Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Friday, January 28, 2005
 
Inside The Buddha

I can't wait to blog my pictures when I get home. It's just a bit too tricky for me to do it from Japan, but this trip has been a great stimulator of my shutter-finger. The Japanese are so photography-happy that I rarely feel bad or self-concious snapping away at people and things. I'm still getting used to my camera, though, and it's frustrating not to quite know all its powers. I think one of the pictures I wish I could have had bigger camera for is the inside of a Giant Buddha's skull. That's right, I was taking pictures of the inside of a Giant Buddha. Here's a substitute account, including a photo centered on what I'm thinking is the inside of the Buddha's chest: but I'd have to disagree with the caption--it's not scary in there at all. Maybe it's because I was surrounded by bouncy school children and chuckling senior citizens, but I found the inside to be quite delightful, inspiring an almost romantic ebullience. One minute you're outside in the open, and its serene and everyone is well-behaved, and then the next minute you're inside a bronze cave with light and shadows and shallow echoes, and everyone is giggly. There ought to be a little joy inside of enlightenment, right?

The whole day, in fact, was quite delightful. If I ever become a wealthy novelist, I could totally see myself taking a writer's vacation and just hanging out in Kamakura for a few weeks---going on leisurely hikes and studying the fantastical gardens in slow detail. It's clearly a tourist attraction, but a Japanese tourist attraction--Michelle and I saw no more two or three other westerners all day. (I've neglected to mention that the "we" of previous posts is me and my college amiga, Harvard physics student Michelle Cyrier, who is on her way to China for an extended string theory collaboration. When I get back you'll see her in some of the photos.) Rather like the bay area in climate, the town is full of neat and narrow lanes---pretty angled houses nestled in between hilly groves of bamboo and cypress, and ancient temples. From the Daibutsu to the biggest wooden Buddhist scultpure in Japan to its oldest Zen monastery to an impromptu hike up the monastery's mini mountain, today provided a nice counterpoint to Tokyo's urban density. I was particularly charmed by the sight of hundreds of schoolboys running up the monastery lanes and about a third of the way up the mountain, and back, chattering at each other as they panted and raced past Zen monks, all decked out in baseball uniforms. I wonder if I would have been inspired to take my 7th grade weekly mile-run more seriously in such an ancient setting. I wonder if they'd find the rose gardens of Pasadena an equally exotic setting for P.E.

 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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