A Zen Parable and Ten Short Stories (Spanish)

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(Spanish) These stories are interesting [because they] have more to do with my relationship with music, philosophy, various things, my affection and respect for other teachers both near and far. I would cite a person like William Blake, I read him as a youngster, a poet, illustrator, artist, even a musician. And I would also think of someone like Cat Stevens, the great singer who had an influence in the way that I composed and said things, in how I probably viewed the world during my formative years. I believe that the parable came to me in 2002 in a fortuitous experience [while visiting] the Museum of New York, in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I found myself with this parable [while walking through] the Japan section of the museum, of Japanese art, [which] had a big impact on me, this feeling of the larger section of the manuscript, it is a very big manuscript, with this sequence of images and with written texts; in this case, one of the monks who interpreted the parable decided to provide his own commentary. It is interesting work [to find oneself] among the [written] word, [the act of] writing, and the visual image; this fourth stage had an impact on me, because I began to see the manuscript and I said, “it can’t be!” this fourth stage where the child pulls the ox…it is a child who searches for the ox that he has lost, and he goes in search of it, [and] the ox probably represents knowledge, wisdom. In short, [and] he realizes that at the end the child needs neither the ox nor anything else of importance to find what he is looking for. Upon seeing this fourth stage I recalled one of Cat Steven’s albums, “Catch Bull at Four,” and I sang songs from the album at that precise moment. I did not understand the image of the circle with the monk-child who finds the Buddha. The name of the album is “Catch Bull at Four,” yes, pulling the ox, the bull in the fourth stage. When years later, some twenty years later, I found this parable, this manuscript, I made the big connection and I said [that] it cannot be that so many years one should have seen something, one should have believed that I knew the truth from these songs off the album, of the work of Cat Stevens, a musician whom I admire, and I say “you have deceived me, you have not told me everything,” and it was very important for me because it was very comforting to retake, as well as the level of philosophical reflection, my relationship with words that has been cut short. I have talent for writing but in some way there is always a story present in one’s work, there are circles that I write, there are texts that I write about friends who are poets, in short, I believe that music and lyrics and stories have always been present in my life. This parable made me remember those things, and there is also something interesting. When they offered me the opportunity to do an exhibit for the Japanese Peruvian Cultural Center during Japanese Cultural Week, I needed a special project to do. I did not know exactly where I was going with it; I thought about the piece, the final installation of “obachan,” of the grandmother with the tatami, it is a piece that has neither a format nor has it ever been produced since 1992. This is the first time, I have to be thankful that a dream of mine that was floating around in my head, in my memories, had finally reached fruition in such a better setting, with feeling, for the Nikkei community, for children, adults, older folks who have enjoyed seeing Japan today through very direct elements: stone, straw sandals (zori), or suddenly the rice straw mats, or tatami. I think that while I had this idea for a project, I was lacking in heart but not only heart but also a more generic story, and it was at this moment, which [then] made for a few more, I [had] said no more than three months, I decided to remember, [then] the book of the Zen parable arrived, a friend, a cousin of mine sent it to me from New York, I was looking for it for several years, and I obtained it and I said that this was, I have to make a…this parallel between stories of the parable, those moments, and the stories that I have come to receive.

Date: December 7, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Harumi Nako
Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

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