in Thoreau’s Journal
Let us preserve religiously, secure, protect the coincidence of our life with the life of nature.
Excerpt of a letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, 24 September 1888
If we study Japanese art, we discover a man who is undeniably wise, philosophical and intelligent, who spends his time – doing what? Studying the distance from the earth and the moon? No! Studying the politics of Bismarck? No! He studies … a single blade of grass. But this blade of grass leads him to draw all the plants – then the seasons, the grand spectacle of landscapes, finally animals, then the human figure. That is how he spends his life, and life is too short to do everything.
So come, isn’t what we are taught by these simple Japanese, who live in nature as if they themselves were flowers, almost a true religion?