Bonsai tree: Rilke & Bunjin, A Literati’s Literati

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bonsai tree: Rilke & Bunjin, A Literati’s Literati

Deeper in debt. I’ve been borrowing from Michael Hagedorn (Crataegus Bonsai) for years. It’s a debt that can only be repaid by appreciation. This strange and wonderful bunjin Sierra juniper was restyled by Michael’s students at one of his Seasonals.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I know that Rilke departed this earth long ago, and that he most likely never heard of bonsai, still, this quote (also borrowed from Michael) captures something sweet and true that might apply to how we approach our bonsai: “If you will love what seems to be insignificant and will in an unassuming manner, as a servant, seek to win the confidence of what seems poor, then everything will become easier, more harmonious, and somehow more conciliatory, not for your intellect—that will likely remain behind, astonished—but for your innermost consciousness, your awakeness, and your inner knowing.”

Somewhere between before and after.

The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk

Michael’s book about his bonsai apprenticeship in Japan (Post-Dated – The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk), is a great read. Michael knows bonsai and knows how to tell a story. Though I know reading a whole book, in print media no less, is somewhat passe in this post, post-modern era, still, I think you’ll really like it.

Source: Bonsai Bark


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