beneath my awareness until Annie at The Transplantable Rose in Austin commented on my previous post about the ephemeral nature of everything and how sad that is.

Googling the phrase yielded all kinds of interesting reading, amongst them all, this.

My memory tends to be more allusive than precise, so off I went on a tangent to remember a collection of essays by Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates, Entering the mind of Poetry. Returning to it, I realized then that I had read the term aware before in the essay entitled The Myriad Leaves of Words. In it, Hirshfield explains that aware is an adjective "whose meaning can range from 'sad' to 'delicious,' depending on context, " that aware "signifies the beauty of the fleeting world and also the presence of the human heart that feels it," and might be "translated by a sigh as much as a word."

So excuse me as I go off to re-read Hirshfield with new insights and new perspectives.


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