Kyoto, Japan

平等院・鳳凰堂 (京都府宇治市宇治蓮華116)

“A pink blossom dangled from a spider web on a branch far out over the pond, catching a divine light each time it revolved. It was as if a tiny revolving door were floating in the heavens. I gazed at it, wondering what world would be opening beyond its fragile beauty each time it turned. Perhaps, as it revolved in the gentle wind, it would give me a glimpse into another world, another life, if…

I kept looking…

The vivid colors of the leaves and flowers glowed like a mosaic in the dazzling sunset-cherry, maples, tea shrubs, dwarf cedars, daphnes, azaleas, camellias, pines, box trees, bamboo. The colors seem to hang around me in clear, blowing sheets. A trance was upon my eyes; I saw up, down, ahead, and to both sides without moving my head or eyeballs.

Sizing things up…

Beyond a profusion of tea bushes were the red buds of an oleander. A single plum tree bloomed white in the midst of the cedars. Blue dew-flowers dotted the path, and delicate traces of greenish lavender sprouted among the leaves. The white spears of dwarf bamboo among the steppingstones repeated the white light from the sky above the wooded hills. Through the branches the sky shone like a string of blue beads. The entire garden seemed to be standing on tiptoe and stretching upward to reach the sky.”

-William Corey