Takuin sat upstairs at the house in Toyama. Just sitting...looking. In those moments, he was the center of the unfolding universe. Every facet of life was contained within that small space. It was all very simple...sitting and sitting, seeing shoji windows, moving outward in all directions, touching everything that has been, or ever will be.
But in sitting, one must be careful...
Takuin heard a loud thump on the window, shaking the shoji panes. He opened them to find a small bird on the sill. It had smashed into the window and landed on its back. Its head was twisted to one side; its breathing labored. He sat with this bird, watching its little chest move quickly up and down and its little eyes blinking.
A great deal of time passed. Eventually, its breathing slowed but did not stop. Still on its back, the bird moved its head into a forward position.
Suddenly, the bird sprang upright, but did not attempt to fly away. It looked at Takuin, and he looked at it.
They sat together for some time.
Occasionally, the bird would test its wings, curl its little toes, and give a little chirp attracting others of its own kind. But they did not stay for very long. Takuin and the little bird were alone together, watching and breathing.
It took a few small steps, each time looking back at Takuin. It took another step, then hopped onto the shingles of the roof below the window sill. It hopped again and looked back. Hopped again and looked back. Then it was gone.
Later that day, as Takuin went about his business in Toyama, he saw a small group of birds like the one on the window sill. They seemed very loud, and more excited than usual...
After returning to Tokyo, and just as Takuin was about to open his front door, he looked down and saw the bent feather of a crow in front of the door. It looked as if someone placed it there on purpose, at a precise angle.
Akiko said it was a message from the little bird...