As promised, here are a few images from my Feb 2006 trip to the Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon. I defy you to feel Holiday angst while browsing these images. I may need to print one out wall-sized and hang it directly behind my computer.
I’m sorry I waited so many months to say something about my visit to this wonderful garden because my feeling for the place isn’t up at the surface. However orderly, misty, and calm comes to mind. I enjoy visiting a garden like this in part because the contrast between my own gardening practice and a garden like this is so extreme and direct. I can’t help but be in awe of such constrained tidiness. It is not the kind of constraint that makes the muscles in a certain rear area tense up, but the kind of restraint that freaks you out with its intelligence and sense of purpose. There’s a feeling that places like this carry that make me hyper-aware of my behaviour.
Stay calm. Be quiet. Walk slowly. Don’t break anything. Good thing I am showered and wearing clean underwear.
I wanted to run around and express my excitment as I usually do when I’m surrounded by new plants and landscapes, making me feel like a keyed up kid in church who’s got to stay quiet for a whole fifty-nine more minutes. And despite the twitchiness and the certainty I would stumble on a smooth rock and knock over a 300 year old bonsai, I was surprised that despite our frenzied tourist rush I did become calm, and filled with The Deep Thoughts.
- I am amazed by this staking technique.
- Moss and lichens everywhere. It’s adds another level of interest to leafless trees.
- The Sand and Stone Garden
- I took this one while resting on a bench inside a pagoda. Sitting here made me wish we had a garden like this in Toronto that I could visit and sit in quietly for hours on end. Alas we had things to see and places to go which is kind of contrary to the contemplativeness of the Japanese Garden.
- I love the sleek stones against the mossy green ground.
- More moss. More GREEN.
- I tried to be quiet but this camera shutter lands with a deep “thud.” I think I may have upset this vistitor’s solitude. Sorry dude.