Eyes Half Closed
Words by Shumei Kobayashi :
Before the spread of concepts such as ‘religion’, ‘Shinto’, ‘Buddhism’, there were followers of a mountain-centred animism in Japan. In a world changing at a frighteningly fast pace, primitive religions such as these have all but disappeared.
I was born into a long line of ascetic monks. My earliest recollections are of myself in the midst of six old practitioners of the Shugendo sect. To achieve an understanding of the universe, ritualistic training was unrelenting from day until night, sometimes gentle, sometimes severe. I recall it as the caring nurturing of a lost young lamb.
What do all those questing seek in this life?
‘Eyes Half Closed’ is the state of being made aware of the question, ‘why I am here in the universe’. Conversely speaking, the closer one is to the state of ‘eyes half closed’, the more one grasps universal truth.
An achievement of self-awareness will naturally create the state of ‘eyes half closed’. The power of understanding all truths lies in this state of ‘eyes half closed’.
My current way of life seeks to maintain the state of ‘eyes half closed’ while expressing my emotions, impressions and creativity through the art of tsutsugaki.