The paired hanging scrolls compliment each other in style and theme. Drawn by the same artist and mounted identically, the characters are drawn in a fluid, abstract style with brushstrokes that both curve and angle. The words of the poems, "dew majestic majestic," and "light there there," together evoke the first light of dawn on the horizon, illuminating the morning dew on the ground. Both of these subjects, dew and sunrise, are common natural phenomena; indeed the sunrise happens predictably every day. Yet, even something as common as the sunrise and as earthly as dew can inspire awe and grandeur. Both are ephemeral: as the sun rises and warms the atmosphere, the morning dew evaporates, and the sky's colors fade. We are reminded to appreciate these events, as all events, in the present moment. They are unique and will never occur in exactly the same way again.

As transliterated, both poems both use repetition for emphasis, with the syllables "dou dou" and "reki reki," respectively. Though not a literal translation, the translator achieves a similar effect by repeating the the second word of each poem, "majestic majestic," and "there there."

~ Jennifer C.


For this scroll Sensei left no translation for us as we viewed it. This reminds us that it can be easy to favor some details over others, keeping us from fully realizing what is in front of us. The absence forced us to consider the artistry, feeling, and spirit of the scroll, aspects that can be overlooked if we focus immediately on meaning. It pushed us to see an object with fresh eyes, to be present and appreciative of the moment and experience what it has to offer. This scroll is particularly conducive to this approach. Short, curving, drooping strokes capture the shape and sense of petals. A strong full stroke at the top contrasts with the smaller strokes to the right and the falling, vibrant stroke at the bottom. They radiate from a space in the middle, forming a bloom of ink and capturing the dynamic vitality of a spring flower.

~ Justin


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