Surfing Japanese fashion has become a productive meditation for working out how to adapt house and garden to the massive development in the neighborhood. Schoolgirl style is not relevant, but the work of Miyake and Yamamoto cuts through irrelevant details like lemon through sugar.
I would not have expected looking at clothing to unwind the tangled considerations of conflicting domestic styles. The pace of development in Seattle hardly needs mentioning. The comfortable urban farmhouse approach that served us so well in 1980 is all but obliterated by the demands of digital culture. The change brings me no grief.
Observing the subtleties of simple clothing expressions allows me to observe the subtleties of the garden, for example. I am able to appreciate what the plants are doing on their own, so that I can plan what to ignore and what to edit. The garden has always appreciated being relieved of hassles: branches that cross, aggressive specimens, plain old weeds, and simple overgrowth. By now, I know what each variety in the garden is likely to do in the future and what care it will want, if any.