Wednesday, 3 June 2009

japanese waiting in black and white

the stones still wet
from the night's rain
if his straw sandals fail
to carry him across?

the rope of her heart
wrapping the gift:
a rock from her garden
of silence and longing.

the wind in her linen
how silly of her
to let such white
hinder his way.

a haze her eyes
the air bright
the door half-open
the kettle on

the flower of fear
the flower of hope
breathing together
a tangle of dreams

won't he come
won't he come

This post has been inspired by Lady Otomo No Sakanoe's poem (8th century):

You say, "I will come."
And you do not come.
Now you say, "I will not come."
So I shall expect you.
Have I learned to understand you?


  1. oh mr.. romantic, agony, warmth, passion, charm, maturity, legs.., white, heart, rainbow... you just remind me of those.. :p :p

  2. Your take on the original Japanese piece exceeds the promise and premise, magnificently.


  3. normally i just come looking, looking. you've outdone yourself with these words. well done!

  4. Ecoute je vais voir pour me procurer le livre , sur Amazon ou autre , mon nom est Allan Alexandre Foutrier pour les arts martiaux j’ai pratiqué le Karaté pendant 10 ans, ensuit Aikibudo plus ancien que l’aïkido et en 1998 j’ai rencontrer un Chinois qui donnais des cours de Taijiquan style Chen qui représente l’origine de toutes les écoles , la capacité du corps à se mouvoir en un seul ensemble , que je pratique toujours. Il y a un livre une petite merveille ‘’ LE LIVRE DU KI’’ de KOICHI TOHEI
    Qui parle de l’union de l’esprit et du corps dans la vie quotidienne, KOICHI TOHEI est un grand maitre d’Aïkido, élève D’Ueshida probablement le plus grand des maitres

    Les photos son très belle préfèrent la 2, paver du
    Japon mouiller un coeur pour moi la dernière très sensuelle cette femme à des très belles jambes et le shot très bonne ouverture.

  5. the kettle on...are there biscuits as well, those lemon custard ones?

    Lovely photos.

  6. every picture in the series is based on high contrast, apart from the last one, is that wise?

    (questioning artistic intentions since 2 weeks)

  7. Adelino, thank you!

    (i like your user pic, is this a painting of yours?)

  8. omg, Peter, do i really remind you of all those things? or perhaps i should ask differently: make a list of things which i don't remind you of :-P

  9. merc, what can i say - except bowing and smiling, but these are simple acts of joy which don't need words. nevertheless i 'say' them because it is the only way i've got to 'show' them to you.

  10. swiss, i thank you for 'just looking looking', always :-) but this doesn't mean that i am not happy when you write. and i think you might enjoy the next post, you'll see :-)

  11. Allan, je vais moi-aussi essayer de trouver le livre sur le ki, j'ai pratique un peu de Reiki moi-meme quand j'etais petite, toute seule - tu connais cette technique japonaise?

    je me disais que tu allais peut-etre aimer la melancholie sensuelle de la derniere photo, j'ai vu sur ton profile que tu ecoutais Brel, Piaf, Ferre etc. :-)

  12. anon :-)

    if there was once an emperor who used to walk naked while thinking he's got his best garments on, then i think it's not so strange that there is somebody thinking he writes anonymously when the signature of 'custard biscuits' glows in big crunchy letters all over his face :-P

  13. Eneles, i could point out to you that the last picture is the only one showing a human figure, this might be a clue as to why it had to be different than the rest. of course i could have had the series in soft grey hues and only in the last one high contrast, but this would have hinted at violent emotion and despair, while here i wanted to express a gently suffused longing. might this 'artistic intention' be sufficient for you today, after 2 weeks of inquiery? :-)

    (of course that is just silly banter, first i could ask you: since when am i to be thought of in terms of 'wise', that would be quite 'un-wise' of you, and secondly, give me a break, i have to work with whatever pictures i've got :-) oh, and thirdly, of course i understand why you ask, there might me indeed some opinion that white skin looks much better in high contrast, as proven somewhere else :-)

  14. it is not that i doubt your ability to justify whatever came to your mind ;) I just pointed at certain dissonance which was hardly justifiable (from my point of view)
    I would gladly give you a break, but there are 10 other people who do so (though i should mention 1,2,last are good)
    there is time for low contrast and time for high contrast. but not together ;) (ok, ok, you got a break now)

  15. Eneles, don't make me laugh, isn't there among my abilities also that of moving very quickly from very low to very high? :-P
    and among my pleasures the addiction to such rhythm disruptions? (as apparent to anyone following my blog, i think).
    though i know of course that something like this can only be disturbing for someone embracing the golden path of the middle way, however dusty it might appear to un-wise eyes :-)

  16. but how strange the change, from major to minor

  17. a rock from her garden
    of silence and longing.

    thank you for these meditations. i love them all, and the wrapped stone the most.

  18. speaking of quick changes going both ways, Eneles, could you please tell me which is the best method to save the entire blog offline? just in case i suddenly go into the mood of erasing everything and closing down :-)

    i have tried a software which promised even to pack the blog into a nice book but it all failed after installing.

  19. Manuela, thank you, from all my heart. it is strange that i still don't know the meaning of that wrapped stone, i keep forgetting to ask my Japanese friend...

  20. These translations from silence invite contemplation more than critique --- despite an edge of restlessness under the quiet of the waiting --- the only true response is to look, and read, and think Yes.

    I wouldn’t want to lose anything from this post, but I love the first poem best --- the longing and joy/dread at the end of a night’s vigil --- and the third photo --- incredible for the love its light has for these different textures, for wetness, for light and dark, for the mysteries of light in the dark….

  21. I went on a search trip on the net, about the stones:

    "a tome ishi (stop stone) or, to use its more descriptive name, a sekimori ishi (boundary-guard stone). It is a device used in Japanese gardens, particularly those with tea houses, to guide visitors along a prescribed route. You occasionally see them elsewhere, such as outside a traditional restaurant to indicate it's closed, but these whimsical wrong-way markers are most strongly associated with tea gardens.

    In legend, at least, sekimori ishi are linked to the great tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591). The story, as recorded in a renowned tea tome called the "Nanporoku," is that Rikyu once invited a famous Zen priest to call. But before the priest arrived, Rikyu placed a little pot in front of the door, wordlessly and playfully challenging his visitor to find a way in without crossing this symbolic barrier.

    No one knows whether Rikyu really did this, given that the story was recorded a full century after his death. And no one knows who decided to use a stone instead of a pot. But one way or another, the convention developed in tea circles of marking boundaries with a tied-up stone. Even today, part of the preparation for a tea ceremony is to set out these stones, not only to guide guests to the tea house but also to express the host's desire to help guests follow the correct spiritual path."

    "Of course, the rope makes the stone easier to notice, and to move from place to place. But ever since ancient times, Japanese people have used rope to mark off sacred space and designate things as divine. I believe the presence and authority in a sekimori ishii comes largely from the fact that it's bound in rope."

    the ropes of her heart...

    ps multumesc de companie pe blog azi, aveam nevoie.

  22. miununate, sensibile, vibrand a mister (ca intotdeauna)...

  23. I agree with swiss. The words here are as perfectly exact as the pictures.

  24. Aw shucks!Is I the only person in the world who likes dem custard biscuits?

    This naked emperor..did you see him or was he a figment of your imagination?

  25. James :-)

    a bit surprised you like the third one most, but Allan said that too, so i can only smile :-)

    but i thought you might love the first "poem" (no, you will never convince me of using this word for my playing on the blog :-) - it could be a nice counterpart to the 'aubade'-feeling, no? the waiting that will perhaps get fulfilled at dawn, not the other way round.

    i love it when somebody gets silent looking at my pictures, but i welcome 'critique' too :-) - to paraphrase one of my favourite poets alive: "my images are not sacred objects that cannot be touched" :-P

  26. oh Manu, thank you!!!! see, why i had to keep forgetting about asking, so that everything comes together now, to a new meaning, in such a beautiful, spontaneous way...

    to guide the guest and mark off the sacred space... the sacred space of the heart... i love it! :-) i could use that pic as a header for the entire blog - if i ever wanted such a thing, and if that space hadn't be already reserved for an invisible floating bridge :-)

  27. Simona, ce ma bucur ca le lauzi :-)

  28. wow, Sorlil, thank you, so incredibly kind of you to say so...

  29. anon, no, you are not the only person in the world liking the custard biscuits, but most likely the only one thinking about them in front of this post - or perhaps: if others were thinking about them too, they would certainly feel ashamed and not mention it, but you, you say everything aloud, with the delightful candour of a never growing-up child :-P (let's assume it's candour and not simply gluttony :-)

  30. that would be encouraging majors and minors ;) and thus unfair to the Chorus of Superlative ;) I cannot do that onto them

  31. and wouldn't i have won one million if i had bet this would be your answer, Eneles? :-)

    i read it could happen that something goes wrong with blogger and archives get lost, i would really like to keep my texts. i only have them here online.

    (change of strategy)

    (btw, still waiting for the other answer)

  32. for a change, i attribute it to your powerful mind rather than my own predictability ;)
    also, I respect changes of strategy , so here
    and Chorus of Superlative may order your blog at Blog2Print ;)

  33. for a change, my 'powerful mind' is quite pleased with your 'predictability', i had of course foreseen that 2nd strategy would be successful :-)

    thank you, Eneles.

  34. an elegiac post....
    the full sober force and elegance of B&W .... yes, these photos are in the same key as that line:
    "a rock from her garden
    of silence and longing."

    (& a general musing: quite astonishing really, the range of your visual sensibility and inventiveness)

  35. fff
    (another particular blushing for your general musing :-), but i am afraid this would be a poor match for an elegiac and sober b&w post - couldn't one go pale and sober as a rection to praise, just for one time? :-)