This week’s Illustration Friday theme is Emptiness.
The inspiration for my project comes from the story of the Zen matriarch Chiyono.
As the legend goes, she had been seeking enlightenment for years, but it had eluded her, no matter how hard she studied and how diligently she practiced.
One night, she was carrying water in a very old bamboo bucket and noticed the reflection of the moon in the water. As she gazed at it, suddenly the bamboo band that held the bucket together fell apart. In that moment there was no bucket, no water and no moon, and she became enlightened. She wrote a verse about it and this is the popular translation:
“In this way and that I tried to keep the pail together.
I hoped the weak bamboo would never break.
Then suddenly the bottom fell out.
No more water; no more moon in the water.
Emptiness in my hand.”