Wind and Water Calligraphy

An important aspect of life is accepting impermanence. Nothing lasts forever, although scientifically speaking changes occur at very different time scales e.g. for us humans and rocks, which make us believe that permanent things do exist. Actually, they don’t, and the only permanence is the permanent change and modification of everything.

That is why for example a key phrase in the Hannya Shingyo (般若心経) explains that form is emptiness and emptiness is form (色即是空  空即是色).

Usually I practice Hitsuzendo on used newspaper, which I scrap afterwards. I don’t much like the idea of writing a calligraphy which lasts. When playing my Shakuhachi, the sound vanishes the moment it leaves my flute, that is how I want to write: without leaving a trace.

Last year in China I wrote together with old calligraphy masters in the park using a water brush. To see our art evaporate after a few minutes was very pleasant.


My calligraphy washed away.

This week I made a new discovery: an equally good canvas provides the sea shore when the tide is going out. Immersed in wind and water, to the rhythm and sound of the waves I write with a stick I pick up from the sand. A few waves later my writing is washed away and the beach is blank and polished again.

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