Saturday, December 19, 2009

winter dusk

my christmas holidays begin today.

a chance to rediscover
the simpler flow
of the contented existence
i'm blessed with.

kawase hasui kiyomizu temple in kyoto

winter dusk at a remote temple
approaching year's end,

east of the river

the weather turns cold.
at the wilderness temple,

dusk spreads

to river and sky.


kawase hasui sacred bridge at nikko

no wine i know

can melt 
this night.
i follow a monk,

who shuts 
the gates early.
lamplit walls

hold

stunted shadows.
roof tiles

bearing snow

creak constantly.
drifting about in the world,

i still have 
a thousand li to travel;
but just now,

i want to lose myself

in the temple's pure chanting of sutras.

jen fan 
trans. mike o'connor

kawase hasui kansau shrine in snow at lake tazawa

24 comments:

Golden West said...

The color blue in each of the pictures is so striking. Beautiful!

Have a delightful winter break!

steven said...

hello golden west, my favourite is the little shrine at the end of the post. i could live in their - here are the terms: it must have a source of heat, huge windows on the lakeside, and someone to bring tasties and supplies while i paint, make music, and write the golden fish blog!!!! peace. steven

jinksy said...

Sheesh! - when I came here to leave a comment, and read your reply to Golden West, I couldn't help but laugh. You don't want much, do you?! lol :) Except perhaps a personal servant...

steven said...

right you are jinksy! . . . and a personal servant who lives in another hut nearby! have a lovely day. steven

ellen abbott said...

We always close up shop between christmas and new year.

That second print, the sacred bridge, is just beautiful.

steven said...

hi ellen - good for you to grant yourself a little peace and quiet. or to replace the business of your life with business of a different sort. i'm glad you like the sacred bridge. i crossed a bridge on my last christmas in england. far from sacred but it occupies a place in my memory with snow, moors, and a sort of innocence. have a lovely day. steven

Coastcard said...

I love the way in which the blues in the middle picture represent a bridge of shades between the deep blue of the first and the pale of the third. A fine triptych...

Nadolig Llawen!

Reya Mellicker said...

As always, beautiful and inspiring.

If you removed the mountains and switched out the architecture to American Victorian style, these could be pictures of Washington DC today. We are enjoying a MAJOR snowstorm, so very very rare here, especially in December.

Have a lovely, restful, beautiful holiday away from school!!

hope said...

Yes, the present I'm giving to myself is time off from Christmas until Jan. 4th!

Everyone needs to re-charge their batteries, especially if their job is a soul draining one like mine.

Then again, maybe Santa will bring me new opportunities in 2010. I HAVE been good. So far. ;)

Jenny Stevning said...

(sigh) Lovely.
Enjoy your holiday.

Loren said...

Thank goodness I have you to collect all these prints that I love so much but never seem to have the time to find.

Beautiful.

Oh My Goddess said...

Those just feel like winter. I love it!

steven said...

loren it gives me as much pleasure finding and sharing them as it does taking photographs and sharing them. i'm really glad that i can repay something of the debt i incur each time i visit your amazing blog!!! steven

steven said...

jenny stevning - i hope you are on the bodily mend. i'm so glad you could visit! have a peaceful healing evening. steven

steven said...

coastcard thankyou so much - blue is my fave colour - all the shaees of blue . . . i love these three woodblocks for the blue and the other little threads of colour. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi reya! i love that imagining! i'm so glad for you that dc's getting a good dumping of snow! how cool is that?! i'm starting to recharge already. i love being more available to my blog, to my boy and my girl, to my self! have a peaceful snowy dc evening. steven

steven said...

hi hope, you'd better stay good - or not!!! have fun girl and don't look back with any regrets! steven

steven said...

hello oh my goddess! lovely to see you of course! i love winter art almost as much as autumn art. they are so evocative and seeing the scenes from inside is magical. have a lovely winter's night. steven

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

You are lucky to live closer to farms and barns. For me they are more of a memory.

I have been to move of the places you portray in your post today. There is a famous red curved bridge at Matsushima and I have my picture taken on it. LOL Where I was are similar places not the same exact place. There is nothing quite like a Japanese house in the dead of winter. It is so cold or they used to be. The hibachi was going full tilt and people set around it in one room and the fumes was pure carbon monoxide and I always came out with a headache to die for. I don't like them to this day.

steven said...

hey abe! i have similar memories of life as a boy in england with no central heating, sometimes no hot water, and a coal fireplace with a scuttle of coal that seemed to last an inordinate amount of time!!! in each instance - my sense of japan and my memories of england - there's a romanticized connection that i know would be coloured and adjusted rather quickly by the harsh realities!!! have a peaceful evening. i bet you're in the middle of the huge winter storm the eastern states are getting..... steven

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I lingered here a while reading your posts and felt I aught to tell you how much I love the way your mind works.
Oh and the photos are lovely. Your blog is very charming and I'll visit from time to time.
Warmest regards,
Simone.

steven said...

hello simone - i love your blog's name!! welcome and thankyou very much for your very thoughtful comment! i'll look forward to seeing you here again from time-to-time! have a lovely evening. steven

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

what beautiful pictures and all the more intriguing as I have been to the kiyomizudera temple and to nikko...but not in winter. I have hung out over that wonderful verandah on the temple taking in the views over Kyoto. The temple also features in the Tale of Murasaki (novel of the life of writer of the Tale of Genji)

Happy days

steven said...

delwyn!! i'm glad i stayed up late to be here for your visit! i guess it's sometime in the afternoon for you right now. thanks for your comment here. it's very cool to me that these gorgeous woodblocks have real connections for visitors here. your visit to kiyomizudera adds another later of wonder to it for me! have a peaceful day. steven