Bore dear reader

Who, What, When and Why  are all lurking behind that wall?

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California St and the Bay Bridge  and beyond in the dimness  is Berkeley,

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Bizen is a traditional  kiln of Japanese  pottery,  the word kiln here refers not to a place where clay is  fired, but  to an area  where potters  have a tradition of using  the same basic clay,  similar,  have skills and  techniques, and a specific “quality”—look and feel— of the pots. You can see  a piece of Bizen,or Oribe  or Hagi or Shino, whether made in today hundreds of years ago and still see the tradition of the kiln,

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I find this different than most American potters where  (to me) the individual style, or creativeness, of the potter is more important than being part of a tradition. A book , “The Unknown Potter”  contrasts the “modern ” and “traditional” potter where  the former   is educated at an art school, studies various  techniques and styles, creates and then offers  their own style  to the world, The tradition potter learned  by sweeping the floors, doing the grunt work around the pottery, delivering the pots to customers, basically a one on one apprenticeship learning from the ground up.

Below is a Bizen tokkuri and a  Seto-guro guinomi  which is one my favorites being a pleasure hold and just the right size, One quality I enjoy in apiece of pottery, when I first see  it I feel an impression,  and then when I pick it up in my hand is that feeling  followed through.

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The book suggests where the modern potter studies a variety of  different styles and  learns to make his or her style  from the mind, the traditional potter learns one style, “The Right Style,” and creates pots from the heart.

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When I see Japanese  pottery usually I  know the kiln, I can identity the style  and  yet I can see the individual potters contribution , it is not overwhelming—except perhaps for Suzuki Goro yet in his pots  you still knowingly  feel the tradition.

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WhenI first started  my graphic design business, I rented a space for $35 per month, not a great space to bring clients into, but it worked for me. and I grew out of it, For about  17 years I rented space in the building which was rented by Fremont Type, a type setting company owned by Bill Stroh making him my landlord.

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Bill was an unusual person who while being politically conservative, had an intense curiosity  about people,  their unique qualities and enjoyed being around different people and helping people in need.  At “his type house” you might meet people from many different walks in life, including some young men dying from AIDS ( this was 1980s)  who had no other place to turn.

One afternoon, years after moving my office,  I met him in a shopping center, it was a few years before he was to die, He was on regular dialysis, paying about 1/8 what I was paying for my medical  insurance from the same provider.

I attended his funeral ceremony, which was attended by more people than will attend mine if there is one for me which is unlikely. Most of the people there, like me, had memories of the times Bill helped them in their life,  I guess that is a  worthwhile accomplishment.

Perhaps better than just popping up  here and there  making an artificial  spectacle of my self.

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Alameda Creek levee, where I walk everyday,

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Know gate with prejudice

“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside ourselves while we live.”

“Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man.”
Two quotes from Norman Cousins

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When people stare at me my mind goes empty,  its as if they are looking through me as if I am nothing to  exist.

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Doors which entice  me to enter

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or it could just be a trap door seeking forgiveness for something I forgot or  happened to you and knot too me.

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War seems to coming from all sides with little intention of winning

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But certainly my own  personal problems  are far more important

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Don’t look, don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t here. Eye see you  hiding something from you and I don’t no what it is,  if I could tell  then you would no.

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Outside that promises things which it wants me  to change or graciously  accept  in my  empty wis(e)dom(e),  it rules are so bad  why   do we have them and if they are good why is there so much evil in the world, ext stop could be  Willoughby or maybe Wannabe.

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One Sunday afternoon about 1975   in the empty lots of Jamaica Plain, that would make him about 55 years old today

 

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The gate of know gate will not me out

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Even when in a crowd with a purpose in mind, some still walk alone

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and some walk together in their loneliness

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And after  all  these years my sickness  is still knot cured

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And until that happens I am just  a men ace  loose among the normality where know one parks my driveway.

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Thanks be for giving

If you could would you twould   what could have been should.

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Boys, Mt. Auburn Cemetary (circa1970)

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Winifred  used to make boxes and introduced me to Joseph Cornell, she was separated from her husband, Jeff, both  friends of mine, and while I was in art school she got a new position at an Art Museum in Los Angeles. Shortly after moving and being employed in her new position she died in an an automobile accident, I do not know the details.

Of course that is me, in a herringbone Harris tweed , I don’t get to wear them much anymore being retired and all, but Have liked them since I was in high school

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Japan never fails to amaze, an advertisement sign  outside a bar,

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Mission District, it look like a tv week of discrete pieces of information  one top of the other,

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If I were truely trying to understand myself would I make an image like this?

shadoIdeas_Ltr1_650The road up the hill, San  Francisco

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Look at these next two  couples,  ask  yourself : What is their relationship to each other? What are the words  (if any), passing   ((or not being spoken) between them.

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Your response is that there is a very different visual experience  generating a different  feeling about what is happening between the man and woman  in each of these images.

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Could I have been hiding from you all these years?  I was really here behind this camera just waiting to smile, but  forgot, or disremembered, or or did things I wish I had not done and could go back and redo and then I realize or rationalize no matter what it would have all come out the same. To not agree is to end up being unhappy.

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Know one nose

When I first learned about string theory with the implication that there are more dimensions  than the ones we know— one dimension: a point; two dimensions: a line;  three dimensions; a solid; and four dimensions: time; or maybe all put together: space-time.

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Yet, a point, a line, are not real, they are conceptual tools which we all use for communication with others, for designing and building, and so on. iI your room is 10″ x 12″  you don’t  go out and   buy a  rug which is 15″ x20.” Even Euclid in “The Elements” was definitive that a point and line are not real but concepts

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So if the dimensions we know are not real then how can there be more of something that is not real? But  look at a shadow, the absence of light surrounded by light, it is indeed two dimensional and it is a real thing, we have a word for  it and everywhere there are people they have a  common  empirical experience and agree on what it is, a shadow.

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Actually of course a shadow is three dimensional (as Bob’s wife pointed out to me),  we do not see its three dimensionality because  a shadow needs a medium , a three dimensional object on which to appear,  however in the space between the object and the shadow  it is dark but we d usually o not see it, although if you are hiking in the mountains or walking among the caverns of tall buildings in a city in the late afternoon you do experience this “in between” darkness.

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So I thought I would make some images of my shadow  to explore this .

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There was a famous satirical book titled “Flatland” written by Edwin Abbott in1884 in which he makes a story about the interrelations  between  “beings ” who are points, lines, two dimensional and solids and how they experience each other. There is a “point land” and a  “line land” and “polygon land“ mixed in together.

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A line would experience a square as a line, a point cannot experience  a line,  polygon  or a  sphere and so in the society  these things have little or no ability to “know”  each other.

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The result is much like the chaos we see in society where some politicians (demagogues) identify “groups” in society and try to establish their career by  generating antagonism and if successful, hate and violence between the groups.

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One problem with politics is that lying, using violence, lacking compassion, empathy, remorse, integrity will appeal to man ypeople, its not like making a product which can be judged  by whether it works or not, in politics the promises of demagogues may often sound better than the reality of life.

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But words are pretty empty, and unrealized words (promises) about a better future often sound more hopeful  than today’s reality to many people, and yet no matter how many times the promises fail to materialize, to many, empty promises sound better than today’s realities.

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Perhaps even more interesting, even when the promises are realized there are those politicians who will deny that the promises were ever realized and they will still attract a following. Anyway while these Shado images do not promise anything, they are not making any promises to you.  Hopefully as you go out and  about your day there will be moments when you look around  and see your own shadow on a wall, on the top of car, and remember it will  always be there  with you and for you.

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When time goes bye

As I get older there seems to be little reason to go “shopping for anything beside food.” I have enough clothes for the rest of my life, well maybe not underwear, one more six pack should do it.

A few images from San Francisco

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When I was in my first year of college living in the dorm there used to be a perpetual poker game going  in one fo the “relaxing rooms.”  On popular game was known as “man or mouse,” which had a one penny ante, winner took the pot and losers doubled the  pot. and the game would go until there was only a winner.  If you dropped out out of a hand and there were losers who doubled the pot and if you had made the initial one penny ante you would still be in the game until there someone  cleared the  pot with no one to accept the challenge.

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Even with a one penny ante  these pots could get up to $30 or $50 pretty rapidly and$100 + pots were not unusual . In the 1069s this was a good idea of money for a college student, well maybe not at at the “famous schools where legacy  admissions are prevalent but at most universities.

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I was mostly a by stander,  although I liked playing poker for small stakes when I was young, a few days before going on a family vacation I lost all my “vacation savings” in a card game and since then I have never allowed the hopeful temptations  of gambling to guide my judgement.

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This game, “man or mouse,” could move very fast  and some kids very “into it” and for college kids  too much money changed hands very quickly. It lead to stealing, first some would steal from store, mostly clothes,  towel in the dorm and then  things  started missing from student’s dorm rooms,

The United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, there are interesting quotes written into the walk way  and maybe some truth is written on the wall.

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Students became more suspecting, more wary  of each other , still the games went on  until one day one student was caught cheating in a game.

Saints Peter and PaulChurch  inSan Francisco one afternoon

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Some  broke into the student’s room, he did not share, but  dormed alone, and as they began searching,  they discovered all missing stolen property.

But they also found —this student had attended a Big Ten school at one time but dropped out—a Rose Bowl sheepskin, one given to a football player in recognition of their participation in the Rose Bowl. This student never been a football player, and as the discussion “got heated up ” it  because obvious, and then known for sure, that this student had stolen this sheepskin  from a football player who had earned it.

When I was young , maybe 6th grade, 7th grade, there were a few times I did steal stupid , inexpensive things  from  stores, I got caught  once, my father and I had to  meet with the store manager, it was a lesson. I think honesty and integrity are important, and there were  times as an adult when have regrets about things I did, as there were times when I have pride  as to my behaviour  in a situations where there were “temptations.” The thing is,  it seems easier for people to remember  the negative things  no matter how few than to remember the positive things no matter how many, which in itself is a good reason to try to maintain some level of integrity. But then again maybe some of the negative things I have done were just so bad that they overshadowed all the positive thingsI did.

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