Saturday, June 05, 2010

sailing to shishi island

photograph of the sea by Hiroshi Sugimoto, mounted on a 13th century bronze buddhist reliquary fragment.

Two of my best friends decided to take me on a sailing trip to see a sacred tree.
Our captain: Ty Curtis.
His boat, Watermelon.

Shortly after pushoff, an old fisherman pulled us over, told us to stay clear of his nets, and then gave us some really nice fish (kurodai). We ate them for lunch the next day.

That's me.
We sailed into the night. Strong wind, sweet sake.
In the morning we landed on the tiny island Shishijima, home to a 1,200 year old camphor tree. Only about 30 people live on the island. Near the top was a large abandoned temple, housing beautiful buddhas and deities. It's a real shame there is no monk there to take care of the place. I dream that I will come back to the island and be the monk for the large temple next to the 12oo year old tree. Have you seen The Fountain? It would be like that, mixed with Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring.
The first thing we saw on our way to the tree was a seriously strange cemetary...tiny shrines all brightly painted with bamboo screens covering their doors. I lifted a screen up; there was nothing inside...The shrines were all empty.
Here we are next to the abandoned temple. After a short hike through the town and up the hills we reached the tree.
Due to a mud slide many years ago, most of the tree's trunk is underground, giving us a great view of its body. It's like we got a bird's eye view of the tree.
standing on the hill looking down at Ty. That blue through the leaves is the ocean.
That is shikoku seen from the island. This was easily one of the best trips of my life.
God. Please enlarge these pictures to see all the detail.

1 comment:

Mark Harman said...

Beautiful trip, David. I hope to see this tree if future paintings!

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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