On this summer night

by Jusammi Chikako

English version by Edwin A. Cranston
Original Language Japanese

     On this summer night
All the household lies asleep,
     And in the doorway,
For once open after dark,
Stands the moon, brilliant, cloudless.

-- from Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women, Edited by Jane Hirshfield

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I really like this brief verse by Jusammi Chikako.

One way to understand this is that the "house" here is the individual self. So when Jusammi Chikako says, "All the household lies asleep," she could be stating that the mind has finally settled into perfect, still awareness.

The "doorway" is then the threshold of perception.

And in the doorway
For once open after dark,
Stands the moon, brilliant, cloudless.


The moon represents the individual awareness perfectly reflecting the eternal light (of the sun). The full moon is Buddha mind, original mind. She has suddenly discovered it, been flooded with its "brilliant" light, utterly at peace beneath the unobstructed, "cloudless" night sky of awareness.



Recommended Books: Jusammi Chikako

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women





On this summer night