In Search of Beauty

I awakened in Japan this morning to learn of the terrorist outrage in lower Manhattan.  It’s not the news any of us want to see wherever we are.  We live in times that can easily be called disheartening.  I have felt the encroaching darkness  for several months for reasons that don’t require illumination. Anyone with a functioning sensory mechanism has most likely felt a similar reaction to the political turmoil.

I looked forward to my Japanese visit as a way to reassure myself that there is still some semblance of decency and sanity remaining in the world.  One doesn’t need to come to Japan to find it, of course, but for me, it makes it easier.

Appreciation of nature’s  beauty is built into this culture and readily accessible. I am far from alone in my quest for distraction and sustenance.  In the popular gardens, hundreds of tourists armed with phones and cameras clog the pathways, searching for their own moments of inspiration.  Mostly, they seem preoccupied with taking selfies in front of a photogenic backdrop. I determine in the future  to avoid these congregations as much as possible and focus my attention on the less obvious, making a vow to avoid these over popular spots.

Yesterday, we went to Arashiyama, to show our house guest the Western foothills of Kyoto.  We visited Tenryuji, a world heritage site, and then wandered the bamboo forest, encountering some exuberant schoolgirls and many tourists along the way.

There’s comfort in the changing seasons and the appearance of the first camellias of the coming winter season. 

There’s comfort in knowing that the leaves are still changing color. 

There’s comfort in feeling the first crisp fall day that requires me to pull out a favorite wool scarf.  There’s comfort in watching a child being taught to feel the water used to purify at a temple. 

And finally, there’s comfort in learning that a dear friend, stayed safe today in lower Manhattan, although barely escaping the rampage.


5 Comments on “In Search of Beauty

  1. Great photos on all your posts Dianne! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, your writing is as beautiful as your photos! This makes me want to go back!

  2. Mark, your thanks mean a lot to me. writing helps me to clarify and share my feelings so it’s a gift for me to have a reader who gets it!

  3. Thank you for this. You have a way of putting into words what everyone is feeling and at the same time sharing this wonderful world that you live in with all of us. What a gift!

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