Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Walk Through Basho's Garden... and his Haiku.

shizukasa ya iwa ni shimiiru semi no koe

oh in the quietude
seeping into the rock
the voices of cicadas

The first time I heard of Haiku was by feeling it.

During an exercise guided by my acting teacher, Antonio González Caballero (1), he was constantly repeating a few sentences translated from Japanese poetry. The immediate response within me, perhaps an explosive one (if explosions were so slow as powerful), was the opening of a door leading to the unknown; the inner self of my sensibility had an entry (perhaps it has more) and I had discovered it that day.

The teacher's words were listened to and repeated after a while by me, with my voice, ever lower, as wanting them to enter me; then I heard them in silence, I heard them traveling through my body, inside my body, and I started to feel.

The feeling brought tears to my eyes, but they were not tears of pain or sadness tears, or at least they were of a kind of pain and sorrow so big that they seemed near infinite, therefore intangible, and therefore neither sad nor painful, and they were only in me, and tears flowed as in a river, only because.

My body became more relaxed, my eyes were clouded by tears while listening to the poem.

Already on the ground and in a period of time without memory, that afternoon, I was enjoying all this, looking at the sky and laughing while the tears still came. It was all, It was much, and it was of such extreme softness!

My teacher’s voice and mine had long faded, but I was still listening to the poem in me. It was the first time I could say I felt a soul, that thing so intangible that only becomes tangible through poetry.

Since that exercise each time I hear the word "Haiku", I feel it through my body (and soul) and identify it with my experience as an actor, and each time I hear the name of "Basho" I identify it with the creator of that experience.

I’ve crossed paths with Basho (Bashō) several times in my life, since that day at González Caballero’s workshop and till now, when he crossed my path during a trip to Tokyo in January 2008. I was looking for a Sumo stadium, I wanted to see huge men in a ritual fight, instead I found this Japanese poet, I found his house museum that held me for a few minutes.

The house was almost destroyed by time and bombardments, there was nothing left of it, a new building replaced the original house with a small museum, and over there a garden which even in Winter remained alive.

I strolled around the garden and recorded some images, they are more beautiful for what they mean that for what they are. Showing them is a joy and reading his poems while watching them is a pleasure.

Trips are pretexts that lead to wisdom.

A Walk Through Basho's Garden

Basho Museum. Tokyo, Japan. (January 2008)

(1) Under González Caballero’s Acting Method this exercise is part of "Naturalismo chejoviano" (Chekhovian Naturalism), and the exploration work was precisely "Apoyo Haikú". There is a Blog I'm writing (in Spanish) called: El Método de actuación de A. González Caballero.

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