Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A tokonoma is an alcove meant to rest the eye.
It is the sole adornment of the room in which it stands.
The tokonoma is  looked upon,
But never entered.

The floor is raised,
carpeted with tatami mats.
To the left the eyes perceive a flawless beam, unvarnished,
cut and planted so the moisture of the house can be absorbed –
a beam that breathes.

A simple flower, an arrangement of a single branch,
is on the left as you look into the tokonoma -
a solitary greeting from your host.
Straight ahead there is a scroll hung high upon the wall,
with oriental lettering.

The scroll could be a poem or an ancient landscape,
it doesn’t matter what it says or shows.
To the right there is another,object,
perhaps an incense burner,
 but no matching beam or plant to cause distraction.

 tokonoma seems to flow from left to right
into a seamless space of solitude.
The tokonoma is designed to bring forgetfulness,
 to still the senses, to remove complexities.