Wednesday, September 12, 2012
still another of these basic values, irregularity or asymmetry..."
Quoted from Japanese Culture, 4th ed. (2000), by Paul Varley.
This quote says much about ikebana. Imagine, fellow Americans, valuing "perishability" instead of buying fake flowers. The ikebana arrangement won't last long, and this is a good thing. We must really see, enjoy, and experience it at this moment. The constant recognition of the brevity of living beauty...
For example, in my arrangement above, I use a Datura branch (from my Albuquerque garden) with one full bloom and several buds of different sizes. Normally a Datura bloom opens in the evening, stays open for moths to pollinate it overnight, and then wilts the next morning. Behold, perishability. I managed to keep it from closing long enough to create the arrangement because I cut it on a rare rainy day and immediately placed it in a dim room in water. Also, please note if you can see them, the tiny insect holes in the leaves. In Western-style floral design, these leaves would be considered rejects. In ikebana, on the other hand, the holes signify the season, late summer, when insects are very busy chewing leaves. The season, itself perishable, is extremely important in ikebana, just as it is in Japanese haiku. You might also note that the design is not symmetrical, and the plant materials are simple, just two plants--Datura and snake plant.