Monday, November 24, 2014

Aka Aki (Red Autumn): Explosion In The Garden (Photo/Video)

Aka Rain 2

without a hat
a winter rain falls on me,
so what

The "gales of November came early" this year, a three day freeze turning a somewhat timid garden into an explosion of colors. As a coda to the midweek freeze we had a gentle Japanese rain on Saturday. Apparently it was enough of a rain to keep out the hordes but as usual, the rain drew me in. Thank God. I was regaled by spectacular colors left and right, above and below. I literally gasped. These are my beloved Japans, a jewel of the world, sprinkling her influence around the globe.

Aka 92

Aka 51

Aka 23

Aka 31

the color of wind
planted artlessly
in an autumn garden

"Great day for taking pictures, isn't it?"

I was accosted by a fellow photographer, no doubt noticing the look of marvel on my face.

"It's unbelievable!" I replied, also noticing the look of marvel on his face. "There should be 500 people here."

"I agree!"

Aka 67

Aka 68

Aka 43

Aka 72

sweeping the garden
I want to leave in the temple
scattered willow leaves

I came for the reds. I was going to do a theme on all the shades of red in the autumn garden: the magentas, the scarlets, the crimsons, the burgandys, and what I call the 'electric reds', a color that hit me like a lightening bolt when I first saw it. I stuck with the theme but I couldn't ignore the overall beauty as I staggered along. "This is a gift" I thought to myself. "Take it all in."

There's an urge when entering such an enchanted realm to want to possess it, to never let go, to hold on to its presence forever. I dream of having my own garden to while away the hours day after day, immersing myself in the moment, unconscious of time. Perhaps then I could requite my desires. But then I remember this is a temple to be accepted on its own terms - and in that is wisdom - dammit.

Aka 1

Aka 58

Aka 49

Aka 64

this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds

On the other side of the world: mass executions without reason, oppression without end, and those more desperate for war than peace. Here, we see the institutionalization of greed, the protection of corruption at any cost, and the illusion of corporate profits defining our primary national interests. I walk in fear wondering how much of that is inside me; to what am I contributing?

This is my sanctuary but I find it impossible to isolate myself here. I can only recognize this moment, this raindrop, this dream. That's enough for now.

Aka 76

Aka 91

Aka 50

Aka 46


I made three different videos. The first with a soundtrack from "The Natural Sounds of Japan" (courtesy of bbd). The second echoes simply with the sounds of the garden. And lastly I combine the sounds with that of a solitary bamboo flute. Take a stroll through paradise before it's lost.

All poetry courtesy of Basho, wandering Japanese monk.

Click here for the entire photo set

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