Lotus mandala

20180713-Lotus
Lotus mandala (9″ x 9″)

I continue to be in a mandala mood. The title is a bit of a pun referring both to the lotus flower and sitting in lotus position. Once I had added the figures, it just seemed to make sense that they would be under water meditating …maybe they’re nymphs! I am sure that there are many possible interpretations. Here is Tom’s wonderful poetic one!

within the blue and lambent depths
beneath the floating leaves and flowers
somewhere deep the secret sits
immersed in emptiness and powers
that do not differentiate
between the poor and potentate
for neither lowest nor the high
are more nor less than souls that fly
through the waters of dark ponds
where illusion’s light is clear
bringing all that’s distant near
while fishes swim through waving fronds
and in the centre still there dwells
more yet more than words can tell

image (c) 2018 Hilary Farmer
poem (c) 2018 TJ Radcliffe

 

China trip – Southern Anhui Province – Hongcun

first view of Hongcun across the lake
first view of Hongcun across the lake

After lunch we hopped on a bus and went to another world heritage site village called Hongcun. The first view of the village across the small lake was stunning even in the rain!

view from home-stay
view from home-stay

We had booked a home stay for the night so first thing to do was find it and stow our packs. Much more enjoyable visiting the town with less on our backs. The room was simple but the setting just amazing.

in the alleys of Hongcun - the water flows towards the village centre
in the alleys of Hongcun – the water flows towards the village centre

At first the village seemed a confusing maze but it was true that the flow of the water was a constant reference to find the way.

entry court
entry court

This extensive house had a series of courtyards and interesting interiors.

larger courtyard
larger courtyard

What a pleasure to step from a small dark interior into a large courtyard… bright and open while still feeling private and intimate.

courtyard with elaborate carving
courtyard with elaborate carving

The intricate carving in the structural members would have been indicative that the family was particularly wealthy at the time the home was built.

romantic bridge
romantic bridge

This bridge was the backdrop for the opening scene of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon… so beautiful.

about to cross the bridge
about to cross the bridge

So I had to cross it too!

from the top of the bridge
from the top of the bridge

And over the top of the tiny bridge… lotus blossoms ahead!

lovely lotus
lovely lotus

The lotus is not just a beautiful flower but also a cultural and Buddhist symbol – while it grows out of the mud, it floats above it untouched and undisturbed…

photos (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer