Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Molly came! I picked her up in Osaka. I was there a day early (the last one standing at the gate, holding a “Molly Meers” sign, waiting, getting sad looks from strangers) because she told me the wrong day. But no problem. I had a great extra day in Osaka.

Molly spent almost her entire trip on the island of Shikoku, where I live. Shikoku is the smallest of the four major islands of Japan (Hokkaido, the northernmost island, is interestingly the same size as Ireland). Shikoku is most famous for the 88-temple pilgrimage. We visited temple number 51—the strange one with caves and tacky cement sculptures of Indian deities from the 70s. I mostly enjoyed taking pictures of Molly; she is so extraordinarily beautiful. Just look at those eyes and those lips! Her mother, father, and brothers are equally magnificent.

The most impressive place we went I think (besides Chiiori, the 300 year old farmhouse in the mountains) was Kosanji. Kosanji was on a small island called Ikuchi, and it stands as the most extravagant, extraordinary temple I have seen while living here. Modeled after the famous Nikko temple complex in northern Japan, this temple specializes in its intricate woodwork and painting. But it also included a network of caves with waterfalls and thousands of deities carved into the stone. The beginning of the caves represented the hells, and then as we progressed (or regressed, or descended) deeper, we moved into the higher realms, the hungry ghost, then the animal, human, angelic, godly, and then the Buddha realms. When we finally emerged from the womb of the earth, of which every pore is a Deity, there to greet us was a large sculpture of Kannon, (Quan Yin/Avalokisvara) which represents the feminine, the compassion, the grace. And beyond her, far in the distance, perched next to the sea and farmland, was a large white sculpture called the Tower of Light, made from imported marble from Italy. This heavenly playground was open for all to climb on and to touch.

Ands she helped me clean my kitchen. “David, get in here. We’re cleaning your kitchen.” and she gracefully cleaned out my refrigerator, finding the old yogurt and shriveled up carrots that had been lost oh so long ago. God bless her.

I of course also took molly to the secret garden in Niihama and to the shrine by my apartment with the thousand year-old trees. There I followed her around as she touched and smelled and admired each and every old tree. “Oh my God, smell this one!” She’d say. I had never actually smelled the trees before. I had hugged them, rubbed them, pushed on them, even kissed them, but I had never actually smelled them. She taught me a new way to experience the earth. With each friendship I learn more and more ways to experience the sensible delight of nature divine (and I hope my art, like all art, can give you all a new perspective and avenue of worship).


Anonymous said...

incredible! myaxoxoxmdk&b

lauren said...

your portraits of her are pretty great!

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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