Know bridge over ripples

Nihonbashi 日本橋

Nihon means Japan, Bashi means bridge.. Edo (now Tokyo) was, and Tokyo is, a city of rivers with roads connecting bridges over those rivers. Each bridge has a story to tell, a story often told on a plaque posted somewhere. Nihon means Japan and bashi means bridge—Japan bridge.

What does that mean?? Chinese characters do not use many parts of grammar used in phonetic languages, parts which are often used for more detailed information. That information is communicated in other ways.

If you have a Chinese or Japanese friend . . . and if you like poetry, . . . and if you have a book of Chinese or Japanese poetry with translation, ask your friend to sit with you and translate the poem—haiku works well because it is short—without looking at the book translation and then compare the two. My personal for Chinese poet would be Su Tung Po (1037–1101).

The differences and sames which will teach you about the poem, about the language and, most interesting, you will learn some insights into english words.

Do other people share a similar view of who I am? Am I different to different people? The former might be boring, the latter two faced.

Be diplomatic to initiate such an event, your friend might think you are “testing them” and be reluctant, but if can find a friend to do it, its a valuable experience. It has nothing to do with their English ability, its not about their proficiency with English, but the words that they select from their English vocabulary to fill in the details will give you insight into the English language.

Think of our paths, each uniquely winding around Earth, and how at the different places of intersections we look back at them and think —That’s not the real me!

Alameda Creek

Who am I to myself and compared to how others see me.

Its not really possible, there is no right or wrong answer. We cannot read the minds of others, and knowing our own mind is a difficult job in its own right.

I imagine that people who are successful in popular medium, especially as“personalities” have a disciplined approach to how they present themselves to others. Doing behavior “A” gets response “B” from others.

If a behavior “A” which always gets a behavior “B” from most others, and it fits a behavior used by popular media, some can become very popular.

On the other hand when you look at all the different people out there, popularity in popular media is not just about communicating with others, but with a lot of others, you need to find lowest common denominators, KISS—Keep it simple stupid.

Others are more concerned with their personal expression. The point is not to do any “some thing” to get popular but to do some “thing” which meets a standard —a professional standard, a skilled craft standard, the Scientific Method— basically a respected independent standard.

Can we do something which makes the world a better place and others do not appreciate it?

Or we do something which makes the world a worse place and become very popular . . .

The photograph is the unchanging gateway between the constantly changing past and future—the “reality” of the image is in the past but the hard copy image is in the present.


I can play this guitar, I can sing a few notes,
I’m old enough now in this country to vote
So I wrote me a song ’bout the white winged dove
And a toy gun for Christmas in place of love.

White Winged Dove Mark Spoelstra

In a public park, Maine about 1973, the grandson gets out the car and starts shooting his toy gun at people in the park.

Cynics would have us believe that altruism is rare. It seems possible, however, that the best of intentions are not nearly so rare as the wisdom that is necessary to implement them.

H.G. Creel Chinese Thought From Confucius to Mao-Tse-tung pub.1954

I picked my way over corpse after corpse in the gloom, until I heard one voice raised above the gentle undulating moaning. I found girl, she was a living skeleton, impossible to gauge her age for she had practically no hair left, and he face on a yellow parchment sheet with two holes in it for eyes . . . And beyond her down the passage and in the hut there were the convulsive movements of dying people too weak to raise themselves from the floor.

Richard Dimbleby, BBC reporter describing entering Belson concentration camp April 1945 THE EYE OF WAR Words and photographs from the Front Line

Feel, feel for your heart
Is it still beating
Or has it died
Dead in its shell
And is your blood wine
. . .
Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Poster, Cambridge, MA , 1971

Drink, drink you war mongers,
Cut with your cold blade of fear.
But your power is dyin’
So let it be told.
Your blood and your bones

Will age with decay
and rot in your soul.

Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Alone in the temple, trying to hide from the Heart Sutra:

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha

Stoped in mined

Design of Six

A hanging poster greeting arrivals at Haneda —roku means six. a nice piece of Japanese design incorporating the kanji with the shelf, Ikebana, and product—Japan design greets visitors to its endless discovery.

Two shado images using colorized photographs of my shadow put together as a thing.

The below pattern was made using the above shado image of two colorized photographs of my shadow. Orange (red and yellow) and green (blue and yellow) both share yellow which is the complement of red and blue mixed , i.e. violet or purple—they feel comfortable together. [it does feel disturbingly hard.]

The shadow of my head; left.on an Acoma bowl, and right, on a balloon. In both the mouth is open and appears to be yelling at the corner.

A couple of patterns in Navajo Blanket motif using images of a shado self portrait holding the camera. The lines of the right image feel out of square —could be a design class project.

;Shadow is the absence of light?, why is not light the absence of shadow, Light is one way humans visually experience the universe. The general feeling of the shapes of the leaves—At the top of the leaves there is a feeling of action by smaller pointy things suddenly slowing down as the shapes of the leaves get bigger approaching the viewer. This was fall afternoon in Belmont, Mass, about 1972

Alameda Creek

Photography is about light, light is a human tool for “knowing.” Each of us —most of us, but not everyone—have the ability to visually sense differences in reflected light and (automatically) send it to the brain,“ This is a process of individual knowing.

Does the photograph see like .the eye—as opposed to seeing like a person? Do we think of the eye just being a mechanism whose job is to just send the image to the brain which will “tell us” what it is “seeing”—but Ig et confused, just who is the us in this chain?

Both the eye and the camera, with lens, actually it is the lens that does the seeing, the camera is a container to mount the lens in a position which light, without being disturbed, can pass without being disturbed to something which can record the “light information” which captures a visual image, which can be printed out to a medium

Generally photography is about capturing an image which is visually common in the society, i.e. keep the viewer interested by making mages of things we commonly know, such as things (words) in a language— One of the worst things you can say about a photograph is “What is it?

Commonly people see a photograph as a “Best Practices” image—it looks like it! Its a standard and for most everyday things is the best standard. No one would make a “legal positive ID” of someone from my images.

The camera has buttons to push and dials to turn to get the right adjustments on the camera to accommodate the control of light to capture an image .

lIf the setting are not “correct” the camera sees, but not like the human eye sees. The camera can see and record things the human eye cannot. Maybe the camera does not really see them, but it creates them, its the first time they exist.

The photograph is that “little piece” of the universe connecting the past and the future? While the material “little piece” is constantly changing, the “human meaning” of the photograph is not, and its a record of “a piece which connects the past and the future.” . . .

well maybe not exactly the same, some added or subtracted embellishments of whatever sorts.

While the photograph is now in our present, the image we “see” is our mind or memory here.

Photographs are things we used to put in albums, now we send them around by internet—flying electricity so to speak—around the Earth instantly..


Sitting in the physical therapy waiting room across there is a reception office , as I look through the transparent ribbed partition I see things in the office, its three receptionists long , office space, end of building window through which to see the next building.

Nakamise-dōri is a shopping street along the way to the temple, Its famous for senbei. and other treats for visitors to eat there or take home as presents.

Avalokiteshvara aka kannon aka Guanyin

Japanese have a different relationship with their temples and shrines than Americans do with their churches. Temples and shrines are embedded with the physical daily life of people living inTokyo..An old large temple like Sensoji is daily packed with visitors, rain or shine, while local people walking to and fro — take a short cut through the temple or shrine grounds. A small alley between large buildings holds a tiny one person temple or shrine People interact with them on their own terms, different from an American church.

A statute of Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) was found in the Sumida River  by two brothers  in 628,,while they made efforts to get rid of it, it always returned, and .Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon.

It is one of the most popular “religious” sites to visit in the world.

How to get here from there? there-here= t. or There -here=T

Earth owed children

The sounds of the world

On this morning Sangha chanted and then ate lunch, usually donated and prepared by the community.

Under the table

And a little of the local gossip: Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva He Who Observers the Sounds of the World. In the 25th chapter of Lotus Sutra Avalokitesvara says he will take any form to deliver the Dharma to people—In India Avalokitesvara is male, in China (Guanyin) and Japan (Kannon) female. Avalokitesvara is often a part of both Mahayana and Theravada and Heart Sutra is Avalokitesvara talking to Shariputra .

The Saishi (priest) is waiting until 6:00 am to open the doors for the public to join chanting. at Sensoji, Asakuksa, Tokyo, founded in 645, and since WWII identified with Kannon.

Its a popular temple with businesses which cater to visitors, such as renting a kimono while walking around ‘or tour carts. hand drawn by young men .and Nakamise, a shopping street running through the big gate to the main temple with shops selling many things and senbei.

Temples, unlike western churches do not offer “regular group services. The monks have work to do. if large then the administration and clerical employees may be involved Temples have events, in smaller towns t may serve as like a community center, a place where local events or meetings occur.

Selfie at Sensoji—a piece of Earth was mined to provide material which went into making a consumer product—a selfie stick—which will be used for awhile and “thrown away” in the garbage.

And ten hours way in San Francisco, imagine attaching a $1000 computer-phone to a cheap “selfie stick?”

In San Francisco people come out and talk to each other; Union Square

These two were stating a business together on Market Street, the arms tell one story and the knees another.

Truth lies just outside of the UN plaza.

I spoke with this man, just to make sure, he was actually texting himself.

This gentleman was protesting something about collusion between Leo Leporte and Steve Jobs, collusion which did him wrong, so he claimed. (Leporte had a radio broadcasting career related to promoting Tech and answering questions about computers.) I liked that the strong color was in the background while the man is dressed in dreary colored clothes.

I saw her standing there in the street , bags on the side walk, it was uphill and I cold use a ret so I sat on a door entrance ledge, and watched. After about 20 minutes a big black car pulls, a young son gets out, phone-ear- hand-mouth busy, all the while as he with one free hand, he opens the trunk , loads the bags in three trips , opens t3he back door, escorts his mom in to the car, shuts the door, goes around to get in the driver’s side and drives aways, all the while talking on the phone.

A building of one first floor and one second floor apartments with a (shared?) garage and a view from the rear? Interesting living arrangements, nice if you are young.and ride a motorcycle.

Alameda Creek

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,. . .

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,. . .

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, . . .

The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of The United Nations is written in brass letters in the walk through UN Plaza in San Francisco.

Earth, wandering through the Universe, is the only human “known” location of “intelligent life.”

“Becoming Human,” the 400,000 years of human beings striving to get to today, to this moment, and then to the next moment, and so on . . .

Imagine all of Humanity as one living entity, one living thing, acting in its own interest, and each of us now and through history, are one functioning piece of a bigger whole.—I guess that would be like Earth being a Big Borg.

It does not appear to be a united well functioning effort different parts, the people, are acting against each other and if people is the measure of success, we end up killing others, many who are innocent people, for the survival of ourselves—those of “us” who are left here to read this, “they” are no long with us.

Humans have an archeological history of 300,000 years (more or less its a flexible category depending on definitions, buts its a long time compared to one of out lifetimes.). Compare contemporary tech innovations to those of (imagined) prehistory—they started out with nothing. and figure out practical knowledge such as Joinary; portable containers to hold liquid; fire and heat management; farming and many other great achievements, and all peoples on this Earth now figured out enough to survive this far. All the lives that have gone into this.moment,


For awhile my m/other lived in. a memory care facility. I used to show her photographs, here is my mother and father, I was did not know if she was able to remember.

A chart showing seasonality differences for Apple, could be product sales, gross income, who knows,

A simple design using contrasts of things to organize it—odds/evens, moving/standing , light/dark, big/small, and I always like the humor of the reflection.

A warm afternoon and birds beware.
brush painting by Janney

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Four tell the past

“Little birdie, little birdie,
What makes your head so red.
You’ve a short time for to be here,
And a long time to be dead.”

traditional Appalachian song

Fifty years ago seems like along time ago:

Strong Maine , 1970

Leonard, Cambridge MA 1971

Japan Center, San Francisco, early 1990s

I have reached my definition of dementia —When I go to doctor with a problem, and the doctor tells me its because of my, age, it will not get better, and probable get worse as I age.


Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are part of the everyday life of of Tokyo residents, where people encounter them face to face as they go about their business. Here is one sandwiched in between office buildings with a grande view of an apartment building for their backyard landscape.Temples and shrines are designed for on-demand personal use.

Small among large, land ‘in Tokyo is very expensive and the zoning is very different,

The lush of San Francisco.

Alameda Creek

Individual people have five senses which enable a person to function in the universe. Living things, unlike rocks for example, are required to behave, to do something, to enable survival. Our senses give us information which enables survival.

We interact with the universe and differentiate one thing from another, Some things help us survive,, some do not and some things are dangerous. We use our senses to know and we can only know what we can sense.

We also have the ability to create tools to extend our senses,

While this does enable us to see things beyond the biological capabilities of our human senses, it does not enable us to know the things which might be “sensed” or “known” by other kinds of senses, not just smell, sight, sound, smell or taste. We cannot know what we don’t know.

We also have “mind” or “reason.” Through the process of human knowing we have knowledge—we know a bunch of “things” and we can use the mind/reason to relate them to each other using language.People use their senses to differentiate one thing from another and mind to give it a unique identity—a name.

In one sense the history of people is a history of always ”discovering new things, ” a history which brought a new meaning with the creation and development of writing, printing, and now digital, which makes information instantly accessible and enables a qualitatively new level of comparative analysis.

Sometimes new discoveries shed light —a thing is actually not a thing , but a bunch of different things. Air for the example, the (no) thing we used to differentiate things like a mountain from a tree, actually a bunch of small particles.

Things can have both a general and particular quality to them . We scan peak of horses in general,, a concept, yet each specific horse will never be the exact of the concept and it works well for communication and survival but there no such real horse as the concept of horse.

The camera is a tool to enable people to use light to record a moment of the past.

Still when people see the same photograph often they do not see the same thing

A photograph is a specific record, a particular situation of a thing, and not a general. yet people may still disagree on what they see when viewing the same photograph.

Sometimes its easier for people to agree on what is the general, an ”imaginary concept” of a thing; than on what is the particular, a specific ”Real” thing.


a) People are naturally good; or,
b) People are naturally bad; or,
c) People are naturally good and bad.

”Naturally” refers to a quality of human life which by default is unchangeable, immutable. We all have it, its human nature, in our biology.

Consider even if each of us has the quality, can there be quantitative differences of that quality among individuals . . .

Such as compassion, cruelty, a mechanical sense, a talent, a way with people, an instinct, an intuition.

a) People are naturally good; or.
b) People are naturally bad; or.
c) People are naturally good and bad.

Choose one of a), b), or c) from above: —How might the societies be different?.

Marshall McLuhan tells the story of two women meeting on a sidewalk.One is pushing a baby in a carriage and the other says ,“What a beautiful baby,” and the other responds , “Oh, you should see the photograph.”

I don’t care if my photographs are fake or real, they are just about trying to forget my problems to make myself feel happy enough to get through the day.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate, bodhi svaha

Noing know thing

The chartreuse (or any off tint of green) knight

About six weeks ago a wrist pain developed.—to type ? it’s painful, or, its hunt & peck. A couple of days ago I got an MRI . . .

Sometimes I reflect on the last times I saw my father, a period of about 4 years,  while he was increasingly physically and mentally deteriorating, and while the various discomforts and pains in my own body get progressively worse mostly I reflect on the former.

Now, fifteen years later I find myself  going through similar physical entropy –a nice scientific term for it—I askwhy did I not talk to him about it a bit more, No, a lot more;

Its not so much whether I remember the specific situation correctly—as it happened—as much I understand the situation differently .

Alameda Creek

There is a rhythm to Alameda Creek or there is n’s one.

Weather, time of day, calendar days, work day or weekend, light or dark, all influence the number of people using the path.

Its generally, but not specifically , predictable

Why do people do the things they do? What else would we do?

What is stopping us from doing those things?

Nansen said, “The mind is not the Buddha; knowledge is not the Way.”
Case 34 Nansen’s No Way Mummonkan Blyth translation

The weather is fine, and the sun appears;
Rain falls and the earth becomes wet.
With exceeding kindness he explains everything,
But how few have faith in his words!

Ummon’s Verse Case 34 Nansen’s No Way Mummonkan Blyth translation

When I thought about losing the use of my hands or even one hand, I wondered if my father—one of his favorite child hood books was Facing Death by Horatio Alger— had ever had to face something like that.

But the answer is “Of course he did!!!”. . .

. . . because he/she is a human being.

Being Buddha means to escape the cycles of birth and rebirth?

 the Truth of suffering,
the Truth of the cause of suffering,
the Truth of the end of suffering, and
the Truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.

Do Buddhists believe that awakening their Buddha inside will end their cycle of birth, death and rebirth?

Why are we separated from our Buddha hiding inside of us ?

Why are these kinds of “religious questions ” more important than understanding why some people behave in abusive ways towards others?

Only thank God men have done learned to forget quick what they ain’t brave enough to cure.”
from The Hamlet William Faulkner

Maybe religion works better to help individuals get though the crap that it does to get rid of it.

“I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours” (Bob Dylan said that).


An old Zen story: If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.

Would you recognize Buddha if you passed one on the street?

That said, How many would recognize Muhammad or Jesus walking along the street?

Maybe only a small few would fail to recognize Krishna —the only original Blueman in the crowd,

A monk asked Base, “What is the Buddha?”
Baso answered, “Not mind, not Buddha.”

If you are a Buddhist,
if you practice Buddhism,
if you have the hope of awakening the Buddha inside of you,
When it happens how will you know its happening, or even that it happened?

The thing that always bothered me about reincarnation, was; if at the beginning there was enough “human material” to make “N” amount of humans, with the human population getting bigger, does reincarnation mean that each new human born has progressively less of the needed amount to be “like the original human”

ShakaBuddha was born as a bodhisattva, so it was written anyway.

How did he get so far ahead? He never tells us the real secret—or maybe I just cannot hear it.

The eye of know-eye,
the ear of know -ear,
the nose of know-nose;
the tongue of no-tongue,
the touch of know-touch.

I don’t think I’m going to make it this time around, maybe someone younger will . .

. . . or won’t..
Who knows!! Maybe this guy is a Buddha and I just cannot recognize it.

I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own
Than have a fickle-minded real live girl

from a popular song by The Mills Brothers

Maybe a wooden Buddha is better than than a real live one.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha