know Way lost, oar found

See You, My Friend

Poem by Janney YZ 2020



I have walked along  Alameda Creek Levee for over 14 years now enjoying   conversations with many different people, one of them is Bill.  I am 74.5 years,  he is older than me, probably also wiser and he and wife actively enjoy Shakespeare and walking along the creek, hopefully we would both say we have enjoyed some  interesting conversations

He is having difficulty walking and will be moving to a more appropriate living situation somewhere else. Janney  wrote the poem to go with my photograph, he was always enjoying the creek, watching  the water levels, the flora and fauna, rarely missing any daily changes.

For the past few weeks many neighbors who have been staying inside their homes, perhaps out of boredom are venturing out to walk along the Alameda Creek trail.


I could complain too many arrogant bike riders, too much un-picked-up dog poop , and too many walking by ignoring my brief hello. I say hello to everyone, we are all fellow travelers, so to speak  and there for the same reason.


Buddha mind is born in Buddha mind,
Buddha mind grows old in Buddha mind,
And, after all, Buddha mind dies in Buddha mind.
Endo Tai Shmano

I do not mind that I do not have Buddha mind, I would probably misplace it like I do phone  but when I misplace my phone, I just use use another  phone to call the number and when it rings I go get it.


I walk out there everyday—well probably not EXACTLY EVERY DAY,  last November I was in Tokyo for 20 days, last summer I got a colonoscopy and had to prepare for two plus days before and the second day I was in no condition to be too far from home, but I try try to make at least one photograph every day with my little 8200 camera.

Yesterday the thought came to me, with no advertising, maybe the iPhone might be a better camera. I do not carry my better camera out walking  because its too heavy and because  my prime objective is exercise as opposed to making photographs the risk  of damage is not acceptable.


The 8200 has a glass lens, fits in the pocket, and is cheap, if it breaks I buy another one, used, as Nikon stopped making it a few years ago.


It is also extremely important to remember that a foreign word, once borrowed , becomes a Japanese word, and does not necessarily retain the same meaning(s) or usage of the word in its original language.
Anne Matsumoto Stewart   All About Katakana

That is an interesting thing about Japanese, they see things they like, perhaps in other countries, incorporate it into their lives and instead of changing their society, it becomes Japanese.


Along this Way
Goes no one
This autumn evening


.My photographs do not tell you any truths about the world, they are mostly about me looking at myself. That may seem selfish, then again, if I cannot find any truths in them why would anyone else?  Is what we see what we get?



And what we get is what we see or maybe its just a Dutch landscape along a river.


Or a reason for committing to survival behaviour to protect our home from global warming caused by human behaviour. Are we so stupid that we think our survival is dependent on making war with that which gave us our lives and is our home.

Or perhaps there are some who do not care and as long as we are destroying the Earth they wish to live in style at the expense of everyone else.


The “life” in the old glazes is due in large measure to the presence of elements in the raw material which the old potters either did not know how, or did not desire, to eliminate.
 A Potter’’s Handbook   Bernard Leach

Bizen is one of the Nihon Rokkyou, the Six Old Kilns of Japan, folk pottery producing areas which have continued  to the present.  One thing that separates the folk kilns from the “sophisticated” kilns of Kyoto is high fired porcelain which holds liquid.


The first folk  “high fire”” pottery glazed and fired which vitrifies— it holds liquid — was made in Seto/Mino area resulting from efforts to duplicate celadon from China. Ki-seto (yellow seto) was created and then to measure the heat while firing , small objects were made, glazed, placed near the opening  and at various times pulled out  to measure the kiln, then cooled down quickly in water and the yellow turned to black, or Setoguro (black Seto).


Street photography is a common term in photography , the street is painted, usually by the government and then there is traffic, feet, cars, motorcycles, wagons, skateboards and weather, all taking turns at being the artist.


Truth at the UN Plaza, San Francisco


This is  up near Church St in San Francisco towards the underground  tunnel.


The late afternoon sun warms the financial district.


Waiting for the butter to melt
I add a little more. When
I don’t really want it.

Why do people come to a demonstration? Social discontents? Personal discontents? to meet people? to feel as a group?  to  belong  to something ?  To get in a position of authority or responsibility?


Our lives are so many different pieces which we may struggle to integrate, though it may feelonour journey  we only had time to throw the pieces into the back  of our  station wagon  ande continue on our way. Worry about when it gets full.


We used to buy used tires  in the next town, Arlington,  where Morris, small business owner in his mid sixties then, would tell us stories of his war against the government which, under Urban Renewal, had displaced his tire business from a very very  busy street to the only place he could find in his budget, a very low traffic area with empty lots as his neighbors. He had to lay off his employees and was now by himself.

Once we met a well suited long-time-before-the move customer, he had driven over 40 minutes from his suburban residence, as he explained, just to spend his money here because he felt Morris got a bad deal from the government which had no right to “steal the  property of its citizens by eminent domain.

Much of the time  Morris harassed him with negative comments attacking the evils of government integrated with the evils of capitalism nuanced with personal negative insinuations. Still the customer really felt good about himself for making this effort.


I lived in San Jose near downtown, Santa Clara and 11th, I was just starting in business, long hours , lonely nights and sometimes I would walk down to the theater downtown, it was $1 entrance and $1 for a big tub of popcorn.

They usually played kung-fu movies, the audience could, maybe would is better, get rowdy so the lights were never less than dimmed, there would be whole families, fathers, mothers, kids, sitting and eating popcorn from big buckets. When a Bruce Lee film played, there would be standing room only, and loud cheering.

There is a book titled  Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill which features a contract you make with yourself describing your objectives  and the symbiosis between what what you give in return for receiving  what you want.

After Bruce Lee died, I came across a two or three paragrap  news article describing his estate which included a written contract by a very young  Bruce Lee,  and, as recommended  in the book where he had written, (my poor memory paraphrase)  his goal was to be a world film star and in return he committed himself to giving  the audiences great performances.

Maybe in the background that is Guanyin?


Nishi Shinjuku, its interesting because the gesture of the  girl in blue feels like she is standing on one leg which creates an unanswered question. Maybe there are no answers, or no solutions, we just think they are and when we undertak  them we find they do not solve any problems, life just goes on, there is always someone to take credit and someone to blame especially y if there was no problem to begin with,


I see someone in this crowd that I feel I would  like to be, someone I would trade places with, it feels weird that I would give my own life to be someone in a photograph, but that is the power of photography.


My camera is like a black  hole, something  goes in and nothing comes out.


When New Year’s day comes around I like to watch Japanese movies while drinking sake using my Japanese tokkuri and guinomi and eating some nibbling foods such as shiokara and pickled fish.  Later I take a walk along Alameda Creek, we have sukiyaki and cleanup the pan with mochi.


A line from a song was —
“When you wake in the morn to find your lonely” and I remember I just put it back where I keep it hidden.

A light enso returns me to myself and keeps my feet on the ground.



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