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IMG_8983Some places inspire creativity. Recently in Japan, I visited Shinjuku Gyoen and it is such a place. You arrive there mostly via train to Shinjuku, apparently the busiest train station in the world. It’s a short distance that you walk from there, surrounded by people, tall buildings, lights, traffic, signs and noise.

You orientate yourself through the ticket office, the pathways and a forest with the tips of tall buildings from streets away peeking though the canopy.

Shinjuku buildings through treesYou then find yourself in a place that opens into the greenest heart of peace.

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Shinjuku Gyoen opens upIn that space, there are painters beneath trees, beside the water, their easels before them, an eye on the view and their backs turned away as they concentrate. There are others like me, taking photographs, striving to capture the light and peace of that place to take home somehow.

IMG_8960IMG_9009Reflections of clouds in the water, the roundness of trees balanced in the air, the greenness like a balm, gentle canopies and vistas framed. The garden is designed to invite you to stand and make your own landscape.

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IMG_8973It’s a place where creativity happens and is fostered, where you can be at peace in a place of beauty and feel yourself grow like the trees and blossom like the flowers.

You can see why people are drawn there to create. Or if like me, you come without this prior knowledge, you might be surprised at what you find there and find a part of you reignited as you walk, trying to fashion a vision of this place to hold onto and call your own.

The thoughts and images linger and I try to capture them again here as stepping stones to trace my way back to a creative flame I can rekindle.