Friday, February 07, 2014

Zen Landscapes

I'm still thinking about Zen Landscapes by Allen S. Weiss. The unity of Zen aesthetics in landscaping, flower-arrangement, ceramics and poetry, all ultimately informed by the tea ceremony. A stone on a bed of gravel may constitute a garden worthy of contemplation. Raked to represent waves, the gravel is thus both fixed and moving, permanent and transient. Flaws are part of the beauty of the contemplated object. I don't think W. H. Auden was into Zen, but he captured the sentiment in "And the crack in the tea-cup opens / A lane to the land of the dead."

again I passed
the garden without looking,
some snow, a stone

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