All week long I have been reading about Basho and the concepts behind his haiku.  I learn that, rather than seeking the seclusion of the monastery, Basho chose the path of the yugyô hijiri, the wandering holy man or wayfarer.  “traveling the countryside was a form of ascetic practice that sharpened both his poetic creativity and his religious vision.”


“Despite the variety of occupations and lifestyles, Bashō sees all people as wayfarers.  Whether or not the boatman and horseman realize it, their life is a journey that ends only in death.  But it is not enough for Bashō just to recognize this fact, he feels compelled to embody it directly and concretely in the way he lives.  By living as a wayfarer, he “real-izes” the inherent structure of reality.  In doing so he “moves with the deepest grain of reality.”https://www.uwosh.edu/facstaff/barnhill/es-244-basho/journals.pdf

I have long thought of myself as a spiritual nomad – a wayfarer on the road of life.

Wayfaring haiku
written on the journey
from then and now

Elsewhere I read – “Through invoking powerfully juxtaposed images of nature, Basho strove to achieve amari-no-kokoro, the state a poem reaches when the heart and soul of a poem leaps at us from a place beyond the words themselves to leave an ‘aftertaste’ in the center of the reader that is haunting.   http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/haiku/basho.html

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10 thoughts on “Wayfaring

  1. I love your quote from Basho, although I’m finding it difficult to learn of the rocks from the rocks! Oh to create that haunting aftertaste.it’s strange to see a haiku on your post unembedded in a photo.

    (Did you withdraw the narrow road within post? I couldn’t find it when I tried to comment on your comment on my comment. I thought at first my comment wouldn’t post from the app because I used the word “fundamentalist”.)


    1. I meant to withdraw this post because I want to rework it. I accidentally withdrew the wrong post. I’ll fix it up today and will get back to you. Nothing to do with you at all – I love your comments. They make me think. It’s entirely personal. Hopefully it will come clear as I write. 🙂


      1. I wasn’t thinking you pricked up your ears at fundamentalist: something far more sinister and all-seeing was in my mind! I’ve tried to link to a book review site on Facebook a few times and it wouldn’t accept the link.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The internet can be a treacherous place these days. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with it but then I realize I am addicted. I re-wrote the post – hopefully I have explained myself more clearly. 🙂


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