The path to Enlightenment can sometimes be a very lonely one indeed.
I am constantly drawn to Nature. I have decided that I could never live in a city. I need to be able to see the trees and the fields, to lie in the grass and see the blue sky above me, to hear the birdsong and the rustle of the leaves as the wind blows through the branches of the trees. In Nature I feel safe, rested, calm….. I feel at peace. I feel I belong.
I call this one Five Sisters. It sounds rather earthy, a little like some of the standing stones that we see dotted around the country. This is Art in Nature, natural art. Taken in Castle Eden Dene, a jewel in the North East. A hidden jewel at that as I don’t think many people know about it. It used to belong to the Burdon family and was a private area. The common folk were not allowed to walk through it. Now its open for everyone and it is such a beautiful place.
Shibui – elegant, simple beauty.
Finally managed a walk out to the woods today. It was a toss up between that and falling asleep on the sofa. The sleep nearly won, especially after having done a good stint in the front garden getting some of the weeds to give up their home. Damn weeds played hard ball but I got them evicted in the end.
But instead I opted to head out across the fields. It was hard going trying to walk along the furrows, not good for the soles of the feet. But it was well worth it as I managed, right place, right time, to catch sight of a hare. Beautiful, gallant hare, my lucky charm, my protector. It must be an omen. I wonder if the hare is lucky in Japanese mythology. Too fast for me to take a photo though. Maybe next time I’ll capture him.
The wood was ever so peaceful. Everything had grown so much since last time I was there making it more difficult to get through the hedges and under the canopy of the trees. No prying eyes, no-one to spy on me. Just me, the trees and my camera. Oh and the birds with their beautiful birdsong.
Experimenting is fun. I still don’t know what I want to achieve. I still don’t know if I will use colour in this project. I’m not sure which of these photographs depicts any of the seven aesthetic principles of zen philosophy.
I like both of them. No I love both of them, especially the black and white one. It has one element of Japan that I am trying to bring into my photographs, an odd number, five. I know that four is an unlucky number in Japan as is sometimes pronounced shi, which is the word for death. So five it was. These five trees stood out to me, they were growing in close unison with each other. All the other trees in the wood seemed further away from them. It was almost like they were posing, ready to have their photo taken. I certainly can’t describe this photograph as Fukinsei, which means irregularity, asymmetry, but maybe it could take on some of the other aesthetics such as, Kenso – simplicity, Shizen – without pretense, natural, Datsuzoku – unbounded by convention, Seijaku – tranquility, Yugen – profound grace and last but not least, Shiburi – elegant, simplicity.
I think I’ve become slightly obsessed with Japan, but then I think I always was. I even dreamt of visiting the country once. That of course would be nigh on impossible now due to my fear of flying, and lack of funds. But that doesn’t stop me visiting places like the Oriental museum in Durham which I mentioned in my last post. I now have two books winging their way to me, one on Shinto, and one on Buddhism. I am intrigued by the beliefs of Shinto and its relation to Nature. It is quite similar to what I believe as a Pagan, that we should live in harmony with Nature, and that the spiritual beings live within Nature, in the trees, the mountains etc. I am not intending to make this project into a spiritual one, I have a project still simmering in the background that relates to my Pagan beliefs. But I do want to study the aesthetics of Japanese, and Chinese, art and the correlation to Nature.
For research purposes I took a trip to the Oriental museum at Durham. I was, literally, in seventh heaven. The displays were beautiful and so fascinating. And of course I couldn’t resist a little souvenir, a Japanese tea set to help get me in the zone for my new project. I am fascinated by the aesthetics of Japanese art. I am exploring the seven aesthetic principles of Zen philosophy and how to interpret them in the photographs I will be taking. Whether I achieve it I don’t know but it will be both an informative and spiritual journey I will be taking.