What makes framed scenes eternal is their imminent
passing. Lovers of the bud and fallen petal,
the Japanese celebrate October chrysanthemums
and irises with equal ardour. The cherry blossom's better
than the longer-blooming plum.

When my grandmother died, V. arrived
with a dozen white roses in twelve vials
of clear water.

The feeling of serenity will be diminished if the space overhead is too open
and unprotected. A few large trees with thick foliage at the top and far-
reaching branches will create a natural canopy that protects the viewer from
feeling too exposed.

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