You’ll, sawit’ll, peaceit’ll

Photographs are a graphic art process , the graphic (visual) arts are those process which enable reproduction of the same image multiple times such as off set printing, wood cut, potato printing or photography. In our digital age people have come to refer to an image appearing on the computer screen as a graphic image, which it is, but often they mean an image ,but not a printable image. Still, even though it is the same digital image, the same information, its very rare the image appears the “exact” same on different computer screens for many reasons, one of which is most computer screens are calibrated to the same standard.

It must be late morning . I remember it was morning, I used to get up and walk around Boston. Someone’s grandfather,s and a facial side and front view.

My mother suffered a stroke, memory loss and expressive aphasia.
I wanted to learn about aphasia and made this poster. I used an image I made of an older man at a farm auction

A post card. informing people about an exhibition. of photographs. Sometimes I feel for my heart to see if its still beating. The divided self, does it ever become whole again?

I remembered a 1950s-60s civil rights song, “Keep your eye on the prize hold on” adapted from an old christian folk song..


During the past decade I have read  publications or heard people speak using terms such as Marxist, socialist, communist, and making comments about  the writings of Karl Marx. Mostly I very am disappointed, it is  a difficult subject  to talk about with people, I believe Marx to have had some important insights about human history and sociology and long ago we should have critiqued them and moved on. I will try to explain.

Generally.the photographic images in this section were made along Alameda Creek during the past week.. Usually I go walking in the morning, , been doing so specifically for over 14 years . I tend to want to make images of things I want see

A theory is a set of words, words are abstract representations and a theory is like a pair of like  glasses, one puts on to organize observations and information. Theories are not “real,”  they are not Truth, but good theories give insight and reason and when they are critiqued, the working parts can be separated from those non-working parts and know1edge moves on.

To me Marx’s writings make a theory of human history and how social change happens based on Sociology , Anthropology. and Philosophy—the 18th and 19th centuries were the development of these in an attempt to understand human behavior.

Centuries of  “utopian” hopes have dominated social thought about human behaviour . Christianity which began as  a faith that if individuals accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, God will let them into heaven. As centuries went on, there developed the idea that  one could influence God’s decision —doing good behavior on earth could influence  God’s decision as well as out of the practice of indulgences, although little more than bribery, grew the belief that God’s decision could be influenced. 

The idea that “good” behavior could influence God, ultimately evolving to the idea that if people behaved “good” we could have a  Heaven right here on Earth, ” i.e. a utopian society.”

If we understand human behavior better, and the hope that science applied to understanding human behavior would enable us to do this, then we could find a way to stop all all these bad things and make a utopian society, or at least a more humane society.


Marx lived in the period of the development of science and  the later part of utopian thought and this is where his ideas of  mixing a solution of the historical  conflicts of society merged with creating a scientific utopian world, as expressed in The Communist Manifesto. based on his theory of the history of human development.

I throw that utopian part out What remains is his theory of human development which i s very comprehensive and logical..Human history is a story of the conflict between the conservative nature of culture —a natural condition of the social nature of human individuals and the creative nature of human beings. I do not see any end to this..

There will not be a utopian society. Life is a process of ongoing challenges: the Universe  is constantly in change and the evolutionary survival of human beings is embedded in not just producing to meet our needs, but getting better at what we do—creating a surplus resulting in material changes in our environment.

Culture, the structure of human behavior in society, including the distribution of products is generated from past human behavior, it is conservative. Human technological innovation used to meet survival needs is creative, it finds new ways of producing and gets better at it, remaking the material environment and results in changing human situation which which conflicts with culture.

There will always be today’s production of new products and tomorrow’s re-alignment of distribution.

All life has to behave, in order to exist, For humans  when  behaviors which were successful  emerged  they were repeated , becoming patterns of behavior in society—norms,—creating a structure of behavior, or Culture around production of goods  and distribution of goods.  

When people do things repeatedly they get better at it. When people could meet their needs, they got better at it  creating a surplus. Where conservative culture structured human behavior around scarcity—i.e.the distribution of  production—  the behavior come into conflict with the development of  surplus over distribution. Where production created more . distribution tended to be resist change. it distributed things not based on more, but the previous scarcity.

Marx divided  human history into qualitatively different epochs (such as feudalism and  capitalism) based on the society relationships between production and distribution—and linked the epochs  together  by arguing that when the surpluses of production  emerged  while distribution remained unchanged,  that a society  would naturally divide itself into two classes— those who benefitted  from the surplus and those who did not and when  the former kept the surplus wealth the latter knew it  because they were doing the actual production. At some point “revolution” happened and society underwent a structural change, and distribution reflected a more equal distribution of the surplus created by technological change.

For Marx the class which used domination to benefit from the works of the others  was the “oppressor class ” and the ones doing the work was the “oppressed class.”  Marx did not see these as bad guys and  good guys, Rather, this  situation was the result of successful  human evolution  of the means of production bringing societies through the epochs to capitalism,. The new means of capitalistic production would  be able to produce enough distribution for the needs of all people.

The capital/proletariat  conflict would be the final confrontation which would result in a unified society where each individual produced according to his/her capabilities and production would be distributed according to individuals  needs.  When everyone had access to enough material goods for survival anti social behavior would be minimized. and society would be most stable. That was the Utopian” part of it.

It makes more sense, (to me)  that there is no utopian end, Its human nature for people  to create new technologies and products,  and  combined with the universe itself which is constantly changing,  this process is not going to end.

Who knows, maybe people’s desires are unending and its an impossible goal or maybe we learn to deal better with these transitions.

But as more people increase their own economic  agency, they become  more involved in decisions concerning what is produced, and how it  is produced . Mass consumption and “relatively” free markets increases consumers ability to influence production. The internet has also enabled many people to start their own businesses with minimum investment and to enter into transactional production partnerships with others..

While free markets give consumers some power to have a say in what is produced, quality becomes benchmarked by the lowest common denominator . . . or by what is unavailable to most people because of cost.


Mom had a stroke, severe memory loss and expressive aphasia and I was involved with her care for 3 1/2 years. Even with her serious memory loss, Mom could charm people with her intensity.

Learning to walk after hip surgery . A few times the gentleman in the background was in the area —here its right at the entrance lobby—and he led cheers with clapping, . Mom could love being the center of attention.

Is this photograph about my mother or me? I wondered if she knew I was her son or just ”the guy” who showed up every day.

Often there was one hand holding camera while the other was holding her.

Being alone, its not just eating alone, its wondering inside your head what is going on, alone. Mom knew something had happened to her that changed her whole life, but she could not remember what her life had been or figure out what it was that had changed. She changed overnight, from a vibrant active person to to not even knowing what time of day it was, whether it was morning or night, it made no difference to her. When ever she spoke to others, no one understood her. I cannot imagine that kind of loneliness .

After lunch, and after she reached the point where she could physically no longer go outside for a walk, we would return to her room, talk awhile, until she fell asleep. One day she asked me if she had any children, I said yes and showed her photos of my sister, brother and myself, some with her in them. She said she loved them all. but she did not recognize me . . . or my brother or sister.

My sister came from Japan for her 90th birthday. She made it to 90 and then passed shortly after. I think that was a goal for her. She lost a cap on one of her front teeth but we could not get her to stay still in the dentist chair.

Taking care of the teeth of people suffering from dementia can be very difficult, spotting dental pain can even be more challenging and getting dental work done even more problematic.

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha


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