The Michelin Man – Haibun . November 22, 2014

Claire Fuller (7)

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Claire Fuller


I remember when the garage opened in 1966 and grew up walking past The Michelin Man every morning going to school.

Years later, when my son Harry was little, he’d squeal with delight when he’d see that vision from outer space.

The place grew older and shabbier. The proprietor went into retirement leaving the garage to his eldest. George-Michael didn’t have his heart in the business, he’d wanted to be a singer.  It wasn’t a surprise when he decided to close the doors  mentioning the economic crisis.

old  Mr. Michelin
changes through the years

(c) G.s.k. ’14


An Extra:

Michelin collage_small

I remember seeing the Michelin Man the first day I arrived in Italy, somewhere in Milan going from the airport to the train station. Over the years, his image, on television and in garages gradually changed. From a stout old debauchee with a cigar in his mouth advertising bicycle tires, he’s became a streaking slim white (young) outer-space sort of person advertising automobile tires. Gone is the cigar too .. no longer socially acceptable 😉

Linked to Friday Fictioneers

Morning Haiku and Waka – Shuukan – November 12, 2014


from black darkness
dreams of envy disperse
washed in purple

(c) G.s.k. ’14

Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods) …  

Imagine the scene: “Well, yes they do dance well together but  ….”  do you hear the jealousy … that but a conjunction which here doesn’t link anything … which just hangs there … whilst the speaker on the one hand is entertained by a vision of the dancers (but not because of admiration), on the other the speaker feels excluded … because he/she is sure that they can dance so much better – this is transmitted by a tone of voice and it’s also transmitted with that but.

Their jealousy is born from their need to be better than others … they need to be entertained, to be kept busy because somehow they feel a lack, they’re searching for something that should be theirs… because they exist –  they need something which helps them to be complete – because their focus is not on being … but competing and overcoming others.

Have you ever lived with someone who needs to be constantly entertained … someone a little paranoiac who feels the importance of his/her own worth …  one who has great intellectual powers but has no other interest outside of their own vision of themselves and needs the outside world to confirm their importance … in the Hindu vision of life there are many levels of life … Karma is the endless series of cycles that can take a living being from being an amoeba to the various realms of godhood and this has been picked up in Tibetan Buddhism:

“The Asura (Jealous God) Realm is marked by paranoia.

Asuras are hyper-competitive and paranoid. They are driven by a desire to beat their competition, and everyone is competition. They have power and resources and sometimes accomplish good things with them. But, always, their first priority is getting to the top. I think of powerful politicians or corporate leaders when I think of Asuras.

Chih-i (538-597), a patriarch of the T’ien-t’ai school, described the Asura this way: “Always desiring to be superior to others, having no patience for inferiors and belittling strangers; like a hawk, flying high above and looking down on others, and yet outwardly displaying justice, worship, wisdom, and faith — this is raising up the lowest order of good and walking the way of the Asuras.”

Asuras, who are also called “anti-gods,” are perpetually at war with the Devas of the God Realm. Auras think they belong in the God Realm and fight to get in, although here it seems the Asuras have formed a line of defense and are fighting the attacking Devas with bows and arrows. Some depictions of the Wheel of Life combine the Asura and God realms into one.

Sometimes there is a beautiful tree growing between the two realms, with its roots and trunk in the Asura Realm. But its branches and fruit are in the God Realm.”



The Wheel of Life: The Realm of Asuras. Jealous Gods and Paranoia.

In the west, we love the idea of Karma … reincarnation.  Hard to believe that for the Hindu, reincarnation is a tragedy and they seek Nirvana to stop the endless cycles (which is what  Siddhartha was seeking when he became the Buddha – Illuminated).  Even the Gods (Devas) eventually must return to a lower life form … so one chants the mantras and hopes one day to be illuminated and reach that state of peace known as Nirvana, which I think most of us in the West would rather not reach just yet … we are still in love with the Wheel …

from the lowly worm
the good Deva manifests
– once an Asura
OMMA  – gone pride and envy
as the dawn sun rises

another turning
another life – meets with death
the wheel turns again

(c) G.s.k. ’14

Linked to: Haiku Shuukan – Where the prompt is to write a haiku for the second segment of the mantra:  Om purifies bliss and pride (realm of the gods); Ma purifies jealousy and need for entertainment (realm of the jealous gods); Ni purifies passion and desire (human realm); Pad purifies ignorance and prejudice (animal realm); Me purifies greed and possessiveness (realm of the hungry ghosts); Hum purifies aggression and hatred (hell realm).