Nature at the centre

I took a walk to the nearby mountain of Fløyen this evening which forms part of a ring of seven (or some say nine) summits that surround Bergen.

It's a route I have now walked a few times and each time the weather has been slightly different offering a new way of seeing things.

This evening I walked in the rain and into the mist line hovering above the summit. When I returned the cloud was lifting and slowly the landscape revealed itself in silver sunlight. 

The pine trees and moss covered undergrowth reminded me simultaneously of Tolkien and the books I had read as a child inspired by Scandinavian sagas. But also inevitably of Japan and its mountain woods.

I have a strong sense of nature at the centre of things and it's one of the reasons I have been drawn to Norway and Japan.

I have also been listening to the words of Raku Kichizaemon XV a renowned chawan (tea bowl) maker from Kyoto and his views on nature and art.

He describes the importance of 'committing yourself to chance' as part of the creative process and also the idea that 'the whole of nature is contained within each of us'.

He is being interviewed by the late cultural commentator and teacher Kato Shuichi in the NHK series 'Japan: Spirit and Form' from the late 1980s - whose response was this:

 'That’s quite modern. It is not always possible to have nature and chance move as you would like. But when these uncontrollable elements fall into place, then you have a work of art’.

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On the summit of Floyen, Bergen, Norway.

Cloud lifting and sun setting

Cloud lifting and sun setting

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The pine wood on the mountain side at Gero,  Gifu Prefecture in Japan.

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Raku Kichizaemon XV (Image: NHK series 'Japan Spirit and Form')

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Kato Shuichi  (Image: NHK series 'Japan Spirit and Form')