Catfish and gourd

catching catfish by a pumpkin

catching catfish by a pumpkin

Mája was given a painting of an old man who caught catfish by a gourd from our friend, a Buddhist monk who painted it by ink on paper. I like it as it looks very minimalistic and still has its depth made just by few strokes (as it looks to me at least).

It contains several stories in it, one describes how hard it is to grasp catfish by gourd where both are metaphors for a mind.

the other story is mentioned in a small red square next to the catfish tail saying „in empty vessel days go slowly“ which is a punch line of a longer Japanese fairy tale which goes something like this:

There was a civil servant who was responsible for taking care of a small town somewhere in Japan, once he decided to climb on a nearby hill to take a look around the town and as dusk slowly started to fall he noticed an old clerk from local pharmacy closing his shop and then climbed into and disappeared in a big vase-like container which stand in-front of the pharmacy. this surprised the civil servant enough so the next day in afternoon, soon before dusk, he came to speak with the old clerk to ask him why did he done so. The clerk, white-bearded man who ran the pharmacy for his entire life just answered ‚in the empty vessel days go slowly‘ and invited him in, and so they both went in. The inside of the container was bigger than its outside and there was a sun and moon and days went slower than outside.