Monday, August 25, 2014


My cousin Marie, not Vinny, sent me this photo a bit ago and I was immediately struck by the thoughts and associations that came to mind as I was looking at it. My initial impression was that it was a somber, moody and evocative photo that had the potential for being the backdrop to a thousand stories. What also sprung to mind was all of the Japanese period ghost/horror stories like KWAIDEN, GHOST OF YOTSUYA, UGETSU MONOGATARI and of course the Japanese Macbeth, THRONE OF BLOOD. However, the more I looked, the more I saw an enso, a natural enso (shinzen-enso) and I keep coming back to that image and the myriad of aphorism that accompany them. There is a resounding totality to the enso and as more images and thoughts emerge, the easier it is to draw a correlation between moon and a simple circle of ink. In reality I think it is easy to see the moon as an enso, just look at the number of calligraphers who reference the moon when depicting them, it is as natural to do so as the moon and its variety of manifestations have touched man since the beginning of time. In particular, there is a favorite enso and calligraphy that is brushed along side;
"Is it a cake? A dumpling?
The ring around a bucket?
What does it represent? Tell Me!"  Nakahara Nantembo (1839-1925)