This World of Dew - Is It?

Updated: 3 May 2007

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This World of Dew - Is It?

My friend C. died this week, suddenly, of a heart attack. He was 52 and super-fit (gym, running and surfing as often as he could). I still have a sense of shock and disbelief, and can only guess how his family are feeling and suffering (only God can know it all).

The day I heard of it, these lines came into my mind

This world of dew
is only a world of dew,
and yet, and yet.

I struggled to remember where I had heard or read them, and finally found them in John Dickson's book "If I were God I'd end all the Pain". They are from the Japanese Haiku master Kobayashi Issa, penned at the death of one of his daughters. Issa was a devout Buddhist, following Buddha's teaching that all pain and suffering arise from desire and love. Rise above these and nothing can hurt you. His teacher had told him he must consider all earthly circumstances as dew, which disappears without trace. Yet he could not help but cry out in the beautiful pathos of the verse above.

The poem of Issa's is heart-rending, and fills at times my mind, if not my eyes, with tears for those who must face sufferings with no hope. I have never tried to pen a Haiku poem, but could not let the thought go, so after several attempts, in memory of C. here is mine:-

The pain is real
midst love, tears and ashes.
Love Himself suffered.

I do not know if C. ever heard of Haiku poetry, or was a lover of poetry at all. He never mentioned it. He did love the Psalms and the hymns of John ("Amazing Grace") Newton, as he loved God and his family. Yet I am sure he would have embraced my stumbling effort more than Issa's masterpiece (not because of me, but because of the truth it contains).

Goodbye C., till we meet again. You are now where there is no more suffering, for you are with Jesus, who said "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live", and to a dying man "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."

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