Posts Tagged With: rock

AN IMPERFECT GARDEN

We are up early to visit the UR Garden. The designers took great pains and cost to turn this  beautiful,  former government employee’s home, into a centerpiece of Chinese garden architecture.  Walled gardens are meant to shut out the troubles of everyday life. To do that, a garden must have balance, and elements that instill peace and serenity.

A perfect garden will have  a hill, water, rock, plants, a building and trees,  the major components.
The plants and shapes and positions of everything in the garden have special meanings. If you plant a pine tree for strength, you must have two, a female and a male pine tree. If one dies, you must remove the partner tree and replant two new ones to replace them with their relativity in size maintained for “balance”.

The rock and hill must be a  size to complement its surroundings, not overshadow it.   Gates, bridge rails and doors are smooth and pleasurable to touch. Walkways flow.  Windows and doorways have form and interest to please the eyes.

Bamboo represents strength and resilience and music as the wind passes over its hollowed stems in a gate or a structure.  Each plant is chosen for its symbolic meaning. A flowering plum represents rebirth and renewal when it blooms on bare wood in the spring.   A lotus is purity. Peonies symbolize wealth.

A carved historical event.

A  requisite lion.

A protective dragon.
After this painstaking cultivated garden was matured, a contingent of Chinese garden experts came from Vancouver, Canada to see it. They commented on how “beautiful”the garden was. Not perfect?  When asked why it didn’t meet expectations, it was  because above the wall, in a small corner,  could be seen, a modern condominium in the distance. The cure will be heighten the wall or move the condominium if necessary. They take the poetic aspects of their peaceful garden very seriously.

In the afternoon we cross the river to the Yangtze market to pick up last-minute souvenirs. Several of us take tea at a lovely tea house. We are let loose in the market place within walking distance of our hotel. Three of us go to the Hip Hop Market and gawk at merchandise for teens, babies, grandchildren, ourselves. Very expensive stuff.  Shoes like we’ve never seen in our lives before. Stiletto heels six inches high. See through blouses and bathing suits. This is China?  It was a gas. We dashed from store to store like unruly kids to take it all in.

That night, at our  farewell dinner, we  traded  email addresses with our new friends and said our goodbyes.  I don’t remember  our  farewell dinner  but, I’ll never forget  China.

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FAVORITE THINGS

There was a time I considered the most important aspect of a chair, comfort.  But, ramblin’ about the country can change that perspective. With camera in hand, I continually run into chairs, in shops, on sidewalks, or buildings I visit that strike me as a deliberate attempts to seduce the eye with its beauty or quirkiness, or attract the hand with its texture.

Looking at quirkiness, why would anyone build a chair that rocks sideways?

A clever statement but the statement isn’t comfort.

Surprisingly comfortable for street side respite,  but its beauty is what attracts because its placed where it catches the sun to tease you with its shadow.

Hand bent hickory, a rocker with comfort, strength and texture. Comfort to sit up straight, only.

You just want to reach out and polish these seats with your hand to see if they are actually as smooth as they look-and they are.

A place to kneel and commune with God or your soul;  maybe a special spot for a small child to sit and read to grandma. It tells a tale.

Who would I ask about this carved face? The maker is long gone, the chair is old. Makes you wonder?

Too fancy and formal to enjoy, but beautiful. It resides in a famous southern plantation house.

Very intriguing. Looking comfortable, but my eye was seduced by its artistic back, and the smooth texture of the knobs. Definitely not a place to lean back for fear it would break all that beautiful construction.

Comfortable looking, but maybe only for a doll. I have yet to see the chair that I want to plop back into and read a good book without going to a  furniture store.

A rocking chair porch wants to invite me in for a cuppa and a chat with the neighbors, except, ramblers are just passing through.

For a temporary respite,  a curb or a rock can be a chair, or even a table in this park in Gloucester.

But, for comfort, there is nothing quite like an overstuffed couch or chair. I keep looking for one on the street.

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