Listening In

Friday, November 17, 2006

And the heart gave up words

3rd November 2006

We were looking for the bus stop but found a little tea ceremony house instead. Coming after the crowd crush of palace visitors at the Gosho, it came like a gift, unexpected, miraculous.

We stepped onto a bridge, glanced to the right and were caught.

'Do you think we can go in?' asked K.

Then we spotted two people at the upper level of the house and hurried to find a way in.

We took our shoes off, knelt on a cushion to put 100 yen on a tray and accept a pamphlet from an old woman in a kimono, then drifted into the dream that is Shuu Sui Tei - a dream that began about two hundred years ago when it was built for an aristocratic family.

We began by going through the rooms, studying the bulb-like lamps and the way trees seemed to have been grafted onto the wall edges and firefly glow painted into the walls.

But we spent the longest sitting by the sliding doors, staring out at the garden and the pond.

I looked out - bright sky, bright water and a shining bridge between the two.

I looked out - the blinds and doors caught the dim of the house and ran dark around the world outside so it glowed.

I looked in - everything quiet - everything empty -


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