I'm staging my own private rebellion this morning. I was supposed to go to the African food class; went back to bed instead. This is the second of this term's classes I've bailed on. My tolerance for nonsense gets shorter and shorter. The problem is finding replacements. I don't want to sit home in front of the computer. I do too much of that already. I'm still turned on by the Japanese art history; still doing the reading. I've decided to write a final paper this semester–about Japanese gardens, of course. Then I can put it in my book.
A one paragraph statement about our final project is due today. Here is my statement:
I walk through a Japanese Garden in much the same way I walk through a museum, each few steps showing me a new view or picture to examine and appreciate. Some gardens give me more pleasure, I return to them over and over. Others don't hold the same enchantment. I look for magic in a garden, just as I look for magic in a work of art. That's the only way I can define it. Most Japanese gardens have the same elements: greenery, water, rocks, stone lanterns; yet they seem to be able to come up with infinite variations. Clearly, some are more successful than others. Some don't begin to be interesting. I propose to examine three or four stroll gardens, considered to be among the most beautiful in Japan, in terms of their use of space (mapping), illusion (shakkei or captured scenery), management of vegetation and growth, replication of famous places.
This is an opportunity to explore why I liked some gardens and not others. I am delighted with the serendipity.