Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the secret garden

These are studies for some new paintings I'm thinking up. Ideas are so much like bubbles: they come up, fully formed and yet always forming, being and yet also becoming, transparent to their environment, just like us, and just like life, don't ya know it. At the top are postcards I've collected from my journey, hanging above my kitchen sink.

Dear Friends,
Right now we are in the middle of the rainy season, "tsuyu." Muted colors, muted minds, mist, mountains, and melodies mumbling the bright sunlight coming in from the other shore. It's cold, gray, hot, and wet all the time. Sometimes the sun comes over to check up on us. Every now and then, unexpectedly, it's bright. But overall June is the month of wet gray heat and frogs in the rice paddies.
The rice paddies are all planted and squirming with tadpoles, and sometimes a silvery foam shatters vision with reflected skylight; gray, green, gold, and silver all mix together and old ladies in big hats stare at the helmeted foreigner pulling aside to take a picture of its glory.
Magnificent koi live in the streams that flow throughout my city, and they move through space just like our thoughts and experiences move though the primordial opening--the spaciousness of ordinary Mind; Luminouse Emptiness. The fish, like all experiences, unexpectedly surface, turn, shift, and dance through the water, never leaving any trace of where they've been, and never staying still for even a second. Grasp at experience and watch it disappear back into the depths of the Mystery. Try to hold on and watch her slip away; the nature of life is impermanence. and Impermanace is change, without which there can be no fleeting beauty, always leaving, and always coming. The koi are good teachers of this.

Also, every single koi (thought)(dream) is different; a once-in-a-lifetime chance. And every koi (thought)(dream) is beautiful, reflecting the sunlight, reflecting the source. As you can tell, I really like watching koi swim in the streams.
In this picture a silvery glitter blankets green babies, standing knee deep in mud, cute little guys, all in a row. "Heave, ho! Heave Ho!" Look at them all standing out there in rows! Good luck fellas! In October they will be harvested, and the green will turn into gold;

green turns to gold, young into old, have into hold, make into mold, and that's just the way it is around here.
There is incredible live music in Ehime, events abound. For example, The Fixations are 7 ALTs from Ehime performing 60's and 70's hits, nostalgic and accurate like the Supremes, with high level skill. Here they are performing at Bellini's in Saijo. One reason I like this club is because, being owned by a hip Canadian, Bellini's is non-smoking, just like bars back homr. I think it is the only smoke-free club in all Shikoku. Friday Bellini's is hosting a farewell party for all my English teacher friends returning home this summer. And then Saturday and Sunday is an all day, all night rave and live art session, with amazing performances, camping, live painting, and The Fixations at around 5:00 (on Saturday). If it rains...we get wet.

Speaking of which, last weekend some friends and I took a trip to see the great waterfall in Niihama. The hike was magnificent, ending with a shrine deep in the forest, up on a cliff by the opening of the fall. Behind the shrine was a secret path leading up to a stony cliff where the brave could inch out into the waterfall, hold on tightly to a slimy, rusty chain, and face death. You can see that spot in the photo; it's near the top, where the water suddenly hits rock and widens.

This waterfall is actually just a few minutes by car from my house. Sometimes monkeys can be seen playing those trees.

And finally, here are pictures of Niihama's Secret Garden. This garden, because it is secret, is always abandoned, and whenever I go there with friends we are the only ones, alone with an fairyland forest covered in moss and streams and dragons and temples. We play barefoot until the mosquitoes are too much to bare, and then we escape into city, quilted with rice paddies filled with frogs. The garden waits, in secret, prepareing for our return.

Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

Your Brother - Kyle said...

Thanks for keeping us updated! Much love!

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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