A “Borrowed View” —

The Japanese have a concept called shakkei,  or “borrowed view.” Here’s a definition:

“When during design and construction of a Japanese garden nearby or distant landscape and landmarks are taken into consideration, and used in such a way that it appears to be part of the garden or at least of the view of the garden, this is called ‘borrowed scenery’.” 

                        —- Zen-Garden, a blog from the Netherlands

In short, it’s a way of expanding one’s horizons and one’s views without having to own, or be, something or someone else —

Photographer Martin Greene, who sometimes graces us with his own wonderful images, is making use of someone else’s view, in this case, his 12-year-old granddaughter Ruby’s, who is already following in Grandpa’s footsteps. Or, shall I say, it’s a doubly borrowed view? Because Ruby is showing us, not her own view, but the view through the eyes of her little dog Yoli!

So here it is, through some complicated shakkei from Ruby via Martin through me to you, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO YOLI!

(The dog sees it all —–)

(( Anyone who’s looking for the post that briefly followed this, The Necessary Journey, will find it where it belonged all along, on sister blog Touch2Touch, along with the thoughtful comments of three “early bird” viewers.))

This entry was posted in Gardens, Japan, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A “Borrowed View” —

  1. barb19 says:

    Interesting! A view of humans’ legs and feet!

  2. I love this take on my granddaughter Ruby’s fascinating photo. She is very, very attached to Yoli, and obviously able to perceive things through Yoli’s eyes. I am grateful that she has this opportunity to share her work so that others can in turn see what she has seen.


  3. amazing, how when we change our perspective or our position, everything seems quite different. Great post.

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Thanks, Joss!
      Seems to me your blessing, “Walk in beauty”, works much the same.
      I walk around much too often in a kind of “Grumble in irritation” spirit. And boy, does that ever change the View!

  4. Stef says:

    Wow, I love the idea of a “borrowed view”. It seems to me that is what so much of blogging (indeed, of writing) is about: expanding horizons, but often from the view of some other…

    And very interesting fact about Japanese gardens. It deepens my appreciation for them.

    • Touch2Touch says:

      Talk about having a double vision! I love your idea about blogging itself as a “borrowed view.” Thank you for the expansion.

      We actually had a Japanese garden, back on Long Island, which we left ten years ago. The garden was a tremendous experience, 17 years in the planning and execution (other people did the actual work, I am a well-known “black thumb”). When we left for the Berkshires, I never looked back at the house or anything else — except the garden. It was amazing, a labor of love, and a source of constant pleasure, four seasons a year. Austere and not to everyone’s taste, of course, but it suited us down to the ground (pun intended.)

  5. Pauline says:

    It’s always interesting (and informative) to find another point of view. Dogs, cats, babies – they see things in a way we don’t, those of us with our heads way up high. Now and then it’s good for us to go see what’s going on at ground level!

  6. During a recent thunderstorm, I lay down on the floor with my cat and watched the lightening and rain up out the windows. It was a pretty cool “borrowed view.”

    • Touch2Touch says:

      What a terrific idea! No pictures?
      I’ll have to try and remember that during a thunderstorm —
      and maybe prod my brain to think about other possible points of view. It’s been lazy lately —

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