It is said that beautiful flowers and trees are Nature laughing. This stunning painting by
Mariko Kinoshita, my partner-artist, really exemplifies this notion. The flowers jump
straight into your heart as you gaze on the cozy rural dwellings made of stone, a material
which is unusable in Kinoshita’s native earthquake-ridden Japan, and accompanied by an
abundance of giggling trees. She has elevated the blue river which appears to be watering
the flowers and in turn lifts us high into the sky where we can all laugh together.
In the spiritual plan of things and perhaps in our dream-states, we strongly detect our
closeness to nature and the universe, and through this on to our origins in the invisible and
impermanent world. It is the mystical order in this painting that touches and transports
us to that fullness of joy which we all have free access to if we choose.
Kinoshita’s Shinto spirit (Shinto, or the ‘Way of the Gods,’ the state religion of Japan
from 500 BCE until 1945) pervades this painting: the conviction that everything and everyone
has a spirit, invisible to the physical eyes, and worthy of full veneration and respect.