Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Special; remembering my trip to the Lotus Garden

For Ann Bendixen
This was in the early summer of 2006, and I was so lucky when Ann arranged for me to go along on a trip to The Lotus Garden with the Chinese Painting Class from the Pacific Art League. We went in a hired bus. I took my good camera and my favorite 100mm macro lens and took hundreds of photos. There was a bright noonday sun, but also lots of trees,so the light was not too harsh. And lotus of many different  colors were in full bloom. Here are more pictures from that day.  I will always be thankful to Ann for that deep experience of such beauty. I knew I would go back whenever I could. The sad part is that after one more year, the family closed the garden and stopped the necessary irrigation and other work to keep it thriving. I've searched the Web for further information and cannot find any. My understanding was that the grandfather who built the garden was gone and the heirs were  not willing to bear the expense of keeping it up. Perhaps they hoped to develop it into a subdivision or something else, but 2008 was not the right time for dreams like that, as we all remember. I haven't been able to find out anything else. I suppose that many dream places are abandoned when the dreamer dies. So that when something does manage to be preserved they cover it in the newspaper.
I still remember the shock as I approached and saw the sunlight lotus pool framed between two dark trees. I moved closer until I got this frame. Perhaps it is not the most classically beautiful photo I took that day, but it is the one which brings back to me  the delight of first seeing it in the strongest way.

Here is another poem from Bei Dao's book. page 103 (also see yesterday's post)


in the prayer ceremony of ocean
a storm bows down

stone watches over May in vain
guarding against the green contagion

as the four seasons take turns axing huge trees
stars try to recognize the road

a drunk using that talent for balance
breaks out from the time-siege

a bullet soars through the apple
life's on loan

--Bei Dao

We are entering that time of green contagion. Catkins, or whatever they are, drop in multitudes from the black cottonwood tree. Welcome, delightful SPRING!
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