Photographs know eye can see.

Last memories of Bill, he was a handsome man when he was young, about ten years ago.

And the gardener does one last trimming. When we moved there in fall 1993 the gardener lived next door in the original farmhouse. Some years later the property was sold to a developer who built two houses on the lot. In our neighborhood, I, perhaps in a minority of one, preferred the farm house and barns while mot thought it reduced property values.

Alameda Creek

Photographs extend your experience of time and space. The photograph shows you the past. —there was a Twilight Zone episode with a camera that took photos of the future— the photo is taken and time passes before people can see it; then it stays the same while the world around it changes. Staying the same as a form of entropy.

Thomas Demand reprivatises scenes from history out of cardboard, photographs them, and then destroys the scene. (He describes his process here). He makes photographs of card board scenes which he creates and then destroys the scene. HIs photographs are displayed in museums and sold as Art. For example, he might use a well known photograph., make a 3-D sculpture of the image or parts of the image out of card board, photograph it, make a print of the photograph and then destroy the cardboard scene—no one can ever recreate the original photograph without making a new cardboard scene.

He likely makes more doing this than millions of people around this earth who work long hours for barely enough to survive. As an art director when doing press checks at the printer, looking for things—many of which could be considered of minor importance when compared to life, and basic health— I used to have the same thoughts about what I was doing at the moment.

A photograph makes an image of a thing. , or when we see a photograph we visually organize the image until we make sense of it by identifying the thing. If there is a thing we cannot identify then we ask “What is it?”—All done very quickly, as fast as you think.

The concept of “thing” and the ability to use the word “thing” to enable the concept when communicating with others in a “common mentality” is wonderful, a tool for human survival. Its a wonderful “thing.” And here I have just used the thought that its a wonderful tool created by humans and defined it as“a thing” and you understand what I mean, even if you never thought it before, and more interesting . .

even when you disagree with the (my) definition of the “thing.”

The concept of a thing relates to “a commonly used word” which defines a discrete entity from human experience. Humans use their experiences in the universe to differentiate things, define them and give them a word to represent that experience— the things get a name. Sometimes we confuse being able to speak or write the name with understanding what it means, and sometimes we know what the name means but do not have a word.

Could we at some future time differentiate and define all of the things in the universe? Would we? Should we? In the western world the common assumption is the universe is made of things, however western science is always defining things—a discrete entity— and then later finding that thing is made of other things combined into the thing. A hand is a thing but its part of a body. For many years “air”was “nothing” and later science learned about small particles—we still use the word air, but we understand it is a thing made up of things.

Its easier to do this when things are “black and white”, clearly defined with no pesky little egg-shell stepping quantitative differentiations.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
Lewis Carroll

Translators have the interesting opportunity to see how different groups of people separated by language align on their differentiation of things in the universe —Is translating just a problem of matching words meaning the same thing from one language to the other? like putting the same puzzle together over and over? Just as a photograph is simply about having names for every thing in it.


How do people behave in groups. We know to stop at a traffic light. These people do not know their photograph is being taken and are not posing while the young men in the billboard knew their photograph was being taken and were not only posing but styled, posed and directed.

People love, for the most part, to have their photos taken, especially when they are having a good time in a group. circa 1968

Maybe they have a common cause that unites them . . .

A common ceremony like the country auction . . .

Or a common faith.

I will take what I can get, piecemeal, or however,

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate, Biodhisvaha , Seal script by Janney.

There? Been or goin’

Mother fore all stories

Symbolic of the female, the central figure represents our spiritual mother from which we draw strength, love and support for the things we do , . . Have you ever looked in a child’s eyes? Each child no matter what their circumstances always manages to generate that light of hope and imagination, through their love of life.

Robin Teller

Story Teller by Robin Teller Isleta

Story Teller by Peggy Garcia, Acoma

32,000 years ago this artist left a message which has reached through time and the photograph brings it to you through space. Think how relatively new is “writing,” photographs even newer are visually comprehensive and many different printing processes which reproduce the same image endives media. Something happens and the next day T-shirts with a photograph are available. Any surface available becomes a target on which to print.

What are the people in this painting doing? Think how different having a studio, paper; inks; pencils; electronic media—a different world for the artist. If you are in a nomadic hunting society how can you carry materials and media around? How can an artist take time away from hunting, shelter and defense?

Alameda Creek

A photograph extends the eye through time and space. Its available tomorrow and I can send you the photograph. Perhaps people get Alzheimer’s because decreasing we use less of our memory and depend more on tools—That number? why commit it to memory when I can write it down, fillet away and get it when I need it? Record keeping is a big part of this modern world and the pocket sized computer-phone-camera enables people to photograph most anything they want anytime and immediately publish it.

We do not hear, smell, taste or touch to “know” a photograph, we see it. It extends our vision in space and time. Photographs enable the present to see the past, but not the present to see the future or the past to see the present..There was an episode of Twilight with a set developing camera which took photographs of the future.

Camera is a tool to make a photograph, an image.from light, or more accurately, from reflections of light.. The eye senses information reflected off matter—stuff that is not transparent— and the brain process it, sort ing by shape, color, gesture ,what ever is visual.and the brain matches it with the correct category of thing.

Light reflects off something then returns to our eye— On the way to the “something” it may even pass us by and then return to our eye with information about the universe.

The light does not pass through us, we do not feel it reflecting off of us we can not see our image, but someone standing behind us can sees us…The light brings information to the eye, information which the “brain” processes to define—“What is it??”

A moment in time, no one to “see” this except the camera. We easily accept that a photograph is not the real thing while at the same time accepting it as an accurate representation of “the real thing” for most purposes.

Imagine history before or without photography. Before photography people had no idea of it, but take it away —without??—to know you could have a photograph and not have access to it .society would undergo a major transformation.

How we see?, we cannot see some thing until light reflects off it. If something is transparent, light passes through it, we cannot see it.Yet clear glass is transparent and we cannot walk through it.

Glass has been made for over 4000 years, the painting at the beginning of this post is over 32,000 years old—it represents 12.5%. Suppose 200,000 years for homo sapiens, while photography (150 years) represents 0.0075% of that time.

There are things that we all see, and there are things which individuals, from unique characteristics such as biology and life experiences see differently. We are calling things “things” while we are floundering around trying to define a commonly agreed process used to differentiate and define things..

Its Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill and rolling it backdown again.

Crucial to developing a language is having a shared concept of “a thing.” Think how long it took people develop a language. We used things to define things before we defined the things we are using to find the things.we are defining—its a chicken and the egg., and problem never ending. i.,e. Science will never know everything. because the very process of human knowing results in defining new ways to redefine old things.

End Papers

How fast the electronic world is changing . . . How fast the computer is changing.

The first computer I ever saw was about 1962 at the corporation where my father worked— It had its own building. Later, big machines, then desktop, laptop and now, you can carry one around in your pocket which probably has more computing power than the one I saw in 1961.,

When I was young people got their telephones from the service provider.which had a monopoly on the service. The electronic world is a Pandora’s store. So much stuff to buy and so much stuff to throw out.

As human labour becomes digitized it is quantified becoming an unending circular quantification of human labour where each task once quantitavely defined will later be sub divided. There is no end, once you identify a “task” by numbers —i.e. “0“s and “1”s then you can break the “0”s and “! ”s into two parts each, the tortoise and the hare, only in real life we live in real time, in electronic life there is no time.

Quantitatively what does it mean to do a good job? There is always “The Bottom Line.” The Profit is what keeps businesses alive. The more complex is an organization means increased difficulty to measure individual correlation to the bottom line.

A mis-match of subtitles and video, more interesting than the tv episode, and rmroe fun.

One of my rice bowls , the kanji is nakayama. a common name , translated as middle mountain

Visiting my sister we were walking to Jindaiji and stopped in at a small weekly “flea market” on the grounds of a temple. I bought the bowl from this man and woman. My sister connected with the man, he had done some film work acting with a sword. He got so excited that he pulled out these garments and a sword and started showing us sword movements. His girl friend was from France and they were traveling around Japan selling things.

Imagine how difficult it is to categorize every “thing” in the universe when we cannot agree on what are the “things” in the universe or what is the correct “thing” to use to categorize the things.

Every thing gets intertwined and mixed up in a jumble , like the universe, withers small particles moving around joining with other small particles to from larger things and t3hen breaking apart to combine with other small particles and on and on.

The photograph enables me to “remember” myself whenI was young. The small guy is me, with my father and grandfather. I am older than my grandfather was when he died,

Have I been? Or am I going,? Why can I not remember before I was born?

Know options please

We ourselves are among the objects formed in this way. A group of particularly fine atoms comes together to make a body and a mind in the form of a single entity, a human being, whose eventual dispersal is inevitable.
The Story of Philosophy • partial summation of Epicurus’s philosophy • Bryan McGee

One moment in time, 1/125 of a second when light is good and a photograph is made, One moment when these small particles came together to make this scene, the universe experiences itself simultaneously as subject and object!

This couple had just arrived from Appalachia in an old car with a back seat full of unpacked clothes, and a few personal belongings . . . and no money.. I was there at the moment taking photographs of the “bureaucrat at his desk.” Think of moments in your life when you felt deep in heart t you had no options; not did not have a good option, but no options looked better than the sadness you were in.

We often imagine childhood to be a time of “innocence”— a time when we were not aware of feeling there were no options in life, .a time we associate with the Garden of Eden.

Its one part of the human condition, Enabled, or condemned, to have the quality of learning/knowledge. In order to survive we have to do things, we have to behave. When we do things that are successful behavior we survive and then we do them again, and again, and again.They become bahaviour patterns and create a social structure of behavior. This is the process of culture.

Culture is always in process. As we behave we survive by changing/creating the material world we live in which prompts new behavours from individuals and the cycle keeps never-endingly repeating itself.—which it will do until human beings are extinct— culture is a property of human beings, it does not exist without them.

Some kind of a “ 1960s campus Be-In”, students and teachers taking time out of their lives to do this behaviour. Wil lit be successful?

Alameda Creek

Almost everyday I walk along Alameda Creek, along with doing such other things as waking up, eating, pooping and peeing, talking, lifting my hand up or down, watching tv while eating, turning on the computer, brushing my teeth, driving to LA, and on and on . Even sleeping is doing something.

We have words we speak and write to communicate with each other. Language is a great creation of human beings, and every peoples that have survived has a language. Often people confuse having a word for “something” with “knowing the something.

We have words for the things we do, but they all have their own meanings .. . . and sometimes the meanings are overlapping— driving to LA can be one thing, eating at a restaurant another thing, but sometimes the eating at a restaurant is included in driving to LA.. This becomes clear when you drive to LA with someone, no-one discussed eating but everyone expects to stop and eat on the way—its , an assumed part of the trip, no one mentions it before, and somewhere along the way someone says, “Lets eat?” and no one is against it.

Words are a human creation, and graphic representations of those words —writing— is also a human creation—spoken and written language are tools which facilitate success for human survival . . .

. . . as a society.

The universe has unleashed this phenomenon which we call “Us;” Humanity; people. Its our tool for successful survival, and its our greatest challenge, perhaps even our greatest enemy..

The thing that enabled us to successfully survive is also our negative.

We are all different, all individuals have a unique experience, it makes each us different. not different enough to destroy society but different. Our successfully survival comes with increased population, more people, having unique experiences making more differences . . .. . . Who is lost in the crowd? . . .Who finds themselves in the crowd?

Outside of our own experience we do not have anything else, its sad when we think someone else’s experience is better than ours—and even sadder when “those people” believe their experiences are better than ours. Flying first class feels good, but over 1000 people die from starvation every hour, Buy a car for $300,000, or a Van Gogh for millions??

End paper

Celebrating Mother’s day , painting by Janney

Who dresses the female mannequins in this store where the employees (I saw) were all male? This guy looks like he is admiring his own work tothe delight of the customer.

Walking to church Sunday morning in East Boston passing the Purity Cheese Company, circa 1970,

Artist Momo-Cha using a liquid chalk to paint the sidewalk to celebrate Asian/Pacific Heritage Month inferno of the e San Jose Buddhist temple.

Chant the Heart Sutra each time you click the shutter, you are the mirror of the Universe.

Gate Gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha

Image a nation

Thousand Character Poem

Two eight character poems from the Thousand Character Poem brushed in Seal Janney.From bottom top:

How rain is made,
How frost is formed.

Gold was produced from the Lishui River,
Jade was mined from Kungang

The characters from the above image top two lines were also written on the the veranda of this building late 1800s

金生麗水, 玉出昆岡
Gold was produced from the Lishui River, and jade was mined from Kungang (Kunlun Mountain)

Here are all the eight character two line poems reading top to bottom then left to right that make up the Thousand Character Classic. Are there cultural differences between writing read left to right, right to left, or across or up and down?

A contemporary Heart Sutra by Janney…”

..Heart Sutra in Siddham, a Sanscrit related script, used in old India and traditionally used in Buddhist sutra copying. The following two examples are from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens

Heart Sutra in Seal Script. One question with copying sutras is who does the original translation? There are likely many different translations? Maybe the scribe makes a mistake or makes an intentional change?

Alameda Creek

Having a word for some “thing” makes a difference not just in how people see that “thing” but whether they see it all.

People created sounds for communication which evolved into language, a set of shared sounds with common meanings.

The shared or commoness develops from the common behaviours of individuals that make up the society. It was this common behaviour being expressed as a social structures in a functioning society which enabled individuals to successfully survive.

Still, people are individuals, and as the society is successful, increases in population reflect the interconnectness of the individual behaviors and how the behaviour of individuals fits together as a unified social structure and less of Is it the “exact same” behavior..” Society is the unified integrate, more or less, relationships.. We may agree about the meanng of the words, but we do it using the same words which is the glue, like a “ higgs boson” of society.

Take care ! the society which enables social survival also demands compromise of individual expression. Freud would diagnosis it as psychological repression of the natural self.

It pops up in many different forms,. this idea that there is a “natural self” and human suffering—individual or social— is the result of the success of survival of the society needing the individual to repress his/her natural desires and wants to conform to society.

What solution is possible? Society enables individuals to survive while it destroys the natural spirit of individuals.

In modern society the natural spirit of the individual is both repressed and unexpressed, and both society and individual can never realize their potential. Or society which enables individuals to survive, rewards those who, free from social restraints break the bonds of “societal . repression” and show their true selves, some as cultural icons while others as criminals.

End Papers

“By God’s sword, if all abandoned the king, do you know what I would do? I would carry him on my shoulders step bested, from island to island, from country to country, and Wold not fail him not even if it meant begging mu bread.”
Wiliam Marshal, guardian and protector of the young Henry III, (c. 1226)

William the Marshal, in his 70s years old then , was a long time enforcer for various members of the Plantagenet family. When King John died of food poisoning his son Henry II was very young, and his claim to the throne was threatened was usurper waiting to grab his chance. Rather than returning to the official place to recognize the young Henry as king, William Marshal had the young Henry immediately recognized as king on the spot denying Stephen.

But why I remember Marshal is— King John had, under duress, signed the Magna Charta, and later reneged and re-signed and reneged ac couple more times and one of the first things William did as regent for the young Thousand character classicing Henry was had him sign the Magna Charta to make it the law of the land.

The personal computer—the smart phone is a personal computer—is a person’s direct individual connection to the world.. On public transportation oe afternoon this man was having a personal conversation with a personal therapist concerning the death of his mother that morning. Everyone in the car could hear him and the response over the diner the train. Many people felt their personal space had been invaded by this man bringing his intimate problems to a public place, and perhaps as some time passed, people felt empathy for the man . . . until he started crying about his own problem— soon he would die from cancer—which continued for two more stops at which place I departed..

If there is an “absolute human nature” than do the compromises of the individuals living in the society deny their natural expression of being human? or do they enable it.

Or perhaps the “natural state” of being human is plastic, adaptable & adoptable, “go with the flow” so to speak. Do people make the changes in society or does society make people change. Perhaps too often words we commonly use to describe what happened become words that we use to assert casual understanding where is no cause at all, we just believe there to one.

Does any of this give a clue as to why people do the things they do? Does having a word for a thing, being able to speak that word, being able to write that word, mean you, I or anyone understands that word. Maybe too often having language which enables people to communicate—i.e. successful survival—also enables the combination of other things like ignorance and political power.

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, bodhisvaha