Feathered Sculpture - Virgil A. Walker

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Ken

Pheasant, chicken


In an interesting confluence of personal significances, I chose Ken No Sen from Miyamoto Musashi’s treatise on conflict, the Go Rin No Sho or Book of Five Rings. Ken No Sen is the first of three methods he outlines for forestalling the enemy:

“When you decide to attack, keep calm and dash in quickly, forestalling the enemy. Or you can advance seemingly strongly but with a reserved spirit, forestalling him with the reserve.

“Alternatively, advance with as strong a spirit as possible, and when you reach the enemy move with your feet a little quicker than normal, unsettling him and overwhelming him sharply.

“Or, with your spirit calm, attack with a feeling of constantly crushing the enemy, from first to last. The spirit is to win in the depths of the enemy.

These are all Ken No Sen.”

Ken is also the name of my oldest son. He is a chief on the USS Peleliu, currently in the Arabian Sea, and finished a recent email with the closing line “from the razor sharp edge on the sword of freedom.”

   Photo:  Mark Miskill

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