To Willing Conflators Of Yoshida Kenko And Jeremy Todd (the first and last letter)

To be born into this world of ours, it seems, brings with it so much to long for.  No one could be less enviable than the artist devoid of external validation.  People treat them like unfeeling lumps of wood.  And there is nothing impressive about the way artists who are lauded throw their weight around, and of course the legions of ignored artists are absolutely necessary to ensure a currency they will never possess. Fame and fortune are an affliction for an artist, and violate the dignity of the creative self.
There is much to admire, though, in a dedicated artist.  Certainly it is important to present well, in both appearance and bearing. One never tires of spending time with someone whose speech is attractive and pleasing to the ear, and who does not talk overmuch (particularly about careers and “what they are working on”). There is nothing worse than when someone you thought impressive reveals himself as lacking in sensibility. Status and personal appearance are things one is born with, after all, but surely the inner artist can always be improved upon with effort. It is a great shame to see someone who has acknowledged their creative self fall in with low and ugly types who easily run rings round them, and all for want of cultivation and learning.  An artist should be a model to others and when offered sake, make a show of declining it but nevertheless be able to drink.
Each of us is an artist and each of us can find solace for all things by looking at the moon. Someone once declared that there is nothing more delightful than the moon, while another disagreed, claiming that dew is the most moving – a charming debate.  Surely there is nothing that isn’t moving, in fact, depending on circumstance.  Not only the moon and blossoms, but the wind in particular can stir people’s hearts, perhaps even these not sent letters, for nothing provides such balm for the heart as wandering somewhere far from the world of clamoring people.
jeremy