Know weigh you seigh

Older than now

For about 3 1/2 years my mother lived near me in a memory care residence, two different places actually, with eight weeks sandwiched in at a nursing facility while recovering from a hip operation while receiving occupational therapy to learn to walk again. .

She suffered a stroke with serious memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. At the first place, I got her a phone, she could talk, thoughI am not sure she knew who she was talking with, I think most of the time she did not know who I was, much less someone on the phone My sister would call from Japan—thank you Skype — whether or not mom knew it was her. they used to talk, and later mom would let me know she was happy because she got a phone call

I took her to appointments, mostly medical related, when it was a new location I would make a trial run by myself to assess the logistics and have a strategy— How was the parking? How many steps? What were check-in procedures,? etc.

Nursing home rehab facility

In the beginning they fed her in the bed and then one day, no warning, she was to eat in the dining room—I did not even know where it was. One woman would, very loudly, say, over and over and over, “I want to die! and other similar stuff. One day she was seated at our table, started her monologue and mom started yelling at her to “stop feeling sorry for yourself!” Mom was yelling and she was chanting, not missing a beat. It was a little weird but was resolved quickly.

After a hip operation physical therapy was used to get her back to walking again. I tried to be there but sometimes they would change the time with no warning. Here are two people with professional medical training employed to spend 30mins? 40 mins? with an old woman helping her learn how to walk again. And they have to fill out documents and reports., on which others will make judgements about mom’s care.

After lunch she would come back, sit on the bed, we have some talk, then she would lay down and go to sleep. i was never sure if, or when, or why, sometimes she seemed to know I was her son. But she knew I was there. And, I think if I wasn’t there there were many times she knew I was coming.

Some days we would walk, she liked to walk, It can be stressful to visit people in this condition but there is no other option except not to see them, and that option may soon be gone.

Alameda Creek

When you look at these photos, obviously you are not seeing a “visual record of a moment in time.” or at least an “accurate” record relative to the “normal” human visual experience.

A photograph is a place where the past and the future once met, and even though the photograph itself, print or digital, when seen in the present actually happened in the past, the image itself which while being visually experienced in the present may, for people with a connection to it, bring additional meanings because the mind will interpret the “personal meaning” of the image,

A photograph is never the whole or comprehensive experience, It is a piece of a light reflection through what was in the lens of the camera.

What human eyes experience and what meaning that experience has when it is “defined” by the mind are not the same thing.

People will have a visual experience and the mind will put words to it.—Always with a photograph is the question “What is it?” which is communicated to, or understood by, the viewer’s feelings

Those personal feelings are individual. Some things we learn as part of a group—such as culture — while some are personal and individual.

We know “Its a photograph” because we visually feel the “thing” that we commonly define as a “photograph,” but . . .

We also have individual experiences our mind uses to ask “What is it?”

“Human nature?” Human beings differentiate “things” one from another and define them, give them names. That seems kind of obvious?? Can we only know the “things” in the Universe which we can sense?

A spoken language is a bunch of sounds with commonly hold meanings. We can make sounds and communicate with other people . . . there are common meanings. Even if we speak different languages, when we experience a photograph we share a common feeling of “This is a photograph” that measurement of assess the “thing being viewed ” as a photograph. The medium and the content are different and equally iportant.

Assassin bugs

As individuals we all have had our unique experiences . The content, or image of the photograph may effect, more or less, the mind’s interpretation i.e the individual’s meaning of the image.

Its a memory , Some viewers might be confused, and then another (usually the photographer who “shot the snapshot”) says “Well you needed to be there to get it.” As professional photographers show, its not the being there that matters , but the skill and care of the photographer.

Its amazing the same photograph can have different meanings for different people but its as amazing that the thing called “a photograph can be measured by human feeling.—We don’t even think about it—I, without thinking, know its a photograph when I see it.

Computers and photoshop have made the “feeling judgement’ more complex, Many people enjoy the digital manipulation in film and tv and others use it to spread misinformation.

For the photographer and some select others, some part of the “meaning” of the visual image —the memory or how the brain interprets it— is not about the present, but about the moment of the image. Not the moment we are in when looking at a print of the image, but the moment we were in when the image was made.

For others it may be about their own personal experiences. A photographic news story about a grisly murder scene with a well known landmark in the background may awake a feeling of a wonderful visit in some faraway viewer

The photograph has, as its own right, a common feeling which marks out its own “thing in and of itself.” Still, too often its a photograph of some thing or things —a bird, plants, water, a reflection, some air.

End Pages

Street photography

Street photography

a handful of love

lunch at high noon, Albuquerque NM

In Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo there are homes, apartment complexes and farms. This one has an auto-mat to purchase freshly picked farm produce.

“In everything no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable ”
Tsurezuregusa (Japanese Philosophical text)

Bizen is a Japanese folk kiln—(one of the 六古窯 Rokkoyō) traditionally fired around the village of Imbe, in Bizen Provence. The clay comes from this area, and perhaps because when fired the clay undergoes more shrinkage than other clays, Bizen is not glazed.and fired in wood ash resulting in a symphony of beautiful wood tones in the surface.

However innumerable the sentient beings, I vow to save them all,
However inexhaustible the passions, I vow to to extinguish them all.,
However immeasurable the dharmas I vow to master them all,
However incomparable the truth of the Buddha I vow to attain it.

Vow of Bodhisattva

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhisvaha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s