HE SAID: Last week you said that an object is right when it works with the garden as a whole. What did you mean by that?
SHE SAID: Well, i remember early on that we spent a lot of time discussing the notions of East and West. When we were designing the Tsukubai, for instance, we had some fairly heated discussions about how "authentic" we should try to make it...
HE SAID: ...knowing full well that the term "authentic" would never apply to our garden as a Japanese garden.
SHE SAID: So I said, why try. Why not draw from whatever influences attracted us but not be constrained by some other culture's definition of a garden.
HE SAID: I think that's when I first started using the word "analog" to describe a structure that is similar in function but one that evolved out of another culture. Like using copper piping for the flume in the Tsukubai instead of the traditional bamboo...
SHE SAID: ...or turning the English chimney pot into a lantern.
HE SAID: But, now that we have several more traditional looking lanterns, I'm not sure I feel the same way about the chimney pot. It's still a great garden ornament with a wonderful shape and patina, but does it still work as a lantern analog?
SHE SAID: My point is: it doesn't have to. What's that old saying — consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds?
HE SAID: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." — Emerson (I looked it up.) But doesn't a certain amount of consistency make sense, contribute to the feeling of unity or wholeness we claim to be after.
SHE SAID: Well, a couple of thoughts suggest themselves. One, I think we need to trust our instincts. We've made good decisions in the past, for the most part; and when we've been wrong, we've had the courage to admit it and banish the misfit object. And two, we're both artists. Why shouldn't we have art in our garden, real art which challenges its surroundings?
HE SAID: I don't know. I still think that the garden, as an artwork, should take precedence over art objects that are added to the garden.
SHE SAID: Which brings us back to where we started: "an object is right when it works with the garden as a whole."
HE SAID: Do you think the crane is too much of a cliche?
SHE SAID: I think we should give it a rest!