井の中の蛙

10/27/2004

Why I love classical literature

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 6:35 am

From Yoshida Kenkō’s Tsurezuregusa, aka Essays in Idleness (Stephen Carter translation in McCullough’s Classical Japanese Prose, p. 416)

189
Today you had planned to do one thing, but something else comes up and takes the whole day. The person you are waiting for is detained, but someone you hadn’t expected shows up instead. Something you had confidence in goes awry, but something you had no hope for works out. The task you worried over comes off without trouble, but the task you thought would be easy proves to be difficult. As the days go by, what happens bears no resemblance to what you had anticipated. It’s that way for any year; it’s the same for a lifetime.

But just as you start to think that things never turn out as planned, something does and you feel more at a loss than ever. The only way we can be sure of things is to realize the truth: that all is uncertainty.

Ah, there’s nothing new under the sun, is there?

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