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Rock garden


Reading the liner notes to my new SACD of solo music by Yo Yo Ma, it reminded me of The Gathering:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>
In early 1999, during a trip to Japan, Yo-Yo Ma visited the Zen garden of the Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto. The garden is thought to have been designed at the end of the fifteenth century, and consists of fifteen rocks placed amid white sand in several groups of two and three. No single vantage point provides a complete view of all of the rocks, and in one Zen gloss, the garden's meaning emerges from contemplating the contradiction implicit in trying to see the whole at any one moment: to take in all the rocks, a viewer must move, but doing so means relinquishing one perspective in order to gain another.

Kinda sounds like the rock garden Delenn and Sinclair were hanging out at in The Gathering, no? I don't remember if they had anything to do with that moving around to get perspective stuff, but it still reminds me of it.
Japanese sand and rock gardens are interesting, to say the least. But I would rather build one with shallow fish ponds. Especially if the fish are decorative carps (Nishikigoi). Watching colorful fish is surely much more relaxing than staring at stones, although there are times suitable for the latter as well.

Sadly enough, rocks require far less care than fish.
Thus on a space station, they would be the natural choice.
Not just the gathering but Minbari in general. JMS leaned stronly towards an oriental basis for the Minbari eg Caste system. Codes of honor, styles of meditation.
The whole Minbari culture is strongly reminiscent of Japanese culture!