Ryoan-ji

I screech in fury. I whoop with elation. Silently.

Ever since being arrested in a Extinction Rebellion action, I’ve pondered how to fully express those twin emotions, felt while face down on pavement, cufflinks being fastened to wrists. Fury at what I and my generation bequeath to my grandchildren’s children and their forebears. Elation at finally joining with others to do something.

Perhaps I could find a screaming place in Australian mountains but I hike with others. Certainly in Japan you’re never remote enough. So I tried a different approach.

I’m no expert at meditation but a year of trying ten minutes a day using an app has given me the basics, so at Ryoan-ji in northwest Kyoto, I do my best to sink into fifteen minutes beside the fifteen rocks and exquisitely raked sand.

Inside I shriek my voice hoarse.

Inside I dance a jig.

No one would label me as emotive and I have my lips shut, but a tear escapes and then a smile cracks my face.