Falling Cherry Blossoms

Last March I posted a blog referencing Makoto Fujimura. He’s become a staple for me to follow-podcast episodes, videos, books, etc. A few months ago I started reading his book Silence and Beauty, where he goes in depth to analyze the book I mentioned in the previous blog post and its place in Japanese art and history. I finished reading it on a plane ride Saturday.

I’m glad I took my time reading this book. The slower read allowed for his words and thoughts to breathe and to sink. What I enjoyed most about this form of Fujimura’s art was how he chose to build toward the ending. His final chapter, Mission Beyond the Waves, overflowed with images and challenges that perfectly summarized his message of silence and beauty.

The image that most caught my attention was his imagery and symbolism of falling cherry blossoms. “In Japan of old, cherry blossoms are considered most beautiful when they are falling.” He penned that following this quote by former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams:

Our voyages are all about loss and death. At the moment of our death, which could be any moment, how is my mortality to be made fruitful in the life of another? How may my loss and my suffering become a Word to others? The ultimate question that any of us, or any art, can ask is this: “How may I die generously?”

Meditation on Death

If indeed cherry blossoms are most beautiful when they fall, they are most beautiful when they are broken and completely sacrificed. Fujimura’s challenge is for us all to be generous. Generosity in our faith and in our acts “can be a sacramental act to bridge the divide and brokenness created in society.”

What generous act are you prompted to complete? How can your faith assist you? What beauty is coming when you offer your creations?

Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

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