Zen, know weighting

He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them needs religion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The nice thing about starting with a famous quote rather  than an illustration is that, generally, in popular communication, words are more ambiguous, not as precise and definitive, as a photograph although I am the exception in that generally  I want my photographs to be visually ambiguous, though I am not sure that really makes any  difference, it just  makes me feel better, so selfish and willful of me.

painting by Janney


Generally people consider a photograph (also video or film) to be more visually factual than a painting, drawing or other forms of visual representation.

What’s real here? A young man more enthralled with his phone than seeing four beautiful girls? Or  “girl is wearing blue jeans, light blue hoodie, white slip-on shoes . . . ”

The latter is more visually accurate than the former but the former is more interesting.


A feeling of a single duck, then and again is a single duck really a feeing? I feel like a single duck . . . out of water. . .


Along Alameda Creek, There is a path above the wall, and a tall  fence   so to get theirs concrete roof you have to walk around  the side,  Teenagers like to be there in groups or by themselves. For awhile before the virus  a couple  of young men were sporadically pitching a tent on the right  bottom side.


“Now my mother just took the chickene and wrung it around in her hand like this (demonstrates) and cut it up in no time and got it ready, but I couldn’t do it. I had to step on the head and pull it off if my husband wasn’t there to kill it.”
Feeding Our Families     Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

In the area  I live people expect the vegetables they buy in the supermarket to be  washed, when I was young  it was SOP to buy vegetables with dirt on them, and it was common  to wash them yourself.

I have walked along Alameda Creek levee for many years meeting a lot of people.   Everyone has a life,  a story or two to tell—there is always a difference “’tween the doin’ and the tellin’.”


“The biggest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution that has to start with each one of us.”
Dorothy Day     Co-founder of Catholic Worker Movement

Is this what you do on a date? Or perhaps its mother and son, either one  . . .  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? What is it that is intrusive perhaps that you would be uncomfortable if someone —a stranger?  your spouse? a professional situation at photo shot?


“When I was a child, I remember butchering was quite a day. The neighbors were great to help people out and the women always came along.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

The path takes a turn, a stem  or a stope  and follows the water to down a  ways,  then turns right, goes behind the buildings  you see at the corner of Alverado-Niles Road and Decoto—there’s a Shell station with car wash on the corner,  an Indian grocery store and I do not remember what else.

In much of the world people ride bikes for transportation and use them for transport of goods, in my neighborhood they ride them for exercise and enjoyment.


“We thought it was a great thing when we got far enough along that she would buy a butter mold. I remember ours had a carving  on the mold part, of a pineapple.  She would mold it and put it out on a plate, cover it up, and take it to the cellar until it was needed.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers


A mother  with her baby in the rain making a selfie with the baby facing her so the photograph will not show the baby’s face. This is why people are so interesting.


When I was young I used to think, “Why do people do the things they do?”  Is there a cause,  some kind of a reason why?  Having done things in my life that I cannot understand why I did them, how can I be so presumptuous . . . to think I could understand things I know less about than my own experiences which I know more about and fail to understand . . .

painting by Janney


. . . or maybe I did not know more about my own experiences and that is why I failed to understand.

Around and behind the west side of Sensoji is a little store,  Does it make a difference whether you see it close . . .


or from a distance.  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? Is there an “independent objective” standard for personal space? Is it how the other person feels?. . .

and how do you know how the other person feels?—because your “conscience”  is a common shared sense for empathy, compassion and remorse.

What happens when this “common sense” is abused?  Can it be abused for good as well as bad? or just for fun.

For me it was simply framing the woman’s face between the shelves through the front glass, nothing about who she is, how she feels or any wisdom she might have learned in her life.


I wonder what it would be like to live next to a railroad  track, at least when the trains are on time there is a schedule  to your disruptions but I would not like be planning  my behavour around the schedule of a train.


Houses amid hi-rises, wires, vending machines, and a temple  in Honjo, there are a lot of people Tokyo, land is valuable and expensive, What happens when temples or shrines need to sell their land to pay the bills?

Daily people walk by and walk through temples and shrines, daily they experience what it feels  to be Japanese. When many Japanese daily walk by a local temple they do not feel  the  differences  between the different “sects,”  its just being  Japanese.

 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

Houses in Tokyo.


 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

These things used to be more important in my life, or  I liked to pretend they were more important in my life, as you can see smoking was important my in life THEN,

It was probably shortly after this that I quit,


In that sense, without much sense,  or in sense  too often its only me, with my hands in my pockets and my camera in the shadows, standing on the side of the road  watching the parade go by.




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