He was dying. He dindn´t care. That he could be saved or helped to live longer, was a notion which only very vaguely came to him. But he wasn´t going to waste one bit of energy trying to hold on to life. On the contrary, he was going to build up inner strength: courage, that is, to cross the pale divide into the other world.
His name was Hiroshige Ando . As a little boy, his father had taking him to the shore of a wide river. It was almost like the sea, that river, since its waves showed an array of colours only the ocean can make. The boy understood that it wasn´t the river who made those colours, but the wind, flying on the water, invisible but adamant. The child wondered if his father could answer the question.
"Is the wind a painter, father?" He asked
"Yes" said his father. "The wind is the painter who paints the water"
"That is why" thought the boy "we can see the water, with all the colours"
He thought about his father: how the dark eyes were beginning to flow away with the the river, into a distance of light and mist.
The boy remembered for the rest of his life the next thing his father said: "The wind paints the river, so we can see its beauty. But Ando, who will paint the wind, which is still invisible to us?" And so Hiroshige Ando spent the rest of his life trying to depict the wind. Although he succeded, his father could not see it, for he had been long dead by the time the wind flowed with the inks out of Ando´s brushes.
So, Hiroshige thought:"who will paint the sorrow of man?"
And, ready to sleep, he threw his brushes into the darkness, and let his old head rest on the snow.