Wake your tern

My sister sent me a link to this site: https://www.ikebanafuzion.com/blog/ikebana-book-quest. It has a very nice comment about our mother (Lynn) .

I used this book when I started studying with my Sensei, the late Rosamonde F. (Lynn) Naegele, Executive Master in the Ichiyo School and two-term international president of Ikebana International. When I handle the book, I hear her gentle voice guiding me and later freeing me to soar with my own ideas about Ikebana.” 

My First Ikebana Book Introducing Ikebana1969 by Meikof Kasuya. (Fifth printing 1985) 57 pages

She could be very simple . . .

Or more complex. Before doing a demonstration in a new location, she would walk around to find local flowers and materials to include in her arrangement to teach that Art is right in front of you and you can always in your daily experiences.

When my parents retired in Albuquerque after 14 years in Japan had her Ikebana school. Typical mom there was no structure, no formalities, for 20 years students would show up and mom would teach. (Mom’s back is to camera.)

This is a page from her sketch book

My parents were high school sweet hearts,, they married when my father was in the Army Air Force during WWII and stayed together until he passed away in 2006. Dad worked and Mom was a home mother,. When her children were older, she wanted to work but could only get lower responsibility jobs with little appreciation for her capabilities

When they moved to Japan she found a welcome place in Ikebana, became a master in one style, a certified instructor in two more, and served two terms as President of Ikebana International. In Japan she found a welcome for the expression of the great things inside of her. She taught my father, here they are together, as they were all of their lives, creating an arrangement for a screening of my sister’s film “Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire at the American film Institute in Los Angeles.

This was the arrangement she made for his funeral .Only the immediate family attended. This simple and profoundly moving arrangement was mom’s final expression of her love and appreciation of Ray..

For about 3 1/2 years mom lived near me in a memory care facility—Residence #1— eight weeks in a rehab nursing facility, and the last third in a second memory care residence #2. The residence durations were about 1 1/2 year each . After lunch we would do something, here she is pleased to review old Ikebana magazines.

I made this poster for her wall in the both residence units. These were photographs I made of her for a brochure for her Ikebana school of 20 years. When looking at them in memory care she did not remember that she had seen them before, they were like new, But below she is of sound mind and body.

Alameda Creek

Do you think that one day people will “get it together ” to live in peace on Earth ? What would that mean?

Obviously, what homo sapiens have been doing on Earth for some 300,000 years does set a standard —the we of the structure of a group, we“ The Group”—have survived it for many generations. Human survival is the result of a group effort.

Bluntly, we see that the species of human beings can survive even when some are cruel, even very cruel, to others, And we also see moments of human compassion and empathy .

For many people, such as Social Darwinists, the “nature of living individuals is to survive ,” a dog-eat-dog competition. between individuals which is often used by demagogues to justify the cruelty of human beings as necessary collateral damage for the goal of survival.

The “scientific work” of Peter Kropotkin enlarged the discussion to include observable examples of other living species behaving cooperatively with each other—obviously suggesting that human beings have both aspects as part of their nature. Now we also see examples of living things from different species cooperating with each. Both cooperation and competition are part of life.

Armed with a standard of measurement to measure what is “social solidarity”—i.e. human history” as well as to measure the negative and positive expressions of human beings, can we find the ways and means to reduce the negative and increase the positive characteristics of being human to positively influence the life experiences of the most people to benefit the most people.

Yet even among those of us that would agree on the goal of this mission . . . Still we cannot find agreement on what is that goal and/or how to reach that goal.

Often that comes down to what do individuals believe to be “Human Nature? ”/what are the things about being human that we cannot change? And how do we live with them . Chinese legalism very bluntly asked this question and thought they found an answer, but very quickly found out in the first Qin Dynasty, law is not a tool for social justice .

Through the history of human thought it has been said that 1) Human nature is destructive, 2) human nature is compassionate . 3) human nature is a combination of both.. These are seen as individual properties which each person has and everyone has them or maybe they differer in degree.
Another theory suggests that human nature is a property of a group, not an individual property, and the group may include people with different “human natures” although the the different human natures may fit together to realize its own puzzle”—the structure of human behavior in a society.

Still we are each an individual wandering around in this maze universe of small particles in their never ending dance of coming together to appear to humans in a material form and then breaking apart, only to come together again to express another form . Or at least “constantly changing forms— while human beings experience this process. as unchanging forms—as material things.

form is not different from emptiness,
emptiness is not different from form:
form is emptiness,
emptiness is form

from Prajna Heart Sutra


Many poem collections on my dusty shelves—
I chose a volume at random and open it.
Before I’ve noticed the author’s name
I think I am reading poems by T’ao Ch’ien.
Then I look at the name, see it’s you,
and pity all at once overwhelms me.
Poets too often meet trouble and hardship—
we see it in particular these days.
Tu T’zu-mei of the capital region
Still got to be a Reminder.
Menj Hao-jan of Hsiang—yang
lived to see his temples turn gray.
You, alas were not as lucky as either of these,
at thirty still in a commoner’s hemp robe.
You passed the exam but got no stipend.
were engaged but hadn’t yet married:
in younger years a stranger to illness,
suddenly you died in the midst of life’s journey.
Heaven granted you neither rank nor longevity,
only a talent for beautiful words.
Don’t ask me the reasons behind this—

the cleverest fortune-teller could never divine them!

Po Chu-I • Selected Poems BurtonWatson,translator

I made this image from by my window sitting at the computer., you can do many creative things that express your self. Maybe for me its easier because every photograph I make is a photograph of myself. The “content” i=of the image is actually the medium of the image.

What kind of job is it climb up this wall? What is on the roof? Maybe its a job that only needs to be done two or three times a year? Does the person who does it need to wear special clothes that day? Maybe the person has climbed to the roof t and I could walk over and knock the ladder down and walk away.

In the early 1970’s Cambridge: nature all by itself will just wear a poster off the wall Still the poster is there because a person conceived it, designed it, printed and posted .it on the wall.

Wall in Harvard square, Cambridge MA, 1971

Finnegans Wake written by James Joyce i a fun book to read. And for people like me with an ever increasing shorter reading attention span, a person who can pick up the book, open it anywhere, read for 5-10 pages, enjoy the humor and close it, no place markers needed, the next time just open it up anew.

The base of this design is a shado self portrait of myself with camera, cut in half and pasted together, and again pasted together into a shape and then repeated in a design..

You never no who is hiding behind the bush but as long as I am alive it might be me

Gate gare paragate parasamgate, bodhi svaha

Lightly lost in thaim


I took me decades to adjust to this image. 1970, onWashington Street, propabyl near Filene’s.

Southern Gospel music off Tremont Street right across from the Common.

Commonwealth Ave, Boston.For a time James and I used to move furniture in our van.many of these building were constructed before elevators and we would have to walk big heavy stuff, like a refrigerator, up the stairs.

Somerville, two three deckers in one building . Somerville has a lot of three deckers and I remember meeting families who had “inherited their rental apartment,” some were third generation renters in the same apartment.

Boston brick and windows

Cambridge, MA, one morning’s snowfall on top a a previous snowfall

In Boston’s North End, probably from an upper floor of a multi floored parking facility below couple walking to church on a Sunday morning.

Fort Hill, Roxbury. MA: Sometimes I would drive over, its was a days length by horse and wagon from Beacon Hill—so I have heard—sit on the hill, look at Boston, or towards southwest. There used to be a wrought iron railing above the ledge on the octagon, I was over there one early morning about 1971 aft3er a wind storm and I found a piece of the railing, I took it home and kept it for many years, even taking it out to California , but I don’t know what happened to it. It used to be quiet, not crowded and The Lyman Family used to live there.

Alameda Creek

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, and it was good; and

God divided the light from the darkness.

Verse 3 Genesis King James Bible

Photographs are light, light is how humans, and much of life on Earth, see, we would certainly be in the dark without it.

Light is what photography is about . . .

Light, or perhaps better, light which has been reflected off a “thing”—carries a latent image from that thing . . .

When you can intercept the reflected light it with an appropriate medium you can create a photographic image—something humans can see— on the medium, an image which has “human meaning.”

Light is what makes it possible fo the human eye to see,, and human eyes make it possible to experience light in the universe.—that’s what evolution has created.

A photograph makes it possible to see through the eyes of another person, but while the photograph sees like the eye sees . . . People see how their mind interprets what the eye sees.

These images separate the medium from the human interpretation, to avoid the question of what is the difference between what the eye visually experiences and how the mind translates the visual experience to the person.

As a graphic technique the photograph has its own look and feel, and has its own rightful place, not as a piece of “reality” which must be fit into human words but in its own artistic achievement and right. as line, color, texture, and form, a thing which does not have be “real” or not real, but a “thing” in and of itself.


Filene’s Basement was the “ business model” for stores like Ross , Marshall’s or TJ max. It was two or three levels , two floors for women and one for men and other household goods.They bought up whole lots of end of year surplus from other retailers, fire, flood and other damaged goods and irregulars. I remember the crowds when the annually bought year end surplus from Brooks Brothers. Often the Basement floors were crowded, they had problems with theft in the women’s section so they took out the changing rooms— no matter, women would try on the clothes in the aisles.

After Mom’s stroke, she moved near me to a memory care residence. She had a hip operation and spent eight weeks in a nursing home-rehab facility learning to walk again. I was there for the therapy sessions,

I was fortunate to see my mother differently, Some say its like “role reversal” the parent becomes like a child and the child the parent, I don’t think so, the child is learning to become a human being, my mother was a human being learning how to cope with a problem she did not understand.and could not constructively communicate with anyone about it.

During the first weeks after her stroke she used to ask me what happened? She knew this was the way she was before, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not know or remember what “before” was.

The first 18 months we took her out for events, meals, walking and hiking, art festivals, stores, but after her hip operation her walking, which she loved dearly all of her life, was limited.

When I think of my experiences with my father, I did not ask him enough questions about who he was, I did not know him as well as a I could have, And I got to know my mother in a very personal way, secrets they kept from their children. but I never knew his secrets, or his personal secrets anyway.

There were things he only told me, and when he told them there were times I was hesitant to believe them, and after his death they came to be realized, and I never knew how he knew them..

It could have felt like banging the shadow of my head against a brick wall,, She was still daily confronted with problems ”not making a living or cleaning house— and learning from watching how she adjusted herself to her new life problems was a lesson in human creativity.

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Seeing is be leaving

Noing, one seas

When we sense things there are two considerations: 1.) Are we limited to what we can experience because of the biology of 0ur senses?.; and 2) What effect does the brain’s “interpretation” on the experience of the senses?

San Francisco looking towards Berkeley

Look at my photographs is if they were printed words in a foreign language, not able to reading the meaning but visually experiencing the design of letters, or symbols, characters ,independent from any translated meaning. Can you feel the meaning of writing which you cannot read the meaning?

You know its a photograph, its not a “ real record of any moment in time”, rather a design of line, color, shape, texture, showing the capabilities of of a photograph and, if you should so choose, to make up your mind what you are seeing.

Alameda Creek

Our senses work well to navigate living on Earth. We have “identified” Gazillions of things— big , medium small; liquid, gas or solid; living or non-living; etc. We took aim at a big rock out in space, shot men there and brought them back —we know the moon is really there. Before we went to the moon, we had figured out that the moon was a big rock, \ not because we had been there to empirically experience it, but because our minds had developed Science which gave us tools to extend our sensual capabilities and “know” the moon. was a real thing, or at least in our experience of the Universe.

Two perspectives discussed a few hundreds years ago in western philosophy: 1) Are our biological sense organs capable of experiencing the “Real Universe,” or only what they can experience in the Universe or simply putswe do not know what we cannot sense or experience.

2) How different is the “original “unadulterated”visual experience” from how our mind tells us what it is..

Our senses experience the Universe and our mind “makes sense” of that experience —when people learn a language they also learn to see the Universe within the confines of the language. The process of culture through which people learn language enables individuals to evolutionary benefits—individuals do not have to learn everything about survival only through their personal experience.

Just the very process of learning language , a wonderful and important tool for the evolutionary development of human beings—through learning a language we come to accept the meaning of the words as ‘real things.”

People do not have to learn everything about life through their own experiences, human culture has been going on for over 300,000 years, we should appreciate it more. Its the glue that keeps society sane from the onslaught of the craziness of individual who view the cause of their short comings and failures as false jpustification for a culture war

In these images ignore any “ real meaning,” don’t spend time trying to figure out what some thing is. Let your eyes feel the image and define your visual experience,, leave the thinking for solving math problems.


It was a long light in Waltham , this is a reflection on a store window while stopped at a red light, intersection about 1972. When I exercise walk , 2-3 miles, for the past three weeks I have used a cane for my right side. At 77 years old, this image reminds me of all the things I did not understand about my father in his old age and when I remember him being the age I am now, I wish I would have asked him more questions. .

Our minds can put us into our own prison, or be a tool to find ourselves..

Morning after snowfall towards the end of Magazine Street, Central Square, Cambridge. “Magazine” refers to where ordinance was stored in New England colonial days, Interesting how the colonists came to see themselves as the victimized inhabitants of the land they stole from the people living there..

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Seens of four got; ten memories


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.


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

With-in or with-out

Stays between days

High rises, rows of crops.and residential and behind the photographer and less than a football field is a lumber yard literally around the corner. In Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo, high rises, residential homes, businesses and farms live side by side in the same immediate neighborhood as my sister’s residence..

Walking by a window corner looking into someone’s life. Was there a secret revealed and I missed it?

I was never sure if it was coming or going,

Land in Tokyo is very expensive and zoning is different than in the USA.

There will be apartments mixed with residential mixed with businesses, both office and factories.—a first floor store or warehouse with the owner and family living upstairs.

There are always spaces which call the eye .. . .why did he sit in that spot?

What are the qualities of being human? Does the general speak louder than the particular?

How do we know know when we are human beings or an individual?

Alameda Creek

Everyday its a combination of some different, and, some same, things

The shapes of the people contrast to the shapes of the trees and land

Most people I see along the Alameda Creek Trail are there by choice AND for the same reason— to get some exercise .

Its nice to do it outside in Nature where there is no, or at least reduced, levels of pollution.

Alameda Creek

Sheep scratching themselves on a fallen tree trunk. How does an animal learn it can scratch itself on a tree? C

Certainly not from its mother. , the mother could know she had an itch and she could scratch it on a tree, the lamb could know it had an itch and could see the mother scratching on a tree, but language needs to be there for the mother to connect the scratch with the itch which the lamb cannot see but only feel.

A wooley drop

Most of the homes here are tract houses from different developers at different times.

Still, in market terms, they are worth too much money.

But its having the Alameda Creek Trail near that is the best value.


On Sundays we go to have to a local pizza place, its a one size fits all, most customers seem to eat the whole pie but we split the margherita pizza.

I made images of my shadow, often including a shadow of the camera and put them together to make a pattern as in a Middle Eastern rug or a Pueblo blanket.

Each basic image is a 4 same photographs of my shadow, flopped and reversed, then put together,

Its the human eye that puts things together, but its the mind that tells you what it is. You can also learn to to just see,

Mom was living in a memory care facility, we used to take her out for lunch on Sundays. A memory care residential facility is for people who no longer can take care of themselves but are not in the process of immediate death. Mom had insurance, I was self employed working out of the house, bring her into our house would have put an increased stressful situation. At a residence there were trained people to take care of her. She would have different people to interact with —to make sure the “intereractive behaviour” would be different, but caregiver or fellow resident, its still human interaction. We saw her at least once a day, usually lunch time and then time afterwards. Then there is taking her to places—doctors, dentist, walks, Sunday restaurant, shopping. emergency room, etc. Most of the time we spent the time we spent with her was as good “quality time” as it could get.The regularity also gave her anticipation. Often I was sure she did not know I was her son, but usually she did recognize me as a “regular” in her life.

On the one hand my photographs are more about myself and less about the “things” in the photographs. On the other hand there was a visual communication going on between these people. Were all three men sharing feelings? and thoughts? They look somewhat bored.