16 x 20 | flashe
The haiku poet, Kobayashi Issa (1763 - 1828,) may well have been familiar with Hakuin (1686 - 1769) and his snail when Issa wrote: "O snail / climb Mr. Fuji / but slowly, slowly." Can you imagine a snail doing it any other way? Why then does Issa admonish the snail to go "slowly, slowly"? Maybe it is not the snail who is admonished, but we who go, go, go and at a breakneck pace; we who imagine that slow is sloth for slackers. Evidently this dilemma for the deliberate is not just timely, but timeless; an infection whose contagion is trans-culturally human.
In our own 19th century Henry Thoreau asks, "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises?" In the absence of the deliberate is the desperate. "Step to the music [you] hear," urges Thoreau, "however measured or far away." Climb Fuji-san even if it be a snail’s pace.