Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Late Evening, Ryoanji

The garden at Ryoanji is twenty-five metres long by ten across, bordered on three sides by moss and low clay walls, discoloured by oil. There are fifteen rocks in the centre, and gravel raked like seed furrows, or ripples in a garden pond. A bare willow droops over the wall, the audience sit on a wooden step on the opposite side. There are camera clicks and high-pitched laughs, voices saying nothing, Japanese counting the rocks: ichi, ni, san...

They could be anything. Or nothing. A sleeping turtle or a stretched out seal. Which, I guess, is kind of the point.

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