Personal ethics and aesthetics

Inner sanctum

The sense of a small private place might extend to an adjacent pocket garden – where one might step into for a brief glance at the sky and a touch of cold stone and moss on the ground. In the early morning, fingers might stroke the dew on the leaves. If one was fortunate, there would be flowers newly bloomed, the skin of their petals silky and fragile. Seeing the sky, whether clear or crossed by skeins of cold rain, one would momentarily recall matters larger than oneself - if only the imposition of weather.

Having this small private garden imparted to intimate daily life an awareness of the seasons and encouraged an intuitive appreciation of ecology. From this, respect for the natural environment arose effortlessly.


Garden of YE Fang
Suzhou (built 2000)
Photo, 2004
Suzhou garden
Qing Period (1644-1911)