Laughter and Prayer

Otagi-Nembutsuji-prayer-1
Otagi-Nembutsuji-prayer-1

This rakan from Otagai Nenbutsu-ji in Kyoto reminds me of the last lines of one of my favorite novels, Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth. At the end of the novel, Gully Jimson, an artist, con-man, and admirer of William Blake, lies dying, and a nun is with him in his last moments. This is what he says to her:

"How don't you enjoy life, mother. I should laugh all round my neck at this minute if my shirt wasn't a bit on the tight side."

"It would be better for you to pray." (The nun responds.)

"Same thing, mother."

What else needs to be said?