castle garden of water to beyond

Twelve months in a Japanese garden in Edinburgh

November – Ken’s post

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A visit to the garden at the end of November with Nicole and Stefan, aka ~in the fields, who are in Edinburgh to install their work Ink at the Royal Scottish Academy, part of the Society of Scottish Artists Annual Exhibition 2014. It’s Saturday morning, and there aren’t many people around. There’s no wind, and the clouds refract an unusually even light, with no trace of any shadows – undramatic, as nothing is highlighted. Even the winter blossom blends in rather than stands out. Several birds catch our eye – a heron which comes and goes, a robin hopping very close, a raptor in a treetop, a single crow, a single magpie.

We talk about the centenary of World War One; they’ve been asked to work on a remembrance project in Argyll which lists the names of local men who were killed, including their rank and regiment, but they feel the latter is a diminution of the person, as for many it formed such a brief part of an otherwise richer life. We would honour them better by recalling their pre-war lives rather than by – literally – regimenting them in military categories.

Author: Castle Garden of Water to Beyond 2014

Poet Ken Cockburn decided to visit the Japanese garden at Lauriston Castle in Edinburgh once a month during 2014, and to invite a group of friends to join him on these visits. The idea is to get a sense of the garden as it changes over the year, to meet and talk socially in an outdoor setting, and to make of it what we will…

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