I remember the architecture studio where [ ] worked during the last two years of undergraduate. I would go there with him and make tiny play models while the architecture students made maquettes. And on the bus in Nottingham how from the top deck I could see into the building used there for architecture studios and how even very late at night there were usually people in there working, just as I remember at Minnesota ten years before that. (Ten years! How?!)
And the rain in an alley in Osaka, and the smell of the Sea of Japan and how cold it was. Very hot evenings in Kyoto, not far from a canal. Asking monks to write in my shuinchou. Immersed in difference and a slow emergence into understanding: I learned like a baby learns what language meant.
In the Japanese garden in St. Paul all summer I watched waves of heat come across the pond, and slept on benches instead of giving tours. The tea house hidden behind a low pine. Who set the rock on its path? Who bound it? Entering the tea house through its low, square door. Inside as cool as the tatami room in the house in Nara. I could smell the same things: humidity, incense, mosquito coil, tea, the scent of some kind of wood.
Tea house a space apart from but within the world.
Today it will snow again in Ghent, maybe, although the flowers are beginning to bloom (spring flowers: snowdrops, daffodils, crocus). How to reserve oneself a place for silence and for ritual solitude? I have built this tea house out of balsa and paper and cloth as a manifestation of my desire to build a small space like this. As a manifestation of my desire to make this kind of space out of my own feeling and being and also out of wood and paper and cloth and stone. I would call it Kioku-an, meaning Memory-tea-house, and in place of a low ceiling I would suspend the relics of my life on strings from the ceiling.
You are welcome in silence for a cup of bright green tea.