Garden Performance Art—Ikebana on Alcatraz


A lot has been going on recently and although I’d wanted to say something about this here sooner, I’ve just not had the time. This past summer I had a realization that I wanted something new and challenging in my life and that I wanted to grow and learn from it. The activity had to be rewarding both medically and, in a sense, spiritually, oh, and it had to involve plants of course! Living with chronic health issues has been difficult and I’ve wanted to return to meditation for years, but my inability to concentrate through the static has been really difficult. That was until a door opened unto me.

Guard door in the Recreational Yard at Alcatraz. You can just barely see the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge. The rest is obscured in that horizontal fog cover.

We had already been planning to go to Alcatraz for my birthday because it has been a few years since my last visit and I love the gardens, but when I realized that I wanted to work on an “Ikebana a day to keep the doctor away” I knew that this project had to start on the Rock. How many times have you heard a chronic illness described as: isolating, a life sentence, prison-like, or being trapped? Well, this project will begin and end on Alcatraz and over the next year I intend to really try to challenge these descriptors as much as I can by freeing up some happiness.

Here is the first picture from the new blog A Year of Ikebana and if you’re interested in daily updates follow along as I learn more and more about the practice of Ikebana. In the meantime, I am just going to begin arranging in order to get a feel for expressing things through my fingertips.
PS—Gardens of Alcatraz will be up next!

4 thoughts on “Garden Performance Art—Ikebana on Alcatraz

  1. Looking forward to reading your Gardens of Alcatraz posts. I didn't even know there were interesting gardens there. I recently mentioned to my husband that San Francisco might be a possible vacation spot next year, but when he asked me what the attraction was, I couldn't tell him. Now at least I know there are some cool gardens there.

    Did you drive down from Portland? I'd like to do that.


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