The Japanese have many artistic traditions that we in the West are beginning to notice and take into account.
Of course we will get them wrong from time to time. A Minimalist aesthetic can be wonderful. Walking into a place that looks clean and polished where every fine detail is meticulously fussed over will immediately draw you in and have you pay deep attention to the space that isn’t used in comparison with the spaces that are used.
Then again, sometimes we get it wrong. The mass market plasticization of society and public spaces can simply look stark and uninviting. An Apple Store always seems cold and sterile to me instead of a place to draw you in and invite creativity. After all, that is what a computer is used for, to Create.
Maybe I am digging a bit too deep. My own wanders over my own patch of beach sand here never ceases to amaze me. Having grown up in the Prairies of South Jersey, I was used to a certain look and feel of things. My split level house of my youth was plucked out of a life of The Wonder Years. The Pin Oaks planted along the street would change with the seasons but were very much of the place and grew with the time.
Here things simply look different. I live in a town that will never freeze, or so I am told by the USDA and their zones. I have never seen it below 34, and it may not have been quite that cold since I am rather close to the beach. 3 Km or 2.3 Miles to be specific.
So things are not adapted to lose their leaves in winter. Flowers can occur all year around. If you like that sort of thing, and are observant, you can find beauty in just about anything.
My own yard for example. I find things that look like what the mother of a friend of mine called Wandering Jew. She told me that if the conditions are right, they will bloom. That sounded simply insane that a house plant would bloom like that to me since you just can’t leave things outside in the cold weather.
Here, it is a weed. And it blooms.
A tiny little dot of blue in the field of green at my feet. All I have to do is be patient and wait. In this case it was in late February, but no matter.
Other times, there’s a spot of yellow. Most likely from the shamrocks that grow in my yard, it could also be sorrel. Either way, these things are predictable. I almost always see them out there. Bright yellow or a pale lavender, they are in the sun, growing all over the place.
I have taken notice of them as they end up in my plant pots. How that happens, I have no idea. The flowers tend to be cut with the lawnmower, they reappear quickly, and they disappear.
Again, it blooms and brings beauty to a uniform green, if you know where to look.
That would be the key.
Open your eyes, pay attention. You could be missing something quite special.