Painting the eye of the Daruma

I am painting the eye of my Daruma today as a sign that my wish has been finally granted.

A Daruma is a round doll without limbs usually made of papier-mâché or  wood. It represents Bodhidharma, founder of Zen, a very determined Buddhist monk who spent almost all his life in meditation. A Daruma is bought with white eyes and the tradition is to paint the first eye while making a wish and paint the second eye when the wish is granted.

The eye of the Daruma reminds us that we need to be determined to fulfill our wishes. Daruma means perseverance.

I bought my Daruma in Nagano, inside the Zenkoji Temple, more than one year ago. There was a stall selling various sizes of Daruma, one could choose to have it decorated by a professional or decorate it with markers made available in a side of the stall. We bought two Daruma dolls, one each, and we decided to decorate them ourselves. We sat on the benches and shared the markers with a 4 years old girl and her mum. We made mustache, eyebrows and added colors to the dress of our Daruma. The last step was to paint one eye and make our wish. We never told each other what our wish was.

I brought my Daruma home with me in Italy and placed it on a shelf; sometimes it was just a memory of a beautiful day, some other times I even forgot about it for a while but it has always been there while the days went by and my wish turned from a dream to whispered words and then it became reality.

I am painting the eye of the Daruma today because my wish was finally granted. We are now finally living together. I casually told him it was time for me to paint the eye of the Daruma we bought in Nagano and he said he has to do the same. Apparently we shared the same wish.

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