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Daremo Inai


Once long ago, the great painter and sculptor, Daremo Inai, exhibited his new work in the center of a great, open-air courtyard.  The viewing began before sunrise when nothing of the artwork could be seen.  Gradually, the rising sun revealed what was set there to face it and be illumined. 

At its heart, it was an ink painting in simple bold, black strokes and gray washes displaying a number of human figures on the background emptiness of white rice paper.  To the right was a couple caught mid-stride, serenely walking along the road towards the viewers.  To the left was a weary old man seated on a stool at a small shop, drinking from a flask, mind absently present.  In the background, many other figures, including busy people, domestic animals, unfettered birds and careening insects, and angular pine trees, tough scrub and delicate flowers, dotted a landscape of a winding trail traversing mountains and valleys – a town’s jutting structures barely discernible there in the cloud distance.  

Incongruously, in the very center of the painting, not of black and white, an intertwining couple painted in gold boldly copulated, bared genitals penetrating and enveloping, faces contorted with ecstasy.

Every figure in the painting, including the two comprising the golden couple, was each made up of 84,000 breathing pores – small, bared and vulnerable openings, each a membrane between inner and outer – each pore from which a shaft of golden light at once penetrated and emanated.  The rays shone forth everywhere, crisscrossing from all to connect all.

One had to wonder what real difference there was between the golden copulating couple in ecstasy and the ordinary figures simply present.  Not much. After all, the shafts of light of each being and all others simultaneously interpenetrated.  The pair’s ecstatic sexual and spiritual union, then, seemed a special form of what was from the very beginning not capable of separation; so nowhere was there any need for joining.  (Still, most strangely, most prosaically, union is often a great fulfillment.)

Daremo Inai had the viewers remove their clothing before stepping into the courtyard.  Bared, each was given only a pendant with a multi-faceted diamond to wear about the neck.  The naked viewers were offered no food, drink, conversation, or other diversion.  In the initial darkness, each simply stood alone, stripped.  And as the light arose to reveal the painting, each gazed upon it and, gradually, upon one another gazing.  They stood or sat thus in contemplation all day, until sunset approached. 

Then, the sinking sun found its way behind the painting, beginning to pulse light from behind.

Now, it should be noted that Daremo Inai had pricked the painting countless times with a thick needle, so that it was full of holes.  And so as the sun set behind it, rays of light began to shoot through the painting while the figures upon its surface were still visible, golden rays now not only connecting the figures in the painting but as well finding the pores of the living viewers, each seeing the golden rays penetrating – and emanating from – the painting, themselves and all others present. 

And as the sun set low, the pin-prick rays blood-reddened and the distinct forms of the painted surface faded away to black.  Left were lasers of red light bathing the viewers, filaments of light, red threads come out of nothing, out of nowhere, red threads refracted in the diamond pendants reflecting back and forth every which way among the participants infinitely lit by light.

And with the setting of the sun, the courtyard returned to utter darkness.                     

Just then some one –

was it Daremo Inai? –

laughed a great laugh

through and through.


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  1. grevilleacorner permalink

    Wonder-full _/\_

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