2016-05 Grand Ballon circumpolar star trails 01
image via Wikimedia Commons

Like stars that neither rise nor set,
I stay up at all hours lately.
Not every day, not circling endlessly,
but tonight I watch the Big Dipper
in solidarity. Awake in day and night.



The circumpolar Big Dipper and the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia circle around Polaris, the North Star, in a period of 23 hours and 56 minutes. The Big Dipper is circumpolar at 41 degrees north latitude, and all latitudes farther north.

Zen Archer



My breath breezes the arrow. Clear vision.
I am bowstring tight. Frozen in time.
A moment. Unconscious control of outer activity.
I am bow, arrow, bowstring, breath, target.

Slowly becoming effortless, both mentally and physically.


Zen in the Art of Archery (Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens) is a 1948 book by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel. It is based on his experiences studying a form of Japanese archery (Kyūdō). His book is credited with helping to introduce Zen to Western audiences in the late 1940s and 1950s.

I was introduced to the practice while reading some of J. D. Salinger’s stories. The character Seymour Glass used one aspect of Zen archery as a child playing marbles: aiming by deliberately not taking aim.


Archer image Image by wal_172619 from Pixabay