Pho to know

Know time fore lorne

In the morning, when the sky is clear, the sun shines from the east reflecting off the TransAm building north-eastward only to to be reflected west.off the windows of the Maritime Building. Maybe that image embeded in the light, searching fora medium, will miss being reflected again, going right out of our atmosphere to journey through space and time to the edge of the Universe.

TransAmerica Building reflection at One Maritime Plaza

I used to like to stop in Truckee on the way to Reno, but the last time I pulled off 80 there were parking meters everywhere. Often there was a different painting on this wall. I first came to California in 1979, I had finished art school, spent a year working at a quality printer—computers for graphic design, i.e. the Mac, had still not appeared,

Brick wall in Truckee

My mother’s name was Rosamonde, but she went by Lynn. Lynn is a city up the coast from Boston.

Union Square, Somerville, 1970

Looking towards Berkeley down California Street,

Waiting at a stop light on the way home from early morning lab tests, I imagined my age, 77, living on the street, everything I owned in a shopping cart . . . I wonder what she thinks about as she walks around Fremont, perhaps taking care of her possessions requires her to focus and gets her mind off her problems.

in Japan pottery is an Art form. Department stores will feature exhibitions of artists or a family kiln, or maybe styles, such as Oribe, Shino or Bizen, or forms such as guinomi ( sake one gulp cup), tokkuri (sake container for drinking) and chawan ( tea ceremony cup).

Ki-seto tokkuri and Kuro-oribe guinomi


A Japanese dinner plate, so simply pleasing.

Alameda Creek

One “natural condition ” of life is the ability to differentiate one “thing” from another “thing, ” for example things you can and cannot eat. An additional “natural condition ” of human life is once you have differentiated a “thing” is to define it, i.e. give it a name, an identity, a sound and a mark to represent it. Unconsciously this process takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence.

When people look at a photograph they visually differentiate one “thing” from another until they come to a place where mind unconsciously feels the things and how they fit together fit together into a meta level One thing—completing the picture, so to speak. Unconsciously this takes nanotimecat, weeds, ground, concrete and fence I got it!

A unique quality of a photograph as it has developed is that it the image is expected to resemble what humans see, to be a recognizable object. The process is look at a photograph, identify the parts, relate them to each other . . .

Once that is accomplished, the person “understands” the photograph. Usually that means finding a word for it, such as accident, politician, war, Grand Opening, wedding, selfie, etc.

In my photographs you can feel the different things, and how they come together, but ignoring the usual “capturing a moment in time” record-keeping function which is not relevant and unconsciously the viewer works that out . . .

to discover that while the image feel like a photograph, it emphasize the visual aspects of the lines, shapes, colors, gestures, etc. and less about being a recognizable record of a moment.

The photograph, as a graphic medium, has its own qualities. Traditionally “graphic” refers to the process of reproducing the same image multiple times, such as offset, screen, wood block or etching.

Each of the graphic reproduction techniques has its own unique visual feel to it, people unconsciously put together the things in the image by understanding the feel—if it feels like a photograph then the viewer will assume its a photograph and ascribe certain qualities to it.

In my case those qualities are not there but still the image feels like a photograph.

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How can you know your self through your photographs?

Images are like throwing I Ching! There is a message in they’re sumwhare.

There are a great many ways of seeing myself, or for you to see yourself, for me to see you, or you to see me.

And there are just as many ways we can avoid seeing each other as there are to avoid seeing ourselves.

Gate gate paragate, parasangate Bodhi svaha

See! King refuge

Fort Hill, Roxbury MA, 1971

When I lived in Somerville, later JP and then while attending art school, in Cambridge—Central Square off River Street near the river—I used to visit Fort Hill. On a sunny afternoon to the northeast you can over look Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill—I left in 1979, plenty of changes since then— the patterns of the in-between roofs and the silently moving city traffic. Four young men, none of us really knew each other well enough for an early morning shared moment like this, but I made this image anyway. On Fort Hill rent was very cheap, the Lyman family found a home and I found my own personal refuge. Now as I understand, the whole area has been gentrified and the park is probably full of playing kids everyday.

Fremont, ball games on Sunday afternoon, pizza and TV for the players and parents. In the 1960s when I lived in Boston we would eat at Durgin-Park with long tables, where you just came in and took an available seat, huge helpings, Indian pudding, and gigantic strawberry shortcake. The Fremont Pieology is a little different, everything is self throw away except the pizza.

A house over a garage in Tokyo, no sidewalk. In Tokyo land is very valuable, some who work in the city but cannot afford to live there may travel three hours a day to commute—13 million and change daily use the Tokyo public transportation system

Alameda Creek

There are many different kinds of photographs, people usually don’t spend time sitting around thinking about how many different kinds of photographs are there and listing them all, but when we see an image its usually very easy to feel the correct category of “kind of photograph.”

We can “feel” these categories and if we are lucky the different relationships of the things is fun. A photograph also has visual artistic qualities such as texture, color, line, shape, gesture, . . .

A photograph has a “certain and unique feel” to it. Technically it makes an image from reflected light, just like the human eye. Its what we see, and what else would it be?

There are many different kinds of photographs; Fine Art, advertising, portraits, snap shots, selfies, catalog, passport, scientific, NationalGeographic, and more— we can feel these different kinds and when there is not a fit.

Sometimes the wrong place is the right place, such as in comedy, satire or irony.

The photograph appears to u be very similar to that which we see with our eyes— more similar to what we see with our eyes than any other kind of graphic process—we feel a “woodblock” or an “etching.” we may like it, but it is not a detailed visual record like a photograph.

The photographic reproduction process produces an image, whether on a medium such as paper or an electronic screen, has specific common qualities which are unique and our biological and psychological nature gives us the ability to separate those “technical qualities” from the content of the photographic image, define that visual experience as a photograph and store it, to use as a tool later to measure , by feeling, i.e.knowing, things we see.

This is a “tool” we use unconsciously, if every time we saw a thing we had to start the process of differentiation and definition of every “thing” it would take too long. Feeling does it instantly.

Our “sensations data bank”, functions like a server. A person visually experiences, a behavior which they doing all the time. They have a feeling which says “This is a photograph” without ever thinking about it, enabling the viewer to smoothly move on. The feeling sets the stage for the meaning of the visual experience.

No matter what kind of photograph, when the human sees it, without thinking, the feeling classifies it as a photograph. When the content or meaning of the image is not compatible with the appropriate content/meaning of a photograph.the unconscious feeling gives a warning —“Something is not right here! Find out why.” A visual question is unanswered and visual tension is created. If there is no resolution in the visual image itself the contradiction of the image is unresolved, the viewer is left wondering why, misses the meaning experience of the image and is left not with an unanswered question resulting in no satisfaction from the experience.

Sometimes we are wrong, not usually, but sometimes, and without thinking, we find consciously, without thinking, that the question appears in our mind — is it really a photograph? We feel uncomfortable and seek an answer to that discomfort—What is going on!

We search for the answer— its a joke; its been photoshopped; whatever, we ask without thinking. Its that quality which a good photograph will find some way to use to increase communication of the content or meaning of the image.

Photographers can use that “knowing of the viewer” to put questions in the image, i.e. create a visual tension while the photograph as a whole resolves it.

Instantly defining it as a photograph, and what kind of photograph at the feeling level enables the viewer to quickly define the image and measure the value of the visual experience.

For many the photograph answers a question —What is it? Oh I know its a cloud in the sky. For me, it answers the question, What is it? Oh I know, its a cloud in the sky.

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In Buddhist tradition the first chief disciple, Śāriputra, sat to the right side of Buddha and the second chief disciple, Maudgalyāyana, sat to the left. Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin, China; Kannon, Japan) spoke The Heart Sutra to Śāriputra. When I included stuff about Buddhism, or Krishna, or any religion

The Heart Sutra in Chinese, calligraphy by Janney.

A reproduction of The Heart Sutra scribed in Siddham (Sanskrit script) from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens. This is a very interesting book for artists, as well as anyone interested in in the relationship between scribe and printing as graphic processes of reproduction.

If that relationship interests you , THE VISIBLE TEXT, Textual Production and Reproduction from Beowulf to Maus by Thomas Bredehoft, explores the visual relationship between scribe and printing press in the west. He argues that scribed books of the same title were often seen as different original productions in and of themselves. Writing and printing have enabled humans to communicate with other humans, even long after they have past away.

Disclaimer: On this blog over the years I have published religious related images and words because I find them interesting. There is no intention for this to be a religious forum or to promote one religion over another, or perhaps even the idea of prompting religion itself. If a religion is mentioned it is not because I support it, if it is not mentioned it is not because I am against it.

Master Hua has been around northern California for a long time, I have met people who “follow him” and I have found his self published books in second hand book stores. On this cover is an illustration of Guanyin who as Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit) will appear as a man and as Guanyin (China) or Kannon (Japan) will appear as a woman. (See The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 25.)

Aren’t we the other people too

Fremont Pizza

We have been eating pizza here on Sunday for about 6 months. . Its got a big room with long tables but we prefer to eat outside, you can do that in Fremont most of the year. This pizza place only works on throwaway—plastic utensils, paper napkins, ,cheese and peppers in separate throw away packages, throw away plastic glasses and the final product is delivered when the customer picks up the pizza in a corrugated cardboard box, take out or eat in, no tax or tax. respectively. When finished eating the customer throws the stuff away. We get one margherita pizza and split it , just right,. In spite of only throwaway they are usually tout of something, last week it was basil for the margherita pizza and pre measured packaged parmesan cheese.

Japanese have a different take on zoning., more of your property is under your control. .Retail businesses, factories and residential areas may exist side by side. Right in the hearts of Tokyo—and Tokyo has many many hearts—residents may have a business in the lower part of home and live upstairs. Land is usually at a premium.

Alameda Creek

Every week for the past five years I have presented some images from Alameda Creek. Since Covid restricted my outdoors experiences, I have attempted to take these common everyday images not just to show more interesting everyday images, but rather to suggest that photographs as a print need not be about records of how the human eye-mind connection works but to just experience the visual dynamics of a photographic print for its own qualities, unrelated to the normal human record keeping related meanings

Rather than a visual record of an event in time, I try to show a feeling of the thing s making up the event unrelated to the importance or meaning of the event. Most of the people seen along Alameda Creek are also likely to be seen around Earth, its not t e individual people, its the unity of the visual design.

Globalization is not some conspiracy  of individuals seeking to dominate the Earth, its  not to do with political policies —although many hope that political policies can find a solution before violence gets too bad—it is happening in spite of people with their political and economic agendas as well as because of people with their political and economic agendas.

For hundreds of centuries—300,000 years— when individuals and groups had survival problems or sought better survival opportunities they emigrated; now they immigrate. Now there are no more places for those “down on their luck” or “extra ambitious” to go. Earth has been divided up into geo-political units—countries —each claiming their sovereign rights for self determination.

Where for homo sapiens immigration has been one of the most popular and legitimate  solutions to problems of survival, its been normal human  behavior for at least 299,500 years, while for nation states, with their “closed geographical  boundaries” has been the“ abnormal”for about 500 years. ( I will choose The “Treaty of Westphalia” resulting in a federated state of Germany clearly defined by geo political units.)

Trying to use law which means control by force— to forcibly stop or control people from doing what has been a basic human behavioral solution for more than 99% of the duration of homo sapiens is one thing, but declaring it a crime which justifies incarceration or death is very different.

 It is normal human behavior to immigrate as a solution to survival problems. It is abnormal   to make it illegal  and use “normal human behavior ” as justification to imprison or kill people who immigrate.

Saying it doesn’t solve any problems, but don’t let the demagogues fool you into believing the best and only response is the military or police directed by law of authoritarians who believe social solidarity only comes from maintaining strict and rigid control over the behavior of the “other people.” On the other hand people have to be willing to respect other people, something we have yet to figure out to accomplish.

“We are the other people,
You are the other people too!

Thank you Frank Zappa for those words.

Here in the USA, if you are Christian and you see immigrants as a threat by evil people, ask yourself do you believe in a God who created all human beings, who created some that were good and others bad? with a standard which is determined by the color of one’s skin, the level of one’s technology or one’s place of birth?  I ask you What kind of God is it that would create humans and put them in such a situation?

I am sure we can ask that of most religions but specifically the ones that have joined their religion to a political ideology to justify in the name of their God this human history of killing others, plundering their property and stealing their natural resources for profits. With no place to go any more and hell bent on destroying earth it seems to me now might a good time to figure out how to stop this inhumane cycle.

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I am not “really religious” whatever that means, whether there is “A God” or ““Some Gods, I do not know, and unlike others, God has either not attempted to contact me or I am not able to receive the message. I don’t know but if it was important I believe God would have let me know.

I like Zen because (for me) it has the best stories and the pictures. I also like to visit the nearby Wat Buddhist Temple . Its a Theravada Temple,. Mahayana and Theravada are two different meta level categories of Buddhism. Some may use the terms Mahayana and Hinayana but the latter may be considered by many to be offensive and when used, then the former maybe considered to be arrogant..

Buddhist Temples are often very much involved in local community relations with festivals and ceremonies and whenever the temple is open, anyone can visit for a personal relationship.

I have previously mentioned “The Heart Sutra,” is words spoken by Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin in China,, Kannon in Japan) to Shariputra, that would be Shariputra on the left side of Gautama Buddha.

Seens of four got; ten memories

Fremont

Fremont has changed since I moved to California in 1979, actually everywhere has changed Even before, while living in San Jose I had heard talk about Fremont, nothing of any real interest—perhaps an apt description.

My wife and I go out for pizza on Sunday. Before covid we used to go to Whole Foods for a `slice of margherita pizza, then after the change in the crust and no more margherita pizzas, we moved to soups and then down the glass counter to chicken burritto. Later came covid.

Lately we go to Pieology which has a big eating room and on-the-wall TV sets and split one pie.

Have only seen it full once. Not so many people at any one time but people keep coming and going. .It has no silverware, dishes, glasses or anything that needs to washed for customer use. Just throw it away..

This past month , at a very slow pace I have been trying to put a couple of coats of paint on the trim ,which I can reach using the 8 foot ladder —clean off the surface , primer and exterior coats.

Maybe its just the colors, the lines, and the gesture.

Alameda Creek

I wouldn’t make any claim that the whole world passes by me as I walk along Alameda Creek. But it seems to me that one piece of human nature is the human natural ability/inclination to differentiate our sensually experiences into things, then define them —give them an identity.— seemingly a somewhat reductionary process. We get words like tree and mountain, we can see them, they are clearly different from each other . . .

because there is “nothing” between them. Air , the one thing that for most of human existence was a “no thing” used to differentiate things we discovered/created. The air which we had for thens of thousands of years believed to be nothing was really a bunch of little things so small or so transparent we cannot see them . . .

What is a “no-thing?” For so many years air was a nothing that was between “things” and then came science to show us it was bunch of small things —oxygen and nitrogen and tiny bits of other molecules.

When people acquire a bunch of things, i.e. define the things in their environment—which they have to do to survive— then they can isolate things and discover the relationships between the things, and create combinations making new things.

Language is a tool that enables people to understand that ideas, concepts and theories are things, imaginary as they may be. Language enables us to separate things by giving each a a different name so they can be identified, counted and used to communicate with other people;

Define a bunch of things, give them names, relate them to each other. and on and on, constantly increasing e a mind- database. of knowledg.e

There are different ways that humans “know things.” Science has a specific method to this on going human madness of differentiation and definition...

The scientific method includes the basic guideline, what you know and how you know it are equal parts of “knowledge”. A professional scientific methodology of an experiment includes an accurate professional record of what was done in the experiment, a record which is understandable to any professional scientist such that he or she can redo the experiment..Anyone who is willing to duplicate it may do so, perhaps there should be more of this funded.

Data collection is based on the human senses and statements and summaries are written according to commonly accepted rules of grammar and logic. This makes Science a method of knowing based on common human capabilities.

Human knowledge is the ongoing process of differentiating things, giving them a name and identifying relationships between them. A constantly changing and never ending, dance of life.

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My mother suffered a stroke and memory loss. It came unexpected, there was no preparation and she lived about 3 hour drive. Because there were beneficiaries involved as POA I took care of her things, to pack them, up and place them in indefinite storage.

She lived near me, first in memory care residence, eight weeks in a nursing home rehab and the second half in a different memory care residence,

After 3 1/2 years she passed away, I brought her things in storage to my house, and over the years have moved them a few times, thrown stuff out, gave stuff away, some got broken and some still sits in my garage..

A few times a year I look at some of her personal stuff—Its an interesting connection. collection Its not stuff siblings would fight over, most of it is no $ value, just for the emotional value, some letters,, high school autograph books, records of accomplishments, a few letters never sent, memories of relatives who died before I was born. I reflect on how little I knew about my parents, or more, about how little I knew, and know, about people.

At the rehab residence, a faster paced place, laundry could have a life of its own.— pick up, at your door, wash, dry, sort and return delivery, right to your door —Operations were done in bulk and sometimes patients stuff was liable to be sorted with someone else’s, and the reverse was also true—you might find a little surprise you don’t recognize..

In previous years I made family shirts with the new year art on it . What a surprise to walk in the residence and see a stranger walking around in our family T-shirt.

Gaste gate paragate parsamgate Bohdi Svaha

Ko low, knealism and now, I’m a grey shun

Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt to us once they have withdrawn from our territories.”
“The wealth of the imperialist nations is also our wealth. Europe is literally the creation of the third world.”

Frantz Fanon 1962 Author of The Wretched of the Earth

Last week the New York Times had an article about European colonialism and reparations , After my morning walk I often make a salad and watch tv, usually NHK, DW or France24. The last few years both European stations have focused on news and cultural interests from the ex-colonies. NHK has programs about how Japanese high-tech is creating new products to make an affordable positive impact in the “emerging world” as well as presenting the beauty of their own cultural craftsmanship.These three tv networks view the world as their audience/

I read this book in 1960s, its a reflection on European colonization.

Much of the history of human beings is about survival—war, killing, stealing and various forms of evolving political institutions. Many not here left us no message.What is the “social solidarity necessary for survival” which can only be measured by whether the society survives. Here we are homo sapiens , 300,000 later, with all of our “baggage” some good, some bad and in the near past we let another last individual of a last society die without communicating with him. The rest of his society had been murdered decades ago by business interests seeking to cut down the trees of their home for financial profits. Their home was not their property, it belonged to a nation state with its sovereign rights and the right to deny any sovereign rights of a last society and a last man regardless of how long they had lived there —we did not bother to find out.

He died alone and afraid, afraid of the civilized people, and as it seems, quite rightly so.

What we have lost can never be brought back again This seems a very dark day for human beings and the whole world could be reflect on this treatment of another human being all alone and afraid while the “civilized people.were busy being the “exceptional people reaping the benefits of their special status as the god appointed stewards of Earth.

No chance to accept Jesus r as his Lord and Savior and get to heave,; no chance to awaken the sleeping buddha inside of him and end his cycle of suffering.

Alameda Creek

What is necessary for a society to survive? By society I mean a group of people who interact only with each other. Not real,!! Doesn’t exist—the whole globe is really a bunch of larger and smaller societies, intermingled with each other in may different and various ways and levels.

Its just an idea, think about at the beginnings of human beings there were no individuals—beginning families, clans which have evolved 300,000 years to cities and countries—at some point there were very small basic and much more independent societies.

How can there ever be a time when a human being was his or her own society? When one is a last individual of a last society, the end of that human society on Earth.

We learn about European colonialism in school, lessons which for the most runs off the backs of many like water off a duck, we don’t understand how inhuman it was. nor how it lead to the great wealth of the European society and we call “proof of our exceptionalism.”

We have survived, individuals surviving as a society . What we (human beings) did `enabled people to survive, to have social solidarity. to reach this duration.

Surviving of societies means individual people doing things must have some order —Value: when something works to find food, the individual does it over and over, just by definition it takes time out of your life. Doing over and over it becomes a common behavior pattern. Other people may copy you, and it becomes how people behave in the society.

Successful behavior is repeated regularly, it becomes normal in the society—Just being normal means it takes up time in a life, time that other behavior will not happen. It makes a common structure of behavior which is necessary and normal for the social solidarity of a society.

It also has to be sustainable. Normal is not relative, it is directly related to other specific things, i.e. meeting the necessary needs of the individuals.in the environmental experience of the individuals making up the society.

Imagine early life with small separated societies living in various places all over Earth. Even if there was a common “human Nature,” we know Earth is different in different places resulting in different experiences and different behaviors, each society creating a unique structure of behavior.

Some societies grew larger and more intertwined, with these unique behaviors undergoing varying degrees of assimilation, integration, conquest and political domination.

For many many years, probably 99% of the duration of homo sapiens ,—i.e. for about 279,000 years— when things were bad an individual or a family could move and find another place to live—migration was normal, not illegal. For most of that time, life was simple enough, often simple enough that people could start over somewhere anew.

Now all real estate on Earth has been claimed by nation-states and their geo-political boundaries. There is no place people can migrate for a new life without being threatened by the violence of the nation state, and last week civilization has chased a last individual of a last society away to his death, a society and an individual and a society which had no “legal”right to the property which had been their home, for how many years? oh, we did not take the time or did not have the ability to find out.

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A shrine squeezed in among city building, daily you can pause for a moment on your way to work to appreciate the spirit of the shrine and feel yourJapanese.

Sometimes people like being in public places. Japanese like to read .They also have a great respect for others in public places which makes Japan a nice place to visit. Oh,and safe.

On Sunday afternoons people may be dancing in the street, others like to watch and listen. Cultural things which are imported from other countries are massaged until they find a fit into Japanese life. They call oknomiyaki a “Japanese pancake” but the name really means “as you like it.”

People and architecture have a Japanese feel to their fit, its a comfortable and righteous feeling.

A residential street in Tokyo—being drunk and backing your car into the garage on a street like this can be challenging. Sometimes it a better choice to sleep it off on your host’s floor.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate BodhiSvaha

Heart Sutra and birthday mooncake