The silk ribbon - Il nastro di seta [ENG/ITA Freewrite]

2년 전
in ita

Original by @f3nix

English Version

The sweat drew intricate arabesques on the gray hakama of the young samurai.
Once again, his bokken was fiercely directed against the hanging silk ribbon. That delicate cloth seemed to dodge the blow just before the impact, making fun of the impetuous but immature efforts of the warrior.
Next to the Rinzai Temple's stone garden, in the heart of the sacred city of Kioto, the snow dampened every sound while the rites of the morning were renewing themselves in simple beauty and harmony.

Slowly his mind had detached itself from the repetitive gestures. Now his thoughts wandered, abstracting from the pain of the tried limbs, hovering away from that training. Thinking of not thinking and, thus, ending up in dialogue with his own demons.

"Fight as if you were already dead. I must abandon these feelings, this ballast. I am nothing else than an empty bamboo cane, bent by the wind".

"Be a callous beast, devour or soon you will be devoured", another voice of his restless soul burst into.

After long insistence of his family, the young samurai had been accepted into the Temple. For those lucky ones who were welcomed, the practice of Zen, learning to meditate, did not mean to reach an hypothetical illumination or a superior wisdom, but to have a chance to survive in a duel through greater control of one's breath.
A breath that would have created that moment of opportunity, of imbalance between yin and yang, that displacement necessary to start the katana sweep. Iai-do.

The young samurai died with many others in the Sekigahara's battle. As a purple flower bloomed on his chest, the image of that bokken against the silk emerged to his mind. "The universe, one only breath", was his last thought.

Versione Italiana

Il sudore disegnava intricati arabeschi sulla grigia hakama del giovane samurai.
Ormai da ore il suo bokken si accaniva contro il sottile nastro di seta pendente che pareva schivare il colpo appena prima dell'impatto, burlandosi degli sforzi impetuosi ma acerbi del guerriero.
Accanto al giardino di pietra del Tempio Rinzai, nel cuore della sacra città di Kioto, la neve attutiva ogni suono mentre i riti della mattina si rinnovavano con semplice bellezza ed armonia.

Lentamente la sua mente si era distaccata dal gesto ripetitivo. Ora il suo pensiero vagava, astraendosi dal dolore delle membra provate, librandosi lontano da quell'allenamento. Pensando di non voler pensare e, così, finendo per dialogare con i propri demoni.

"Combatti come se tu fossi già morto. Devo abbandonare questi sentimenti, questa zavorra, devo essere una vuota canna di bambù piegata dal vento".

"Sii una bestia senza cuore, divora o presto sarai divorato", irruppe un'altra voce del suo animo irrequieto.

Dopo lunghe insistenze della sua famiglia, il giovane samurai era stato accettato nel Tempio. Per quei fortunati che venivano accolti, la pratica dello zen, imparare a meditare, non significava raggiungere chissà quale mistica illuminazione o saggezza, bensì avere una possibilità di sopravvivere in duello attraverso un maggiore controllo del proprio respiro.
Un respiro che avrebbe creato o meno quell'istante di opportunità, di squilibrio fra yin e yang, quello spostamento necessario a far partire il fendente della katana.

Il giovane samurai morì come tanti a Sekigahara. Mentre uno sbieco fiore cremisi gli sbocciava sul petto, riemerse l'immagine di quel bokken contro la seta. "L'universo, un solo respiro", fu il suo ultimo pensiero.

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  ·  2년 전

Hi @f3nix! You have received 0.1 SBD tip + 0.03 SBD @tipU from @whatisnew :)

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Sounds like a hard and short life life for a samurai; kill or be killed. I love how you described his thoughts especially "empty bamboo cane, bent by the wind." Beautiful! Tip!


Thank you once again dear friend! Your tip is greatly appreciated! Well, I'm a karate player and I went recently to a seminar from a rinzai buddhist monk. It was interesting to know how the sword-technique used by samurai was a fine matter of distance..just a millimetre within the range of the katana and one of the two was starting the hit. That's also why their fights seem so static. No wonder that, with such a sharp way of fighting, knowing how to breath was vital ;-)

With this freewrite, I think you expressed very well the zen search for self-annihilation through reiterated exercise, and the lack of sense of life. Excuse me if my words are hard, but I think Samurai ethos was both fascinating and despicable.


Honestly I share your same skepticism. It seems to me that there's no place for love in their vision of the world. Does abandoning feelings and passions mean also to forget the good ones? No thank you. In fact more than being an empty shell I prefer to fight with my emotions but being alive. Zazen remains a useful exercise for mind-maintenance and cleansing. JMHO.

this is sad and poetic and beautiful!!! Bravo!!
Happy New year My Friend!!

I also love that you write in both languages........


Thanks a lot @snook and happy new year! I hope you had a fun night on new year's eve ;-)
The writing is based on true historical facts, practicing zen for samurais was a sort of essential quality upgrade..a matter of life or death in a duel with katana, in the end.

This is awesome! I love your writing.

"Be a callous beast, devour or soon you will be devoured", another voice of his restless soul burst into.

Just awesome use of the prompt! tip!


Thank you by heart @wandrnrose7 (wow!). This freewrite is quite personal..time ago, during a Karate fight I broke badly my leg and had to stay far from It for three long years. When you fight or practice you need to leave your ego and personal denons at home, even if it's not easy. I think that it's applicable to life too.


.. I don't know, although I love karate, I've always been scared by katanas. There's nothing charming for me in such death tools.


I don't like death tools either and am not a huge fan overall of the Japanese culture - too similar to German culture. duty bound, perfectionistic, stubborn...
they have good sides too - but you know what I mean....


I know and agree.. i take the good and leave the with everything in life ;-)
Honestly i'm quite ok with how we Italians are..surely I hate perfectionism.


This is a terribly beautiful piece @f3nix! The discipline to fight instinct may be an inspiration and a thing of beauty, but for what? An entire life down to one breath, one heartbeat, should have a thousand feelings.


I agree. I could not live abandoning feelings and passions.. there will be time for peace when we are 6feet under.. Grazie cara amica ☺️


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  ·  2년 전

Hi @f3nix! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @wandrnrose7!

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