Thursday, 14 November 2013

when i scoop the water, i hold the moon in my hands

During the days of the Matsudaira Lords, the summer villa, Kikugetsu-tei, was the venue for aesthetic recreations such as the Tea Ceremony, moon viewing, and poetry composition by members of the cultured samurai class. Sited in the southwest corner of the lake the house is embraced by a sand and rock garden containing byobu matsu pines and palm trees. The sand garden is combed in wave-like patterns and crossed by stepping-stone paths. 

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The front room of the villa faces east on to the lake. It is said that moon viewing parties were held there inspired by an old Cinese poem that referred to "the moon in the hand." One could touch the reflection of the moon in the pond, which gave rise to the name of the villa, Moon Scooping Summer House.

 photo teahouse6_zps75f79b3d.jpg .

more about this famous Japanese garden here



  1. Very nice. i only have one criticism: it's too long for a fortune cookie.

    Let me try to shrink it down for you. "May your joy be as full as a crescent moon."

    Now that's a good sound-bite, and it fits nicely on that little white strip of paper you sometimes have to cough up because you thought the almond mush in your mouth was a factory reject, devoid of its tiny banner.

    But will the public at large (a public so used to swallowing wholesome lies from paid celebrities) notice that a crescent, by definition is a fractional measure--and what does that say about your joy? May your joy be as full as your nearly empty gas tank. Do you see what i mean? [Maybe they say petrol in Poland. Gas is almost surely an Americanism. Ed.]

    Still, the public isn't there. The public left as soon as the word moon, a glowing sphere, entered their impressionable minds (think teenager in terms of depth of understanding) and walked away happy.

    [wholesome lies--new heights in oxymoronic play--Ed.]

    1. i am rewriting the ending (endless options for an ending, isn't this a hugely beloved postmodern trick?): the public has not left, but undeterred by questions about fractions and measures and seemingly unending paradoxes, is contemplating not the moon, but the rabbit in the moon, waiting for it to finish pounding the ingredients for the most delicious rice cake ever (gluten being out :-).

      what about this, are you content? :-)

      see the link for the cakes:

  2. hello my beautiful friend,aaaaaaaah this is breathtakingly beautiful.this post is like a prayer, a quiet contemplation in itself.for me the sand garden represents well universal symbolism is thesamd sea and the rock islands and it seems to me that the emphasis of this dry landscape is to avoid the distractions of life and to focus on the solidarity of existence alone where the flowers of life are so beautiful but they are ephemeral and therefore not the center.
    I think this is an interpretation of what I meant to say in your journal the other day, how my life rushes by on rare occasions though as if the events of it didnt really matter but only the sense of existence.
    and I love this moon scooping idea as if that would complete the meditation making it whole as the moon represents the dream fabric of existence.
    I cant help but share with Prospero(wink and smile) that the crescent moon can represent a hook for hanging up your multicoloured dream coat.
    thankyou my friend.
    HUGS and LOVE

    1. dear Madeleine, i totally agree with your interpretations and i am very grateful that you walk and sit and meditate in this garden with me.

  3. Replies
    1. maybe you could make a collage inspired by this? :-)

  4. ce frumos mi-am inceput dimineata,ca si cand as fi mers la un templu in care luna este perena:) ma uit uneori la aceste frumuseti calme ca si cand ar incremeni asa pentru vecie,sub lumina lunii,si as vrea mai mult ca orice un matcha, care sa prinda in el luna,si toate ideile mele despre care cratere si tacere; si ma gandesc ca acolo oamenii asteptau luna,noaptea asa cum asteaptau curtenii pe vremuri balurile, la fel si Cenusareasa:)

    1. asa este, ma intreb si eu cum este sa fii un astfel de om, care stie sa astepte luna asa, si apoi fiecare frunzulita si fiecare floare si fiecare vant si nor tot in acest fel, ce templu urias al corespondentelor ar deveni atunci totul...
      (cu plecaciuni pentru baudelaire de la care am imprumutat, desigur, metafora :-)

  5. :: silence ::


  6. (One, and the last two.)

    Are not all measures, axiomatically, fractional? ['measure' here used in its metrical sense.] That is, from a common perspective all measurement surely must be a form of subdivision, of counting, mustn't it? Like slicing. These are serious and important questions, though?

    Yes, there is only being and not-being, we all know this, under it all, but under it all is not where the awareness dwells. The duality is obvious. What isn't obvious is the nature of the interstices. Yin-Yang is a simplified representation of this, and divides better than the bisected circle, and it's better than a smooth-shaded spectrum of apparent grey, but has the property of seeming simplicity.

    Anyway, you get this or you don't: it doesn't change the art, only the reading. And it will aid in learning basic Chinese, which may be good. (-;

    1. well, the crescent is only fractional compared to the full moon, and the full moon is only full compared to the crescent! but what is interesting is, indeed: "the nature of the interstices": what happens when the crescent becomes the full moon, and vice versa? what is the grey zone in-between, when neither of them exist, and neither has yet ceased to be?

      ps. the duality is obvious, but only to the european mind :-)

  7. welches glück du hattest, diesen wundervollen garten sehen zu dürfen! und die bilder erzählen von der stille, der harmonie und der schönheit dort.
    alles liebste dir, prinzessin!

    1. ja, meine liebste Prinzessin, ein wahrer Segen, dass ich dort sein durfte! ich war mir sicher, dass diese Bilder Dich auch erfreuen werden!
      liebste Gruesse und endlich ein Laecheln (auch wenn ich noch viel huste!!!)