Seeing Through

Though clear waters range to the vast autumn sky

How can they compare with the hazy moon on a Spring night!

Most people want to have pure clarity

But sweep as you will, you cannot empty the mind.

Keizan Zenji

from The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment by Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi and Bernard Tetsugen Glassman

pub. Zen Center of Los Angeles, 1977

___________________________________________________________________

Clarity is a fine thing, but the haze,

the haze, such

beauty in the haze.

Walk with me.

We’re going back outside the greenhouse,

round the corner.

We’re looking for the place where life pushes

against hazy windows.

*

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***

Photographs from the WW Seymour Conservatory in Tacoma, WA and the greenhouse at the Kruckeberg Garden, Seattle, WA.

*

Happy Earth Day!

and

here’s to a successful March for Science.

 


51 comments

    • Oh, I have to go see what you’re up to! Teaching again, right? So glad this resonated with you, makes perfect sense it would when you’re surrounded by that particular sensibility. Well, probably not surrounded, but enough of it must be there to inspire you.

  1. The phrase about sweeping the mind clean tickled me, because it brought to mind a proverb I enjoy: “A new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows the corners.”

    The last photo reminds me of a Japanese scroll. Strangely (for me), I rather like the two black and white photos.

    • I think the last one is my favorite – re the black and whites, maybe it’s the higher contrast, or more tonal range, that makes them stronger images for you? In any case, glad you liked them, and I’ve never heard that saying, it’s very clever.

    • Thank you Margy, thanks for commenting and I’m glad you like them. It certainly is a softer feeling when you’re looking through those windows – or fog, or anything that hazes the view. That appeals to me, but it’s funny, I like a very linear, sharply focused image too.

  2. Oh I’m all for the haze, Lynn, bring it on, bring it on >>> gorgeous pictures!!! >>> and the final picture really, really takes my breath away – to say that it is like a painting is vast understatement. I have plans to do something similar with the occupants of steamy, rush hour buses in winter, but whether I’ll get around to it is another matter – but I have found one good spot to shoot from. I very much like the way you are exploring things, feeling your way very sensitively forwards. A

    • Glad you like the last one – my favorite – did some work on that (well, on all of them!) to bring out what it seemed to be about. I like that you found a good place to shoot from for the bus photos. There may be rainy days that would give an interesting effect – I’m sure you’ve already thought of that and tried it – but in any case, you should do that in the winter. I’m having a good time, thank you for the encouragement.

  3. An ethereal quality to these images of the ‘trifids’ straining to escape the confines of the glasshouse. I particularly like the two B&W images. Very unusual but powerful work, Lynn.

    • Thank you very much, your comment is good to hear. The conservatory I used to visit in NYC (not the grand dame New York Botanical Garden one, but another, smaller one) did have plants literally pushing out, and breaking, the windows. I loved it! Speaking of powerful! 🙂

  4. These are soooo nice, Lynn. I really don’t want to choose. I have loved fog since I was a child, and these hazy windows are just as good at obscuration. I love the element of abstraction here. Rendering crisp photographs in black and white also creates abstraction, but this indistinctness is what I want right now, not something black and white in the metaphorical sense. I’ve just finished—minutes ago—Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise, and that may account for my present mood. But mood or no, I would favor these photographs. . . . Besides the obvious haziness, I’m also noticing a special wildness. These are plants giving up their decorum, perhaps, as others have said here, longing to escape . . .

    • Maybe we’re on the same wavelength, gravitating to vagueness. I like Krista Tippet, mostly have heard her on the radio but not lately, so maybe I should check her site, for a Krista dose, or read the book. Interesting ideas about wildness and escape, I hadn’t thought that way, not exactly, but maybe subconsciously. Thanks much!

  5. I love the soft focus effect of these images. For personal taste I would have done a bit more cropping but i don’t think that’s what you were about here.

  6. Hello! I am finally paying a return trip and very glad that I did, Lynn.Several very interesting images here. I really like the four panes image and the last with its bright abstract quality.I also think that the first, with its borders cropped to rid the collected debris would make a fine less bright abstract, but that’s not to say the frames are not valuable as well.

    I agree that haze has its own special beauty and think the mystery of a fog can add much to the content of what may already be a lovely image. Those look to be wonderful greenhouses…inside and out, no doubt.

  7. I have a thing for greenhouse shots, especially shot from the outside in..these are all gorgeous! I have to find a good greenhouse around here..


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