Today I went to the Portland Japanese Garden, ostensibly to see the ikebana show that is an annual adjunct of the Rose Festival (demonstrating how to incorporate roses into this traditional flower arranging art).
The arrangements were interesting but couldn’t hold a candle to the garden itself, which was arrayed in every shade of green imaginable, a perfectly framed view in every direction no matter where you stood. Here’s one shot to give you a sense of the lush beauty:
What really entranced me, however, were the paths… each one different, each one meandering off to another place, each one so irregular that you have to mind your step.
The paths don’t just take you from here to there; they are metaphoric – designed to make you think about your own life’s journey. Life’s twists and turns, dead ends, new vistas.
You are supposed to sloooww down. Look up. Look down.
Look around you.
Some of the paths have random rocks inserted in them, others have end tiles from roof caps, still others ask you to stop and simply appreciate the design at your feet.
I loved this detail. It’s an abstract work of art in stone and moss.