Synopses & Reviews
Kieran Egan had a fantasy. Inspired by a visit to a friendand#8217;s miniature Zen garden on a balcony in Nagoya, he returned home determined to build his own Japanese garden.
Like many men his age, with kids grown up and moved away, he was ready to tackle something new and#151; and tackle was the right word. Even before he began, he had to spend days hacking at the overgrown thicket where his garden would be. At night, dreaming of roots with nothing to do but grow, he thought less about Zen masters than about Dorothy Parker, who observed, and#147;Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.and#8221; In spite of the running conflict between Zen philosophy and his own rather slapdash methods, he succeeded in creating and#147;a treat for the eye and spirit.and#8221; Like Michael Pollanand#8217;s A PLACE OF MY OWN, BUILDING MY ZEN GARDEN will appeal to men, and to women as a gift for men. In these prosperous times, when men of the baby-boom generation are often looking for something new, building a Zen garden could very well be it and#151; even if, after reading and laughing at the authorand#8217;s adventures, they never build one themselves.
"Building My Zen Garden" tells of the adventures and occasional mayhem of a Western amateur seeking to create a place of harmony and peace that calms the soul. Photos throughout.