Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AWAKENINGS

Entering it
You enter yourself:
The world connects
And closes like a ring.
---Octavio Paz



Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
Where everything shines as it disappears.
---Rainer Maria Rilke


assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.
----Czelsaw Milosz

At Nishiki Market, Kyoto


Torii are gateways at the entrance of Shinto shrines, or "jinja". They are typically made of wood, stone or sometimes, iron. Most wooden torii are painted in red. Torii literally means "where birds reside". It sometimes happens that Buddhist temples have a torii, too. The most amazing place to see torii gates is Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Taisha, where hundreds and hundreds of them are lined up in a tunnel-like fashion. The Inari shrine honors the Kami of rice. There you will also find fox statues as they are the messengers of Inari.
I felt that these torii gates were my first "welcome" to another world. These gates are the division between the physical and spiritual worlds. When I stepped under the gates into the temple grounds, a feeling of renewal come over me.
Odds are you could
Find yourself
Here in this passage between
Moonlight
And dawn,
Seeing change
Move
Through the backwater eddies
And the mainstream flows
Of the world around you---
Thinking through
Choice
And chance,
About things
That have already been
And
Might yet be.
-----Unknown

41 comments:

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a beautiful poetic account of your welcome to Japan and Kyoto. I can feel myself slipping into the sacred spiritual space as I read your words, see the images and read the quotes. Welcome home Donna!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

And Wow! That new header!

Lisa said...

what a fabulously inspirational and architectonic place.. i bet you have lots of creative ideas after your wonderful visit!

SusuPetal said...

It's like entering into a fairy tail, into oneself, into truth, into peace while looking at these entrances.

John M. Mora said...

you've communicated your calm joy....a balance. welcome back, my best.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Welcome back Donna. You have been sorely missed these passed weeks, as I kept looking to see if there was a post while being in Japan.

Your new header reflects your spirit and the sampling of photographs have allowed me to walk in your shadow.

It is good to have you back.
Egmont

nancy neva gagliano said...

reading photographs,
quiet quotations taking
us along that path
into our souls imagining
how your footsteps sounded.

mansuetude said...

this, a perfect poem!
.
i have never read a selected Rilke quote that reminded me so so much of Rumi... the same heart, breathing on the same fire.

enjoy.

thank you.

bob Cornelis said...

The torii gates are a powerful reminder that it is through transition that we discover the truth about ourselves. It sounds as if you've made your own voyage from "moonlight to dawn".

Welcome back!

willow said...

It's looking beautifully Japanese over here! Welcome back! I spend a summer in Japan back in the 70s and have always had a soft spot for all things Japanese. Looking forward to more delightful posts, Donna.

willow said...

oops...that should read spent, but you knew that! :)

iNdi@ said...

remember that old phrase that folks used to trot out when one announced one was off to somewhere else...'is there room for me in your suitcase?'

the Beauty of the Blog is that so many of us CAN fit into your suitcase

thank you!

Seth said...

Welcome home. Stunning way to introduce us to your journey and to reflect the path you took from the physical to the spiritual worlds on this trip. And that banner!!!!

Margaret Ryall said...

Welcome back Donna. I look forward to seeing how your holiday influences your new art making. Missed your posts while you were gone.

Ruth Armitage said...

Beautiful spirit, beautiful post...
xo Ruth

Penny said...

We have been lucky enough to go to Japan 4 times as part of an exchange with our town and a rural village in central Japan and I saw your bit on the Tori on India's blog, our next trip overseas will I hope be back to Japan, the most fascinating place in the world. Did you go to Iwa Jima and see the Tori in the sea? Fabulous.

John Watson said...

I was left at home to take care of the pets, the house and the garden.... Next time I am going too... No questions no discussion...

Signed Mr Donna Watson....

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Welcome back Donna, I stopped in so many times, looking forward to your return...beautiful post. This is a lovely mixture of photos and poems.

Ian Foster said...

Welcome back Donna, first of all, your new header is wonderful and sets the scene for your blog perfectly, I expect to see even more Japanese influence in your work than we have seen in the past. Thank you for showing the photos of the Torii and the information about them, and the poem was perfect.

Coffee Messiah said...

Striking header!

Beautiful photos and nice to hear a little about the trip.

Cheers!

Delwyn said...

Hello Donna

I am only occasionally blogging these days but wanted to stop by and say how happy I am that you made it to Fushimi Inari Shrine...It is really a special place to visit isn't it. I remember a feeling that came over me when we walked along the pathway at the beginning of the Torii, over the little bridge...and I am glad that the Torii have brought you full circle.

It sounds as if the trip to Japan has provided you with more than you imagined...more than you had hoped for ...and now will be a great source of inspiration for you...

Happy days

jgy said...

Welcome back!
I can imagine discoveries that are just waiting to reveal themselves in your collages. Be patient though because so much lies behind those gates...
I love Rilke too, and one of my favorite ideas of his is to vow always to be a beginner.

nancy neva gagliano said...

Mr. Donna Watson is funny!! happy trails to you both next time...

;-)

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Dear Mr. Donna Watson - No questions you must go too!!

I guess that's that!

Trudi Sissons said...

Ahhh.....magical - you must have felt as though every cell in your body was illuminated.

alteredbits said...

amazing post! i absolutely LOVE your photos! my siter is going to japan next week -- i should see where she is going because it would be wonderful to send her some of these gorgeous places if she will be close. welcome home!

ArtPropelled said...

The time must have flown for you but it dragged for us. We missed you! How wonderful are the red Torii gates. The tunnel effect is extraordinary.
.... and I love, love your new banner!

layers said...

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful well-wishing comments when I left for Kyoto, and thank you for all your wonderful welcome back comments... I love all my new 'friends' in the blog world.

Jo Horswill said...

Hi Donna,

Looks like you had a magical trip...wonderful to see these images and read these words.
Looking forward to seeing more...

Kerin said...

I enjoyed this immensely Donna! Thanks for sharing your experience and these wonderful images and inspirational thoughts.

JonesMoore said...

Wonderful images and words...

Regina Dwarkasing said...

Welcome back Donna!

nancy neva gagliano said...

post script: i appreciate Mr. Donna Watson= would love my husband to embrace that travel concept...he's developed a home-body attitude, and angst about flying. i'm used to traveling on my own, and yes! will continue. looking forward to your future post from your trip.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Nice to see a post here, I am sure this trip will have sown many seeds for you and some will bear fruit soon and others over the years to come. How awesome for you to have been able to make all the connections with your heritage!

herhimnbryn said...

Thankyou for taking me on this magical journey with you.

La Dolce Vita said...

what a wonderful way to welcome us into your journey! welcome back! your presence was missed! ciao!

Judy said...

Stunning, such awesome inspiration as always.

Liza said...

Your blog truly is a work of art. Bravo on your new header!
Your description of the Torii had me thinking stargate as well. What a divine experience, and I love the poem at the end.
Marvelous post. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly Marszycki said...

Welcome back, Donna! How beautiful are these images and words. I hope your voyage was as rewarding as you had hoped. Traveling can be a disorienting process -- but then that opens one up for these incredible experiences, doesn't it?

oneartistjournal said...

So beautiful...My son who is 13 was invited to go to Japan with 'People to People'...so nice and exctingto see these poetic images.

BLACK AND WHITE said...

Welcome home. Thank you for the beautiful photos of your travel Donna!