I got to meet Krist Novoselic (bass player from Nirvana) before the concert in Rainier last night of his new band, Giants in the Trees. I knew he was tall but had no idea how tall he was!! He was very nice and signed my Nevermind CD.
There was no use in staying at the villa—not when Kageyama would be gone, and no one left there to fill the awful hole that seemed to have opened in Shouyou’s heart.
It was different, than all the times they’d said goodbye before it. Different even than the first time, when Shouyou had thought he wouldn’t be returning month after month, to tumble from the carriage doors and run straight to where Kageyama waited, always, for him.
It was worse now, having made up his mind to stay, but having no idea when Kageyama could return to him. So Shouyou came back to the temple, to wait. At least there, he had the people he’d grown up with. He had his duties. He could try, as best he could, to be distracted.
And, as little as it was, he was not wholly without news of his centurion. For Kageyama sent him letters, as often as he was able.
The first letter came in place of the carriage that would have usually arrived to bring Shouyou to the temple. It was delivered by messenger, and Shouyou was so eager to open the wax seal with Kageyama’s insignia that he nearly ripped the paper in two. He snuck away to a secluded corner where he could read undisturbed.
‘I believed I was uncreative. What else can creativity be besides dancing and painting? How do I find out what my creativity is?’
Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular—with painting, poetry, dancing, singing. It has nothing to do with anything in particular. Anything can be creative—you bring that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way. You can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way. You can cook in a creative way. Creativity is the quality that YOU bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach—how you look at things.
So the first thing to be remembered: don’t confine creativity to anything in particular. A man IS creative—and if he is creative, whatsoever he does, even if he walks, you can see in his walking there is creativity. Even if he sits silently and does nothing, even non-doing will be a creative act. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing nothing is the greatest creator the world has ever known. Once you understand it—that it is YOU, the PERSON, who is creative or uncreative—then this problem disappears.
Not everybody can be a painter—and there is no need also. If everybody is a painter the world will be very ugly; it will be difficult to live. And not everybody can be a dancer, and there is no need. But everybody can be creative.
Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing it is not purely economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine.
You become more divine as you become more creative. ALL the religions of the world have said: God is the Creator. I don’t know whether He is the Creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So He must be the Creator because people who have been creative have been closest to Him.
Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it—whatsoever it is!—irrelevant of the fact of what it is.
Have you seen Paras cleaning this floor of Chuang Tzu auditorium? Then you will know: cleaning can become creative. With what love! Almost singing and dancing inside. If you clean the floor with such love, you have done an invisible painting. You lived that moment in such delight that it has given you some inner growth. You cannot be the same after a creative act.
Creativity means loving whatsoever you do—enjoying, celebrating it, as a gift of God! Maybe nobody comes to know about it. Who is going to praise Paras for cleaning this floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish her name and pictures—but that is irrelevant. She ENJOYED it. The value is intrinsic.
So if you are looking for fame and then you think you are creative—if you become famous like Picasso, then you are creative—then you will miss. Then you are, in fact, not creative at all: you are a politician, ambitious.
If fame happens, good. If it doesn’t happen, good. It should not be the consideration. The consideration should be that you are enjoying whatsoever you are doing. It is your love-affair. If your act is your love-affair, then it becomes creative. Small things become great by the touch of love and delight.
The questioner asks: ‘I believed I was uncreative.’ If you believe in that way, you will become uncreative—because belief is not just belief. It opens doors; it closes doors. If you have a wrong belief, then that will hang around you as a closed door. If you believe that you are uncreative, you will become uncreative—because that belief will obstruct, continuously negate, all possibilities of flowing. It will not allow your energy to flow because you will continuously say: ‘I am uncreative.’
This has been taught to everybody. Very few people are accepted as creative: A few painters, a few poets—one in a million. This is foolish! Every human being is a born creator. Watch children and you will see: ALL children are creative. By and by, we destroy their creativity. By and by, we force wrong beliefs on them. By and by, we distract them. By and by, we make them more and more economical and political and ambitious.
When ambition enters, creativity disappears—because an ambitious man cannot be creative, because an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. While he is writing a novel, he is looking ahead; he is thinking, ‘When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?’ He is always in the future—and a creative person is always in the present.
We destroy creativity. NOBODY IS BORN UNCREATIVE, but we make ninety-nine percent of people uncreative.
But just throwing the responsibility on the society is not going to help—you have to take your life in your own hands. You have to drop wrong conditionings. You have to drop wrong, hypnotic auto-suggestions that have been given to you in your childhood. Drop them! Purify yourself of all conditionings… and suddenly you will see you ARE creative.
To be and to be creative are synonymous. It is impossible to be and not to be creative. But that impossible thing has happened, that ugly phenomenon has happened, because all your creative sources have been plugged, blocked, destroyed, and your whole energy has been forced into some activity that the society thinks is going to pay.
Our whole attitude about life is money-oriented. And money is one of the most uncreative things one can become interested in. Our whole approach is power-oriented and power is destructive, not creative. A man who is after money will become destructive, because money has to be robbed, exploited; it has to be taken away from many people, only then can you have it. Power simply means you have to make many people impotent, you have to destroy them—only then will you be powerful, can you be powerful. Remember: these are destructive acts.
A creative act enhances the beauty of the world; it gives something to the world, it never takes anything from it. A creative person comes into the world, enhances the beauty of the world—a song here, a painting there. He makes the world dance better, enjoy better, love better, meditate better. When he leaves this world, he leaves a better world behind him. Nobody may know him; somebody may know him—that is not the point. But he leaves the world a better world, tremendously fulfilled because his life has been of some intrinsic value.
Money, power, prestige, are uncreative; not only uncreative, but destructive activities. Beware of them! And if you beware of them you can become creative very easily.
I am not saying that your creativity is going to give you power, prestige, money. No, I cannot promise you any rose-gardens. It may give you trouble. It may force you to live a poor man’s life. All that I can promise you is that deep inside you will be the richest man possible; deep inside you will be fulfilled; deep inside you will be full of joy and celebration. You will be CONTINUOUSLY receiving more and more blessings from God. Your life will be a life of benediction. But it is possible that outwardly you may not be famous, you may not have money, you may not succeed in the so-called world. But to succeed in this so-called world is to fail deeply, is to fail in the inside world. And what are you going to do with the whole world at your feet if you have lost your own self? What will you do if you possess the whole world and you don’t possess yourself?
A creative person possesses his own being; he is a master. That’s why in the East we have been calling sannyasins ‘swamis’. ‘Swami’ means a master. Beggars have been called swamis—masters. Emperors we have known, but they proved in the final account, in the final conclusion of their lives, that they were beggars.
A man who is after money and power and prestige is a beggar, because he continuously begs. He has nothing to give to the world.
Be a giver. Share whatsoever you can! And remember, I am not making any distinction between small things and great things. If you can smile whole-heartedly, hold somebody’s hand and smile, then it is a creative act, a GREAT creative act. Just embrace somebody to your heart and you ARE creative. Just look with loving eyes at somebody… just a loving look can change the whole world of a person.
Be creative. Don’t be worried about what you are doing—one has to do MANY things—but do everything creatively, with devotion. Then your work becomes worship. Then whatsoever you do is a prayer. And whatsoever you do is an offering at the altar.
Drop this belief that you are uncreative. I know how this belief is created: you may not have been a gold medalist in the university; you may not have been top in your class; your painting may not have won appreciation; when you play on your flute, neighbors report to the police. Maybe—but just because of these things, don’t get the wrong belief that you are uncreative. That may be because you are imitating others. People have a very limited idea of what being creative is—playing the guitar or the flute or writing poetry—so people go on writing rubbish in the name of poetry.
You have to find out what you can do and what you cannot do. Everybody cannot do everything! You have to search and find your destiny. You have to grope in the dark, I know. It is not very clear-cut what your destiny is—but that’s how life is. And it is GOOD that one has to search for it—in the VERY search, something grows. If God were to give a chart of your life to you when you were entering into the world—this will be your life: you are going to become a guitarist—then your life would be mechanical. Only a machine can be predicted, not a man. Man is unpredictable. Man is always an opening… a potentiality for a thousand and one things. Many doors open and many alternatives are always present at each step—and you have to choose, you have to feel. But if you love your life you will be able to find.
If you DON’T love your life and you love something else, then there is a problem. If you love money and you want to be creative, you cannot become creative. The very ambition for money is going to destroy your creativity. If you want fame, then forget about creativity. Fame comes easier if you are destructive. Fame comes easier to an Adolf Hitler; fame comes easier to a Henry Ford. Fame is easier if you are competitive, violently competitive. If you can kill and destroy people, fame comes easier. The whole history is the history of murderers. If you become a murderer, fame will be very easy. You can become a prime minister; you can become a president—but these are all masks. Behind them you will find very violent people, terribly violent people hiding, smiling. Those smiles are political, diplomatic. If the mask slips, you will always see Genghis Khan, Timur Leng, Nadir Shah, Napoleon, Alexander, Hitler, hiding behind.
If you want fame, don’t talk about creativity.
I am not saying that fame never comes to a creative person, but very rarely it comes, VERY rarely. It is more like an accident, and it takes much time. Almost always it happens that by the time fame comes to a creative person, he is gone—it is always posthumous; it is very delayed.
Jesus was not famous in his day. If there were no Bible, there would have been no record of him. The record belongs to his four disciples; nobody else has ever mentioned him, whether he existed or not. He was not famous. He was not successful. Can you think of a greater failure than Jesus? But, by and by, he became more and more significant; by and by, people recognized him. It takes time.
The greater a person is, the more time it takes for people to recognize him—because when a great person is born, there are no criteria to judge him by, there are no maps to find him with. He has to create his own values; by the time he has created the values, he is gone. It takes thousands of years for a creative person to be recognized, and then too it is not certain. There have been many creative people who have never been recognized. It is accidental for a creative person to be successful. For an uncreative, destructive person it is more certain.
So if you are seeking something else in the name of creativity, then drop the idea of being creative. At least consciously, deliberately, do whatsoever you want to do. Never hide behind masks.
But if you really want to be creative, then there is no question of money, success, prestige, respectability—then you enjoy your activity; then each act has an intrinsic value. You dance because you like dancing; you dance because you delight in it. If somebody appreciates, good, you feel grateful. If nobody appreciates, it is none of your business to be worried about it. You danced, you enjoyed—you are already fulfilled.
But this belief of being uncreative can be dangerous—drop it! Nobody is uncreative—not even trees, not even rocks.
People who have known trees and loved trees, know that each tree creates its own space, each rock creates its own space. It is like nobody else’s space. If you become sensitive, if you become capable of understanding, through empathy, you will be tremendously benefited. You will see each tree is creative in its own way; no other tree is like that—each tree is unique; each tree has individuality, each rock has individuality. Trees are not just trees—they are people. Rocks are not just rocks—they are people. Go and sit by the side of a rock—watch it lovingly, touch it lovingly, feel it lovingly.
It is said about a Zen master that he was able to pull VERY big rocks, remove very big rocks—and he was a very fragile man. It was almost impossible looking at his physiology! Stronger men, very much stronger than him, were unable to pull those rocks, and he would simply pull them very easily. He was asked what his trick was. He said, ‘There is no trick—I love the rock so the rock helps. First I say to her, ‘Now my prestige is in your hands, these people have come to watch. Now help me, cooperate with me.’ Mm?—then I simply hold the rock lovingly… and WAIT for the hint. When the rock gives me the hint—it is a shudder, my whole spine starts vibrating—when the rock gives me the hint that she is ready, then I move. You move against the rock; that’s why so much energy is needed. I move with the rock, I flow with the rock. In fact, it is wrong to say that I remove it—I am simply there. The rock removes itself.’
One great Zen master was a carpenter, and whenever he made tables, chairs, somehow they had some ineffable quality in them, a tremendous magnetism. He was asked, ‘How do you make them?’ He said, ‘I don’t make them. I simply go to the forest: the BASIC thing is to enquire of the forest, of trees, which tree is ready to become a chair.’ Now these things look absurd—because we don’t know, we don’t know the language. For three days he would remain in the forest. He would sit under one tree, under another tree, and he would talk to trees—and he was a mad man! But a tree is to be judged by its fruit, and this master has also to be judged by his creation. A few of his chairs still survive in China—they still carry a magnetism. You will just be simply attracted; you will not know what is pulling you. After a thousand years!—something tremendously beautiful.
He would say, ‘I go to the forest and I say that I am in search of a tree who wants to become a chair. I ask the trees if they are willing; not only willing: cooperating with me, ready to go with me—only then. Sometimes it happens that no tree is ready to become a chair—I come empty-handed.’ It happened: The Emperor of China asked him to make him a stand for his books. And he went and after three days he said, ‘Wait—no tree is ready to come to the palace.’ After three months the Emperor again enquired. The carpenter said, ‘I have been going continuously. I am persuading. Wait—one tree seems to be leaning a little bit.’ Then he persuaded one tree. He said, ‘The whole art is there!—when the tree comes of its own accord. Then she is simply asking the help of the carpenter.’
You can go and ask Asheesh—he has a feel for wood, and wood also has a feel for him.
If you are loving you will see that the whole existence has individuality. Don’t pull and push things. Watch, communicate; take their help—and much energy will be preserved.
Even trees are creative, rocks are creative. You are man: the very culmination of this existence. You are at the top—you are conscious. Never think with wrong beliefs, and never be attached to wrong beliefs, that you are uncreative. Maybe your father said to you that you are uncreative, your colleagues said to you that you are uncreative. Maybe you were searching in wrong directions, in directions in which you are not creative, but there MUST be a direction in which you ARE creative. Seek and search and remain available, and go on groping until you find it.
Each man comes into this world with a specific destiny—he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally—you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The Whole intends to do something through you.
“Stone and Snow that was all that was left of Winterfell. Just like she and Jon.”
This line could be from a fanfic, as long as I know, but summarizes a huge and beautiful theme in Sansa’s and Jon’s arcs: Rebuilding their lost and broken home: Winterfell.
This line also remind me of this quote from the Books:
At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell’s chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, andit was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I’m not dead either.
—A Clash of Kings - Bran VII
Winterfell: sacked, burned, broken and without a Stark inside it’s walls. But the stone is strong and the roots of the trees go deep under the ground, and as long those remain, Winterfell remains.
Have you noticed already? Have you noticed the references of Sansa and Jon in that quote?
Stone = Alayne Stone = Sansa Stark, and indeed, Sansa is strong.
The roots of the trees go deep = The Weirwood tree (Winterfell’s heart) = Ghost = Jon Snow = King of Winter/King in The North and the King of the whole realm.
I think the connection between Stone and Sansa is pretty clear; so I just going to explain the connection between the roots of the trees and Jon a bit:
The roots of the trees going deep is a clear reference to the most famous tree in Winterfell, the Weirwood tree. Ned used to say that the Weirwood tree was “Winterfell’s heart”. Ghost is mostly described as a symbol of the Weirwood tree, due their equal colors: red and white. Ghost is part of Jon Snow and Jon Snow is likely to be the next King in The North and the King of the whole realm. I’m going to write a separate post about Jon, Ghost and the Weirwood tree soon, explaining some more. I promise. But for now, that’s it.
So, Sansa and Jon are the two pillars that make Winterfell remain. They are destined to retake and rebuild their home together. The Show in it’s unique way kind of confirmed this. Let’s see:
Sansa Stark, under the guise of Alayne Stone, builds a Snow Castle that is to be a very detailed version of Winterfell in her seventh chapter in ASOS:
What do I want with snowballs? She looked at her sad little arsenal. There’s no one to throw them at. She let the one she was making drop from her hand. I could build a snow knight instead, she thought. Or even…
[…] The snow fell and the castle rose. Two walls ankle-high, the inner taller than the outer. Towers and turrets, keeps and stairs, a round kitchen, a square armory, the stables along the inside of the west wall. It was only a castle when she began, but before very long Sansa knew it was Winterfell. She found twigs and fallen branches beneath the snow and broke off the ends to make the trees for the godswood. For the gravestones in the lichyard she used bits of bark. Soon her gloves and her boots were crusty white, her hands were tingling, and her feet were soaked and cold, but she did not care. The castle was all that mattered. Some things were hard to remember, but most came back to her easily, as if she had been there only yesterday. The Library Tower, with the steep stonework stair twisting about its exterior. The gatehouse, two huge bulwarks, the arched gate between them, crenellations all along the top…
—A Storm of Swords - Sansa VII
For me, this quote implies that Sansa is going to actively participate in Winterfell’s restoration. And who else want to restore Winterfell?
“Drink this.” Grenn held a cup to his lips. Jon drank. His head was full of wolves and eagles, the sound of his brothers’ laughter. The faces above him began to blur and fade. They can’t be dead. Theon would never do that. And Winterfell … grey granite, oak and iron, crows wheeling around the towers, steam rising off the hot pools in the godswood, the stone kings sitting on their thrones … how could Winterfell be gone?
—A Storm of Swords - Jon VI
Winterfell, he thought. Theon left it burned and broken, but I could restore it. Surely his father would have wanted that, and Robb as well. They would never have wanted the castle left in ruins.
—A Storm of Swords - Jon XII
That’s why this line: “The snow fell and the castle rose” makes me think that Jon Snow will help Sansa Stark to rebuild Winterfell, their lost and broken home.
And Jon and Sansa could also “rebuild” the Stark dynasty, the blood of Winterfell, as they both share the dream to have children to fill the void of their lost family, their lost parents and siblings:
Willas would be Lord of Highgarden and she would be his lady.
She pictured the two of them sitting together in a garden with puppies in their laps, or listening to a singer strum upon a lute while they floated down the Mander on a pleasure barge. If I give him sons, he may come to love me. She would name them Eddard and Brandon and Rickon, and raise them all to be as valiant as Ser Loras. And to hate Lannisters, too. In Sansa’s dreams, her children looked just like the brothers she had lost. Sometimes there was even a girl who looked like Arya.
—A Storm of Swords - Sansa II
I would need to steal her if I wanted her love, but she might give me children. I might someday hold a son of my own blood in my arms. A son was something Jon Snow had never dared dream of, since he decided to live his life on the Wall. I could name him Robb. Val would want to keep her sister’s son, but we could foster him at Winterfell, and Gilly’s boy as well. Sam would never need to tell his lie. We’d find a place for Gilly too, and Sam could come visit her once a year or so. Mance’s son and Craster’s would grow up brothers, as I once did with Robb.
—A Storm of Swords - Jon XII
Indeed, among all the Stark children, Sansa and Jon are the only ones that are called or call themselves the blood of Winterfell:
Jon’s throat was raw. He looked at them all helplessly. “She yielded herself to me.” “Then you must do what needs be done,” Qhorin Halfhand said. “You are the blood of Winterfell and a man of the Night’s Watch.”
—A Clash of Kings - Jon VI
When the dreams took him, he found himself back home once more, splashing in the hot pools beneath a huge white weirwood that had his father’s face. Ygritte was with him, laughing at him, shedding her skins till she was naked as her name day, trying to kiss him, but he couldn’t, not with his father watching. He was the blood of Winterfell, a man of the Night’s Watch. I will not father a bastard, he told her. I will not. I will not.
—A Storm of Swords - Jon VI
“What if Lord Nestor values honor more than profit?” Petyr put his arm around her. “What if it is truth he wants, and justice for his murdered lady?” He smiled. “I know Lord Nestor, sweetling. Do you imagine I’d ever let him harm my daughter?”
I am not your daughter, she thought. I am Sansa Stark, Lord Eddard’s daughter and Lady Catelyn’s, the blood of Winterfell. She did not say it, though.
—A Feast for Crows - Sansa I
There you have it!
As long as Sansa Stark and Jon Snow remain, Winterfell remains.
There has been, since the first chapter, a buttload of symbolism involving the famous ash-tree of Norse mythology: Yggdrasil. I won’t pretend to know what it means, but it’s very interesting how this symbolism was used twice in chapter 96. First off, we have the first scene. It takes place near a lone-standing tree, an obvious symbol. Even when the rest of the background isn’t drawn, the tree is obvious.
What makes this all the more interesting is this shot near the end of the chapter. As Reiner finds meaning in completing his mission he is ripping a tree stump out of the ground. Yggdrasil is often hypothesized to represent recurrence, so it’s possible that this is Reiner wanting to ‘put an end to their history’, or perhaps Yggdrasil is a symbol for the founding titan itself, and that’s what this means. Who knows. I don’t.
Either way, I think this is might be the most interesting part of this chapter. It could be something as simple as symbolism that highlights his character arc in some way I’m not thinking of, but it’s very curious indeed.