Ξ February 8th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |

    Buddha and the Turtle.

    Once, long long ago, in a country far far to the east, the great turtle set out on a journey to seek the buddha.

    Turtle was very old, he had walked, and swum the world for many hundreds and hundreds of years, seen the birth of the continents; seen species evolve, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, and become extinct... just as fast.

    In all this time he had pondered what he saw, for Turtle was by nature a thoughtful creature, not one to jump to hasty conclusions (or indeed, dear reader, one to jump at all!)

    Though he had asked many the question that vexed him, none could answer. Furthermore, one, that spider trickster Anansi, had conned him out of his horn, of which he had been most fond! But he forgave with an easy heart, even though he would never forget. For, as stated, he was not a hasty creature, and his memory was as deep as the seas he swum, and as long as the journey.

    Finally there was no-one left to ask, but the budhha herself, so he set out to seek her. He sought her on Tai Shan, on Mount Fuji, on Kilimanjaro, and in the highest monestaries of fabled Shangri-la. All those places where the earth is so high that it becomes a ladder to the heavens. But nowhere, nowhere was she to be found.

    Finally growing weary of the search, for even the patience of Turtle is not infinite, he returned once more to the ground that had been that of his birth, so many millennia ago. There, he lay beside his favourite pool of still still water, deep in the forest where none would interrupt, to carefully consider what he might do next, when he chanced to catch his reflection in the water.

    And there!

    There was the buddha, sitting serenely on his back, smiling cheekily back at him.

    "But!" he spluttered, for the first time in his life taken aback, "have you been there all this time I have been searching for you?"

    "Of course!" She replied, "how could I miss such a wonderful journey as that you have been on."

    Turtle started to reply, a little indignantly: "So will you tell me..." But suddenly he realised he knew the answer to the question he had been going to ask, and somehow, he had known it all along.

    On realising this he was enlightened, and his shell was lit by the 八卦.

    He and buddha shared a few tasty leaves together in companionable silence (for there was nothing of particular importance to be said at that moment) before parting ways once more.

    She to who-knows-where.

    He, this time, to swim for a while among the vastness of the stars.

    Sometimes you can see him still, a shadow or a shooting star, swimming in what we call the Aurora Borealis, but which is known to both buddha and Turtle, to be storm waves of the Great Sea of Space washing up against the shores of our little island world.



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