72. — Things which seem in poor taste: too many personal effects cluttering up the place where one is sitting; too many brushes in an ink-box; too many Buddhas in a family temple; too many children in a house; too many words in meeting someone; too many meritorious deeds recorded in a petition. Things which are not offensive, no matter how numerous: books in a book cart, rubbish in a rubbish heap.
127. — It is best not to change something if changing it will not do any good.
– from the Tsurezuregusa of Kenkō (trans. D. Keene)1
- NB — Of all the books I own, this is the one which I have happened to take with me most often on my (admittedly limited) travels. To carry around these short, opinionated essays is like carrying a container of clean, clear water, which provides refreshment at the end of a long day and serves as ballast when the going becomes difficult.