Que duo? Company

Often I see photographs in the news media and images from movies, television and other forms of streaming visual information showing “people in the news,”.

Of course that is what they are, by definition,.

I like more simple moments,

A moment not intempted to be special . . .

No script, no director, no rehearsals, no make-up crew . .
siblings selling lemonade on lower Magazine Street about 1970.

when I see it —two people together on their road,—its “no simple highway.…”

And its for “your steps alone.”

lyrics (in quotes} from Ripple, Grateful Dead

Alameda Creek

The meaning of Shaka Buddha is an end to human suffering.

When Guatama Buddha was born to a family of wealth and military power., a sage told his father that he would be a leader who united India or a religious leader . His father rejected the latter, and for 29 years Siddartha lived in a (over) protective environment ..

One day being driven around the outside in his horse drawn carriage he encountered the four signs and learned human suffering, old age;, .sickness, and death, and last, a wandering religious beggar dressed in simple yellow clothes, was peaceful and calm with an inward joy. It is said that the horse who was reborn as a god.

Guatama left home to seek an end to human suffering.

So for some time I have wondered what is this human suffering that Shaka Buddha sought to end.?

I thought about the human expressions of human suffering I have experienced, whether myself or expressed to me by others .

Common, perhaps call it natural, condition of human suffering is one thing—everyone is suffering from the same thing—but many individual expressions, including my own, were often differing personal instances of feelings of unhappiness.

Dying of sickness or old age, these are not feelings, but “real,”

What is the human suffering Buddha worked so hard to end—is it just the cycle of life? Would not the end of the cycle of life and death simply be no more life? The end of the reincarnation cycle ?

But maybe Shaka Buddha meant just what he said.

At that time in India belief in reincarnation was popular . Reincarnation means a cycle of non ending birth&death and birth& death and birth& death. How to end the cycle of human suffering. I don’t know if Buddha was also referring to the more common personal expressions of human emotional suffering, maybe, maybe knot.

In spite of the really lonely times of suffering I .have had .in my life, I would do it again just for those few feeling good times . . .

“I’d give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday
Holding Bobby’s body next to mine”

Lyrics from Me and Bobby McGee Kris Kristofferson

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The beginning of the Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger, marked by a Welcome Painting . . .

Painting by Janney

and oranges and incense at the temple.

Walking up Telegraph Hill from Columbus Ave.

Afternoon shadows in San Francisco

Afternoon sun from Telegraph Hill, I guess that would be Russian Hill in the background. .

Looking west from somewhere along Polk Street ..

Gate Gate paragate ,parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha

When one wins won

Chinese Lunar New Year

The Tiger is the third of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Tiger is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 寅.The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts in China. The zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. Many Chinese kids wear hats or shoes with a tiger image for good luck.

A little bird thinks I would like to become a member of this family 😊 The calligraphy “家” is a family in a house .The Tiger of the year will bring you safety, health, happiness and luck in all your endeavors..
Drawing by Janney

Alameda Creek

People’s eyes sense light, and the camera will make an image using light, and if adjusted “correctly,” the image will look like “thing” at people see, “things” for which we have a name.

The camera can also make other versions— an alternative reality—of the image — such as out of focus, or over/ under exposure,

Are such images any less “real?”

They may be less “real” to people, certainly when the wedding photographer delivers “out of focus” images we would reject them.

But in or out of focus they are all real photographs just t to us,the images are “not “real,” —Its not what we paid for.

And if we refused to pay the photographer and went to court, we would win, The court would agree they are not “real” photographs,.

Marshall McLuhan told the (circa 1950’s) story of two women meeting on the street, one with a baby and carriage. “ What a beautiful child” to which the mother replies, “Oh, you should see her photos.!” This man is probably looking at photos . . .

Photographs are not just a technical process, but they are also “required” to have a “real content” aspect about them

Wedding photographs, catalog and product advertisements, year book photographs, etc,— one part of the standard is does the image look like what people see with their eyes.

And a photograph has an artistic component.

That artistic component is a part of the essence of the photograph.

A photograph has a certain feeling, a feeling, not easy, or maybe impossible, to describe with words—a feeling beyond words that only belongs to the photographic image , like the special transmission from Shaka Buddha to Kasyapa.

For many years in western painting, oil paintings were visual records of moments, like a photograph is now.

And when photography reared its head in our society, oil painting expanded to include abstract painting, even though arts had for hundreds of years already embraced the abstract qualities of painting, at the least as part of teaching apprentices things like design and color..

For some Art is whatever you can get away with, for others its not about the Art or the artist, but the customer client or for me, it you hang it on the wall and most days find something inspiring, well, then its Art..

The photograph, whether still or moving, has enabled people all over the word to speak out, to be heard, in ways which go beyond the language of words. The personal phone, which is also a computer, is a tool to express and to experience the expressions of others, for people, regardless of power or wealth, all over the world.

This was the vision of Steve Jobs, and because he cared not just about the quantity, but also the quality of that expression and experience.He set the standard of quality for the computer-phone which has given a more meaningful voice to peoples all over the world.

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Albuquerque

The west side of Albuquerque is flat desert, you can see Mt Taylor about fifty miles away and the setting sun can strongly shine across the desert .searching for something to reflect off in the late Fall afternoon.

Kokopelli, the flute playing mischievous free spirit and bringer of good luck, rain and fertility.

Tile, interesting use of non complimentary color, maybe the yellow and the blue combine (in the eye) to make a green and the yellow and red to make an orange? though the mind would fight to never allow such a thing.

Metal people designed in the style used in Navajo blanket weavings.

Kokopelli is a popular image , a window covering maybe in a bathroom somehwere.

In our house we combine Kokopelli, Acoma and a Japanese wooden box.

Albuquerque, like any city, has its own feeling, at lunch time its often hot outside, and hopefully cool inside, somewhere along a back alley parallel to Central Ave. SE.

One early morning about 30 years ago. before breakfast is served at the mission, people wait in line, or they may just walk around—maybe it relieves the tension of bing poor. WhenI saw this I wondered how my own mother would survive by herself, walking the streets waiting for the doors to breakfast to open. But she was fortunate in her life,

Once Confucius was asked, . “How do you deal effectively with thieves? and replied, “If you, sir, did not covet things that did not belong to you, they wouldn’t steal if you paid them..

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha

Eatzenbe

Welcome from New Year’s Tiger

Year of the Tiger, brush drawing by Janney

Welcome to Dim Sum in Fremont California. Fremont, the fourth most populated city in the Bay area and was established in 1956 when the small local towns of Centerville, Irvington, Mission San Jose, Niles, and Warm Springs joined to become one city.

During the 1960s computer related engineers from Asia, especially from China and India, increasingly came to Silicon Valley for computer related jobs, jobs which also pay well.

When I moved here around 1980, house prices in the area from Palo Alto through Sunnyvale area were increasing and Fremont was not referred to as a part of “Silicon Valley.” Although many computer related businesses had locations in San Jose, along 101 and 237 there was an arrogant hesitancy to even call San Jose a part of Silicon Valley in spite of above 101 was an ever growing assortment of computer related business

Marinated tofu; tofu is one of my favorites foods, we have it probably 3-4 times a week.

Plate of three Old Fashioned Egg Custard

At this time Fremont had a safe town with plenty of business space and residential housing before going through the canyon to the other side of the mountains. .Many people from Asia have established in Fremont. I got my first office, $35/month, in Fremont, and a few years later moved my residence there. Plenty of Chinese and Indian restaurants.

Black Steamed Bun with Egg Yolk, soft and sweet,

Small matters

Before Christmas, I saw this elderly woman carrying her bedroom while moving the wheel chair with her feet. She was moving so slow, perhaps with know where too go, Imagine what it would be like, leaving a shelter in the morning to return at night, having to carry your belongings with you. And from a wheelchair on the street, I wonder “Just where and how do you use the bathroom.”

With modern society came many benefits, and wealth, an excess of wealth, people with billions while others are suffering . Most of us would like to solve that problem, we don’t know how or maybe we no how.

A burrito, a tube of chips and a newspaper for breakfast, al fresco.dining.

Where could I go but to the Lord.
”Seeking the refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Won’t you tell me
Where could I go but to the Lord”

Where could I go but to the Lord. J,B Coats (1901-1961)

It is an old Martin-D28, between the stubs of fingers on his right hand he is holding a flat pick, its an open tuning and singing mostly southern gospel songs.

They had just arrived from Appalachia, an old gas guzzling car with a backseat piled with f clothes among old fast food wrappers. Toledo, circa 1969

Powell Street Station woman delivering a lecture to the tourists standing in line to ride the cable car up Powell Street.

Maybe he was a fisherman in his younger days, or perhaps someone”s ne’er do well brother., he has a job
Boston, circa 1970

Alameda Creek

I walk along Alameda Creek almost every day, Some times I listen to podcasts, other times I meet someone and walk&talk with her or him or I just use my five senses to keep my mind form wandering.

When the water comes from here it means the dams are open upstream. Sometimes young people come here as a group or by themselves .

Fremont lies in the shadows of Mission Peak

There is a notion that what you sense—see, hear, touch, smell and taste—are Real, and we differentiate and define them as “Real Things.”

And then the Universe is a bunch of things with space between the things enclosed in an undefined (but expanding) area. The purpose of Science is to differentiate each thing and give it a name and one day we will know everything in the Universe.

Yet as we examine the “space” between things, we find “smaller things” with space between them, which as time goes on, repeats itself. Oh the Absolute Absurdity of It All——The Myth of Sysphus ( book by A. Camus).

Stephen Hawking remarked (my paraphrase): At one time Philosophy was ahead of Science, but now Science was ahead of philosophy and will be until Science has discovered everything in the universe.” —which he he suggested was coming soon.

It seems that while Science is an excellent human tool for knowing, we are the universe looking at itself and its a a classic subject-object situation. For the Universe . people looking at the Universe is like me looking at my foot, or how about me looking at my mind?

And does this search by the Universe have a purpose ?

Look around you, most other living things are busy meeting basic needs. People on the other hand are busy doing all kinds of things including many choose and enjoy the work they do.

Suppose that the Universe had developed a sickness and evolved human beings to cure itself. —But would not the sickness be a part of the Universe? or Maybe we are not the doctor but the sickness?

Imagine culture as a snowball rolling down an infinite decline, forever increasing its size as it gathers more snow as it rolls, maybe discarding some here or there and mixing some different snows together,

Through history people pop up here and there on the always-increasing-in- size snowball, and their experience is limited to what they can muddle around and see, hear, smell, taste or touch .

Each individual has a different place in the snowball, each has their own unique experiences in real and historical time., though there are enough “near-the-same” experiences to enable normalized working social relationships—human survival as a society.

Appreciate how having a written language means a qualitatively different society—Its a game-changer, a paradigm shift. Communication with people you will never meet from time periods you will never experience,

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Usually I like to “just have fun” with the camera.

I usually carry a small point&shoot —I still use a flip phone. Walking along an upper floor of an open parking building it was fun to see myself in the windshield of the car below.

A “thing” is differentiated from other things by identifying its unique set of qualities—different from other things, One “thing” that helped build our vocabulary for many years was that “air” was accepted as“no thing. Air as a no-thing helped to differentiate one thing from another—sky from mountains, dog from ground, can eat from can’t eat— and then Science established that air itself was made up of “things” —78% nitrogen and 21 % oxygen.

But the process of scientific investigation often seems to result in an ever ending finding flow of smaller and smaller particles, aka things.

Stores can be very confusing if you cannot read. and history can be very confusing if you can read. People spend a lot of time consuming things in both personal, businesses and civic life. During that process they read a lot of information and make buying decisions based on that information.

But as important as differentiating one thing from another, its abstract qualities are interesting We can speak the word “couch,” go into a furniture store and see tens of “couches” none of which look the same, but it does not matter, we understand the concept of couch and can apply it in (most) different situations, doesn’t matter how unusual, strange or new the couch looks— the Particular is never the General, except perhaps in popular media.

Actors in popular media are often selected for their visual appearance qualities. Add camera angle, lighting, technical fixes and of course, writing, rehearsing and acting, all things can be used to enhance the “real photographic” impression experienced by mass audiences—a dialectic of The Ideal and The Real. Actors are people, and the video moving image deliver amore comprehensible Ideal -real experience, there is no room to question what see, and it becomes a vicarious experience. But reading a character development in a book your imagination plays a far more important role in the your mental image of the character. because your mind fills in all the missing visual stuff delivered by the video.

Bizen tokkuri on a lacquered tray with pueblo weaving

This “physical idea ” is not just “attractive” people, but whenever a physical appearance (is believed to) matches the visual character of the role, most characters of which, by definition are “common ” to a mass audience, are a stereo-type. We often use stereo-types in our daily lives. And yet a common critique of people in general is that too often we use stereotypes in judging others.

Ki-Seto tokkuri and Kuro-Oribe guinjomi : Kuro-Oribe, and Oribe in general, is is differentiated from other Japanese folk pottery by its long tradition of creative expression. The guinomi appears to over power the tokkuri—“You’re too small to get me drunk!’’

When we see and If there is no “quick fit” of the original visual image to some category in the database of our mind, question develops. Depending on the situation—life threatening or minor intrusion — the outcome may be more or less important. The “concept of a thing” is more important than any “real thing.” which by the way changes, decays, entropies—empirically observable by the presence of conservatives. in socities.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Know thing two no

One hundred years ago daily life was very different:

Bought out sugar by the hundred pounds, especially in preserving time, and I remember my father would send to Montgomery Ward (at that time they sold groceries) or Sears and Roebuck and buy a hundred pounds of rolled oats or hundred pounds of rice and a hundred pounds of prunes, and it’d come sacked up, get big sacks.

Lennie Hern, age 90, Decautur County, from Feeding our Families Memories of Hoosier Homemakers published May 1983

What is this world we live in now?

A society where our lives are working to get money to consume things—food, shelter, clothes, entertainment, medical care—and the making of those things we consume, as well as the cleaning up after we consume them, are destroying Earth..

Life on Earth is the whole of what people do, it is not what some people do while what other people do is not life. And money is an important part of it.

How do we understand money?

Money enables a sustainable society—a group of people— in which individuals can produce products which have different levels of demand by different individuals in the society over a period of time and everyone can get enough wealth to live, hopefully to live well enough so that violent change over the distribution of life’s basic needs is no needed—social cohesiveness.

In a society where trade and barter are the only production and distribution , the products in their market are very limited and most people can produce most of their needs by themselves.

As society develops people who produce coats have a different market demand than people who produce lettuce than those who produce cars and so on.. After the coat producer trades a coat to a farmer, it maybe years before the farmer needs another coat but the coat producer needs needs food on a short term regular basis.

The work of both, the tailer and the farmer, is represented by money which enables product exchange to happen and results in a more technologically advanced but more inter-dependent society where money is an important part of a stable society.

Alameda Creek

I try to walk daily along Alameda Creek, leaving my house I see my neighbors, stretch out a little and and listen to podcasts and think about “things,” — “Is there such a thing as “Human Nature”?.”

“Its human nature!!, thats why” Is there such a thing as “Human Nature”?

If there is such a “thing” What would it mean? That behavour defined as“ Human Nature” is caused, or determined—by a common Universal law that determines all human beings will behave in accordance with—We all do it!

Its a quality which is a part of every person, we would all have it and it would be expressed in our common behaviour.

Would we have the same amount of human nature or is it distributed among individuals on a continuum — some individuals might have more or less of it than others. John behaves with more compassionate than does Jill, Jill has more artistic talent than John.

Prhaps in the name of “learning” we apply interval level math to measure it — John is 6 1/2 inches taller than Jill who weights 54 pounds less than John. who lives 20 minutes further from work than does Jill. Or we could say, John is taller than Jill who weighs less than John and it takes him longer to drive to work.

As each person travels through Space-Time, their life is a unique path, perhaps comparing and then ranking the path of each individual using an independent standard makes it easier to objectify other people and miss out on the wonders of their lives.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple, Grateful Dead

Each path is separate, no matter how often the pushback tells you its the same, uneventful path as so many others.

Human nature is embedded in our biological material existence, humans do not have sonar like bats; gills like fish; a nose like a dog, we have our own human nature.

On those clearly human qualities, such as the five senses,we find some people are naturally born without them—such as sight or hearing—and we refer to them with words which suggest “not a complete person”—yet wherever there is a a society of humans living there are some who are born blind and some who are born deaf ———where is the concept of common human nature now?

Or is it that “the qualities we associate with the definition of ‘Human Nature’ not only are distributed in varying degrees among individuals but in some individuals are actually not present— think of compassion, empathy and remorse.

We say: Its human nature to want more than you have; its human nature to cheat people when you can get away with it; its human nature to be lazy; When we say this we asset that all people are thus driven to behave badly by the very condition of of being human.And when we make that judgement we come to the “obvious conclusion ” that the purpose of law in a society is prevent people from doing bad.

But humans did not start out with the ability to know this, they only got there after doing a lot of really bad things to others along the way, inhumane stuff, like killing others and stealing property and making law and order as a tool l to defend from others what the group in power stole in the first place,. This is why law without justice for the past is always just more of the problem.

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For a period of time the Fogg exhibited three small, same-size, Rembrandt paintings at the same time right next to each other, head shots of himself, his father and Christ, and while they were hanging oI often stopped in to see them—The Fogg was free then but that was over 40 years ago, there may be entrance fees now.

Man is part of Nature. Therefore human creativity is part of Nature’s productivity. In Man, Nature has arrived at self-awareness.
Friedrich Schelling (1775-1854)

We are what we look like, by definition anyway —”I see you coming down the street,or I recognize you in the photograph.

We all know, its common knowledge, its common sense, there is more to our self but its not immediately known solely by being seen.

In popular media such as film and TV, for actors their “physical self” is the stock and trade, or at least the pass to getting in the door for the next job..

How can we not know ourselves? . . . might as well ask . . .

How can we knot no ourselves?

Sometimes it was too mis-leading to get my heard around it . .

Like an epiphany which increasingly mismanages me daily.

I was like a shadow always looking for new ways to see things,

That’s how I got here in the last and first place.

Embed yourself in your own nature and your own tailwind will seek you out.

Brush painting by Janney

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhisvaha

Mistadzentures

Mooncake forewon

Last week was Moon Festival, Walking along Alameda Creek I met people who were celebrating, though I did not hear anyone mention the Stanley Brothers performing Blue Moon Over Kentucky bu† the local Sheng Kee Bakery had plenty of moon cakes and plenty of people were making lines to buy.

Moon-gazing, painting by Janney

Its special to sit with someone, enjoy gazing the moon and tasting the mooncake where the character on the top indicates the filling inside . Its ok if you are by yourself, but while these taste good they are best eaten in moderation and with others, maybe four people eat two different moon cakes and each person gets two different tastes, or two people eat two quarters each. Or you are like me, one person enjoying cake and moon-gazing, but mooncakes are best eaten in moderation, so leave two quarters for another day—but best eaten with someone who, with you also enjoys it too.

Does a dog have Buddha-Nature?

Have you ever been bored, maybe on a cold December morning while looking for your mind and the snow reached up to your knees, and you wondered, Does a dog have Buddha-Nature? The answer is in the last character on the right—“Wu” in Chinese and “Mu” in Japanese.

狗子還有佛性也無

You would not be alone if you did. Someone asked Joshu, who responded, “Mu.”

Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

Ummon’s comment. from Mumonkan

”Mu“ has cearned its own place. This is the “mu” my sister used in her short film Corporate Warrior as a resolving connection between a Japanese country mother-in-law, who after her son dies from karoshi, comes to Tokyo to bring her American-career-minded-soon to be a mother, daughter in law, back to the family country home to birth her future grandchild.

Alameda Creek

Walden Pond is a large pond where on a hot day there will be many people swimming, rowing a rental boats around the pond or maybe spending an afternoon with friends drinking beer, singing and eating fast food,

It 150 years since Henry David Thoreau wrote about about Walden Pond, its no longer a long days ride from Boston, about 20 minutes drive from Cambridge .

Its been 46 years since I was there last one late summers day, Returning to Boston determined to enroll in art school to study graphic design, 30 years old, with my dog (the first dog pictured above) , we stopped one last time for a taste of freedom before entering the city.

I had no idea what I was going to do tomorrow, What was I doing? I knew somewhere in my heart I always wanted to be involved with art.

Yet here I was, college graduate just kind of wandering around seemlessly working my way towards death with no progress, no direction. All I decided was returning to Boston was going to be an end to that.

I was almost broke, I did some day jobs, spent some nights in my van, got some cash in the hand, got into art school , found an apartment and got regular work for 3-4 nights-a-week cab driver in Cambridge—Brattle Cab up in East Cambridge.

Even then I did not understand the commitment I was making, I just went day by day,—school, home work , cab driving and Saturday afternoons .walking with my dog along the Charles..

One year later after three apartment moves and once my dog was stolen, but I got her back, I placed my dog with a family on a farm in Vermont, I thought it would be better for her, I am not sure it worked out or not, Its a piece of sadness in heart that never goes away.

I graduated from art school, worked at a major printer in Boston for a year learning about the relationship between design, production of camera ready art and what the printed piece looks like when it comes off the press.

I learned a lot there at the printer and in 1979 I drove across country arriving in SiliconValley where fortunately I had some friends who let stay in their apartment for a couple of months until I was settled—Thank you!!

My car blew up , cost all my money to fix it and manage an apartment deposit, so I took the first job I could get, working in a small ad agency and a year later I rented an office in Fremont at $35 month, but no clients but I had a phone and back then you could cold call and connect with people—make 100 phone calls, get five appointments and one job. Along the way I received help from some other kind people. and the business footer 35 years designing marketing communications materials enabled me to marry, and have a family.

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Memorial Day,, Marshall, Minnesota, 1971: Not sure what to say , what you see in the photograph is what it felt like living there for one year.while teaching Sociology at the local college.

Street Klansman

Head-to-head discussion on the open street

How often it seems an answer is busy in search of a question—In the case of Nansen’s cat Joshu came too late.

Brother and sister selling lemonade on the sidewalk, Central Square, Cambridge, on the lowerr part of Magazine Street— the street which in late 1700s was the road from Central Square to the Magazine Depot (where they stored the ordinance ) at Cambridge Port along the Charles River..Since I moved to California its become an historical (gentrified) area.

After all that I still feel like I am on the outside looking in at a world that doesn’t want me; then I remember I never would have experienced my life if I would have been in that world

Ending lines in The Heart Sutra, calligraphy by Janney