“Arakan to Nare (Be an Arahat)”
Media: Wood, Gofun (powdered chalk made of shells), and acrylic
Size: About 84×30cm
Pull out the arrows of suffering, attaining the peace of awareness, with all grief transcended – be an Arahat
– Whatever sadness you have faced, get over it, so that you can become a person who has no suffering
(Quotation from “The Suttanipāta for boys and girls”)
This is a passage from chapter III of The Suttanipāta.
What does the arrow of suffering mean to us – whether it is love, workplace, illness, just a word that has been pronounced by someone, or…?
I can’t help wondering how such arrows look to Arahat’s eyes, a person who has attained peace and transcended all grief. There are many arrows still left pierced on me. The matter is not about those arrows themselves, but why me, who was shot with those arrows? What I need to do is to have a clear view of WHY I was the target.
The pattern on the clothes of the drawing is one of the traditional antiquated Japanese quilting patterns of short working clothes people wore in the Tsugaru area. At the time when cotton fabric was extremely expensive and unavailable, it is said that Tsugaru clan let people cultivate hemp to weave cloth with them. However, hemp clothes being weak were easily frayed, which required frequent mending. It is said that the quilting culture was started with the idea doing mending work from the very beginning, although it would eventually be required later anyways. Originally, the quilting work was started for reinforcing clothes, but the technique of small stitches developed into a beautiful craft.
As long as we continue living, we can’t avoid being pierced with arrows. In that sense, I shall keep asking to myself how to train my mind to be calm and strong even after being pierced, just like an Arahat.