First up, apologies to Miles Davis fiends for getting you here on false pretenses: to you I can only say So What.
Secondly, thanks to Geoff at Gorgeous Company, from whom I shamelessly nicked these images, for bringing them to my attention. They’re probably all over the internet by now, but if you haven’t seen them allow me to share the beauty and the mystery; they are by someone known only as bbe022001 on flickr.
I wish they were mine.
“A moon bridge is a highly arched pedestrian bridge, which in its wooden form may require the walker to initially climb (as one would a ladder) and also when descending… The moon bridge originated from China and was later introduced to Japan…
As part of formal garden design the bridge will be placed where its reflection is seen when the water is still. The half circle is intended to reflect in the calm water below the bridge, creating a full circle between bridge and reflection, a reference to the shape of the full moon.” (Wiki)
Now Ms/Mr Bbe is clearly someone well-versed in Chinese/Japanese aesthetics (I’m not; please feel free to correct me); she/he has used the camera to create something wonderfully, gorgeously ‘new’ that nonetheless resonates with references to ancient traditions.
That in itself is no mean feat.
At the very heart of this aesthetic is, it seems to me, an appreciation of nature, not merely of its beauty but of its changeability, its transience, both of which make it more precious. It is not ‘in your face’ fireworks; it is contemplative, subdued, melancholy even, qualities here achieved through that soft, sad, subtle blue ‘palette’; it inspires not awe but a kind of serene humility, a gratitude that for a fleeting moment you have been privileged to share something quietly, unassumingly extraordinary in its ordinariness.
The Japanese term for this ‘beautiful impermanence’, the appreciation of the ephemeral, is wasi-sabi, and it derives from Zen Buddhism; the moon bridge itself and its reflection surely reference the concept of ensō, Japanese for ‘circle’ and signifying the absolute, enlightenment, and “in Zen Buddhist painting… symbolis[ing] a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create.” (Wiki)
None of which, of course, you really need to know.
You just have to look at the images, relax, and let them speak for themselves; there’s a lot going on and yet nothing going on: captured snippets of time in which to contemplate the timeless.
Whoever you are, bbe022001, thank you for sharing.
My Modern Met: