Hideko Metaxas found this stone many years ago on the Klamath River. As often seems to be the case with really good suiseki, it was lying right-side-up on the surface, seemingly waiting to be discovered. Hideko says about this stone
When I first found this stone, I knew it was extraordinary. It gave me the feeling of times long past. The restrained and subtle color, with its deep, rusty, weathered, patina gives it a calm, consoling feeling. The gentle, quiet, shape is tender and comforting. The wrinkles and furrows that run through the middle of the stone suggest that something happened a long time ago, but that everything is now quiet.
The size is small enough to hold in my palms and hear and feel what the stone is trying to tell me – or maybe what I want to hear from the stone. When I hold it in my hands I feel at one with the universe and the magical healing power of the stone embraces my soul.
Mas right away fell in love with this stone when he saw it at Hideko’s house. He said:
This is not the type of stone that will stand out in a suiseki contest, but even so it caught my eye immediately. The beauty of its depth, modesty and simplicity all combine to create a deep wabi-sabi feeling. It reminded me of a special gift I received from our suiseki teacher, Mr. Hirotsu.
About 25 years ago, not long before he passed away, he gave me a little suiseki, which he loved. At that time I didn’t quite understand what he was trying to show me with this gift. For Mr. Hirotsu suiseki were the way into the world of Zen, but I could not yet follow along with him.
One way to appreciate stones is through the natural landscapes and figures defined in traditional suiseki. Another way is to go beyond this into the realm of fine art. However, just as most of the universe is “dark matter”, hidden from our view, behind these visual forms is a very personal, emotional and spiritual world of suiseki. After many years had passed I realized that Hirotsu-sensei was trying to lead me to this Zen world with his valuable gift.
Hideko says there are many ways to appreciate suiseki. She tells about the time when Nancy Eaton, the editor of the Golden Statements bonsai magazine, was publishing an article about Mr. Hirotsu and his suiseki. Nancy asked Hirotsu-sensei if he had any advice for suiseki admirers; he said calmly, with a gentle smile, ”just enjoy it”.
Gift from Hirotsu-sensei
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