Kadō – 華道

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On Thursdays, I give an art appreciation class to children between the age of 8 and 12. Today, we spoke about Japanese esthetics and they experienced the “way of flowers,” known as Kadō (華道) in Japanese.

It was one of the loveliest classes I have ever given, filled with beauty and simplicity. So I came here to share some of it.

Inspiration: children inspired by simplicity and the beauty of nature. 

The tree

The tree spreads its roots. The tree opens its branches to the sky and offers them for little birds to nest. It flowers with full splendor, and gives fruits and shade. The tree also brings rain.

The tree is potential displayed unabashed.

The tree is divine for its very existence, humble for its splendor, and generous for its nature.

The tree is not alone. All elements of nature display their beauty and give without limits. The moon shines and the sun warms. The night sky and the clouds are there for all to admire. Immense galaxies churn across the limitless universe. No tinkering is needed.

Mankind may have been thus once. Today, he is a being perpetually busy, disconnected from the cycle of day and night and seasons. Mankind is increasingly immersed in unhealthy dynamics of needing objects that add nothing to his being nor give to others. But for a few exceptions, he rarely looks up at the sky nor takes the time to remain in harmony with nature. A stunning sunset has become an exception; and to see beauty, he has to stand in line at a museum. Charity and compassion have become emotions displayed in full view, rather than natural and discreet inclines of his very existence. Anything that cannot be rationalized or objectified is rejected, even love, even grace.

The tree still stands effortlessly giving beauty without a spec of pride, but rather with infinite and divine humility. Mankind could learn a thing or two from the tree.

Kenza.

Inspirations: incomprehension of this busy and noisy world; love of trees; and the divine, the Tao. 

Precious moments

 

Often times at the dinner table, my son and I talk about our day and we like to share one thing that happened that marked us because of its beauty, preciousness or simply because it touched us in a nice way.

So here is what my son, nine years old, has been telling me over the past eight days. It is in no order of importance, and none is more precious than another, they were equally precious at the moment in which they happened.

I wanted to share them because they speak of simple beauty, something we often forget about as we move along our days.

The sunset and the gold colors of the clouds.

That I answered my friend’s email.

The hot chocolate with the cappuccino milk you made me.

The music of Chopin I heard. — Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2, Rubinstein at the piano.

When I saw your face as I came out of school on the first day back at school.

The rainbow.

The scent of Jasmine at night that we placed in a glass in the kitchen.

The rain, especially during the afternoon downpour and the noise it made as it hit the windows’ panes with the wind.

When I smell the fragrance of the blossoms

When I smell the fragrance of the blossoms,
millions of years rush inside of me –
speeding planets,
flashes of blinding lights,
galaxies forming in twirls of dust,
and
a drop of water as atoms collide.

Time eternal
and gentle
emerging through seeds and flowers.

Fragrance –
the rush of life
exhaling from its depth,
beauty unabashed,
because it can.

When I smell the fragrance of the blossoms,
I am one with the very essence of life
because I can –
because it is.

Kenza.