Thursday, November 10, 2011

autumnal adventuring

Today Emily and I thoroughly enjoyed a trip up to the Portland Japanese Garden. I'd had my heart set on seeing the "Mottainai: The Fabric of Life - Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan" exhibit. It did not disappoint; there is a world of difference between pictures on the electronic screen, and standing inches away from real artifacts.
The word “mottainai”, which means "waste nothing!" does not preclude beauty. This gauze textile (used as mosquito screening) is patched and repatched, and has an incredible functional beauty. There is much to appreciate in seeing and aesthetic of cherishing every bit of the available resource, rather than discarding what needs repair...there were so many beautiful textile artifacts, the product of japanese folk culture, in the exhibit ... I found the simple patchwork of these bags very appealing
the neckline of a jacket? with disc-shaped frogs, fastening with various loops and hooks. The worn place just to the right of the upper frog, is where the metal hook has left its mark...
Graceful curves on a small metal hook, that fastens a jacket neckline, and a closer view of a simple round frog, braided from indigo cordage.
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We did not spend our entire visit inside the exhibit hall, for the garden was far too autumnal and vivid to resist...
Just outside the hall, somehow, the deep and abiding green only intensifies the red of the maple leaves. There is something lovely to see with every step along the pathways. There was a pergola carrying venerable wisteria, and looking up the trunk, all moss bedecked, seemed like another kind of I so often notice, there is beauty to be found right at your feet... after looking up at the wisteria, I looked down to find this oh so japanese vignette. Wouldn't this make a beautiful design on a length of fabric for a kimono?in the big pond in the garden, koi of various colors drift above the fallen leaves...while in the formal garden, the raked ripples are also graced with fallen leaves
the soft November light glows through the laceleaf maple, while mushrooms large and small dapple the ground...Thank you Emily, for sharing the adventure, and for showing me the Thistle Elementals that live just a bit further down the hill from the garden...
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dog is on watch,
patiently waiting for relief

1 comment:

  1. I have been there, but it has been too many years. On the next trip I must stop again. Dad didn't feel much like any excursions so we stuck close to home, but I did drive up to Willamette cemetary to pay my respects to three family members buried there.

    I hope you can give comfort to your friend in this difficult time. Bless you.