"And when the sun has begun to sink behind the rim of the hills, I sit quietly in the evening waiting for the moon so that I may have a shadow for company, or light a lamp and discuss right and wrong with my silhouette.
"But when all has been said, I am not really the kind who is so completely enamored of solitude that he must hide every trace of himself away in the mountains and wilds. It's just that, troubled by frequent illness and weary with dealing with people, I've come to dislike society. Again and again I think of the mistakes I've made in my clumsiness over the course of the years. There was a time when I envied those who had government offices or impressive domains, and on another occasion I considered entering the precincts of the Buddha and the teaching room of the patriarchs. Instead, I've worn out my body in journeys that are as aimless as the winds and clouds and expended my feelings on birds and flowers. But somehow I've been able to make a living this way, and so in the end, unskilled and talentless as I am, I give myself wholly to this one concern, poetry. Po Chu-i worked so hard at it that he almost ruined his five vital organs, and Tu Fu grew lean and emaciated because of it. As far as the intelligence or quality of our writing goes, I can never compare to such men. And yet we all in the end live, do we not, in a phantom dwelling? But enough of that - I'm off to bed."
from "The Hut of the Phantom Dwelling" by Matsuo Basho