Posts Tagged ‘Carol Miller’

It must be about fifteen years ago that I read an article in National Geographic on Japanese aesthetic.  Just now  I found a reference to it online:  “Shibui: A Messenger of Peace in Nature, Humanity and Diplomacy” by Carol Miller.

Does not the sight of a single leaf, seen through a fence, capture your     breath? In this split second of perception and veneration, motion ceases and mindfulness increases. This moment awakens one to enlightenment and wisdom. This moment is shibui.

I don’t remember the text in that National Geo article but the image of that leaf sticking through a fence has stayed with me.  When I saw the image I didn’t have to be instructed about this “other culture’s “ sensibility. I was already acquainted with the term shibui. But this magazine picture triggered  a moment of recognition.  This was my sensibility and there was a word for it.

Writers like to say, they don’t know what they’re thinking until they write it.  Painters also don’t know what they feel until they have painted it.  Art making is not about premeditation but about recognition and discovery.

About four years ago I built a fence and a little seating enclosure at my side door.  A narrow planter box became part of the structure.  I needed it, actually, to strengthen the whole arrangement, since my carpentry skills are rather feeble.  But I planned it in such a way that the full blast of the annuals would be towards the street, to be seen by the public, while on the private side where the benches are, the inpatients would be peaking through the fence.  That sight is for me.  As I go in and out and muck about my daily chores, there’s a moment of recognition.


All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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