Wide Horizons

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For the first time ever, I came home from travel and saw Tokyo as others claim to see it- ugly, grey and dirty. It took me a day to think this through, but I figured out what happened to change my perspective.

oz-el-panorama.jpg
Elliston cliffside panorama. (Click for larger view)

Australia is huge and empty. It has vistas - views to the far horizon. Even the cities all have ocean coastline and those that are inland are surrounded by vast deserts and bush. So after a few weeks in Australia, I looked at things in the macro view. I took it all in from edge to edge. And when vastness was too overwhelming, I focused in on tiny details: a desert flower, a lizard, a stone.

Australia was most interesting and beautiful at macro or micro scale, but not so much in between.

Tokyo has few wide open spaces. The horizon is just across the street. Its details are predominantly man-made and drab colored or dingy from pollution. Beauty here is largely in sounds, smells, motion, and time. I will take a few long walks through the city, stopping to sketch and carefully observe Tokyo's details, to readjust myself to finding the visual beauty here.

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I always find real beauty in some doorways, and the flowers at entrances of some homes.

But yes, sometimes the ugliness (esp the outside toilet pipes & huge electric connections) just hits you afresh!

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