I was very poorly understanding a concept of Japanese gardening when I tried to share it with Scott the other day. About the wall. The wall for a garden, that is. In reading their book, “The Sound of Cherry Blossoms”, I thought that Mosko and Noden were almost requiring that a garden have a wall to shut out the rest of the world. To “be Zen”.
I was reading this as applicable to my art, too. That my art needed a wall, a frame… So I wanted to confirm that what I had told Scott was, in fact, what I had read.
No. It wasn’t. It wasn’t close.
Instead, the authors state:
Boundaries do not have to be walls or solid… (what you are looking for is something that) establishes the feeling of going from one place to another… Water, of all the elements, most closely resembles the nature of mind, therefore bridges have special meaning… They represent passing from one place to another, from one state of mind to another…
So, that feeling of transition is the key. And I love that it is about moving “from one state of mind to another”. Yes. That is without question:
With gardens, you want to take the person from pressing matters of the world to ease. From an often unattractive world to a desired one. From the mundane to the transported space.
We enter a garden. We enter a piece of art. We invite a transition. It can be soft, subtle. It can be beautiful. It can make you forget anything less than that.
It can shift your mind.