"One finds life through conquering the fear of death within one's mind. Empty the mind of all forms of attachment, make a go-for-broke charge and conquer the opponent with one decisive slash." - Togo Shigekata.
What began with the element of water ended with a down pour from the heavens. A divine force must have heard my plea the day she found me. My body wounded and my heart broken; I managed to cry out in silence, a call only she was able to hear. I am not quite sure how I ended up in this predicament it all happened to quickly. I could see the pool of blood I laid in was my own. I was only comforted by nature in this state. The raging storm above washed away the pain and the tears my eyes were to proud to let fall onto my face.
This night was like no other. I enjoyed being close to nature. As the rain beat against the hard ground I could feel it in my hands begining to soften. I raised my head to the night sky, so I could feel the element of water. The one element that could cut down anything, and could make new paths when roads seemed to end. "Keep your mind open and flowing like water, my child" Master would always remind us. For it is when we have a closed mind that we become trapped. If we become one with the element of water we would learn to move freely even when there was no space for movement. I closed my eyes to see the mountain in its true form. See it the way it was meant to be seen. You can only see true beauty when you look not with your eyes, but with your mind and soul. The hidden truths begin to unfold.
"I seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old, I seek the things they sought." My father would always say this to me, even when he laid on his death bed he reminded me to seek the truth in this world. Follow in my ancestors foot steps to find the knowledge they achieved. We can hear any story, but unless we ourselves take our own journey it is still nothing but a tale. We can hear of pain, but unless we experience pain for ourselves we will never truly know what it is.
The cold ground was reminding me that my journey has come to an end.
"Father, I did seek, and I know of some of the things you spoke of. I do hope when we meet again soon that you are proud to know that every step I took was for you." I said as the pain gradually began to go away.
Pain exist to let us know we are still alive. When we are afraid it lets us know that we still have something to lose. I rolled onto my side to feel the wet ground beneath me. The sensation of feeling was going away slowly and still I haven't managed to figure out how this happened. How did I end up here?
I sat on the ground for a little while longer to realize something was wrong. I immediately stood to my feet and looked at my surroundings. I closed my eyes to see blood. This was innocent blood shed and something was extremely different about it. I could smell it in the air and I sensed the acceptance of it. My inner abilities were directing me to the west so I ran. I moved swiftly around the rocks and trees that were in my path. Moving the way the element of wind does, invisible. I was stopped in my tracks to see a sight that pained me. I moved closer to see a young man, no older than a late teen laying on my mountain taking what seemed to be his last breaths.
He couldn't detect my movements but something told me he was aware that he was no longer alone. I crept up on him the way a wild animal does its prey. He turned to face me.
"Are you death?" He whispered.
I stared into his eyes and could not lead him to believe I have come for his soul. I removed the tatsumura silk cloth that covered my face and kneeled down beside him.
"See first with your mind, then with your eyes, and finally with your body. Do I seem like death to you?" I asked him.
I could see the slashes on his body. The cuts themselves told me the type of weapon used as well as the assailant. I ripped the tastumura silk into strips to tie off the bleeders that were killing him slowly.
"What are you doing?" He whispered.
"It is easy to kill someone with the slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down." I responded.
"Your hands have taken lives before." He uttered in a low tone.
"Never an innocent one!" I explained.
I continued to tie the silk until his blood was no longer becoming part of the earth. He grabbed my hand with the little bit of stregnth he had left.
"Why help me? You do not know my life? What I deserve?" He cried out.
I looked deeply into his eyes as I moved closer to his face so that he could feel my breath against his skin.
"I am aware of more than you know." I whispered in his ear.
Our eyes met one last time before he lost consciousness.
"Tsukiko! what is it?" Isamu called out.
One of my fellow clan members now at my side, I was able to get this innocent man back to the village we live in on Mount Kita.
"I don't know Isamu", I paused, "Hiro San will know what to do." I whispered as I turned to look at the stranger I came across while becoming one with nature one last time before Isamu and I carried him back to the Kita Clan.