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.)

A snow ball in hell

Weather two sentence with less prejudice

The facade of a building a couple blocks down Market from UN Plaza. The first time I came across it, it was new and there was some kind of small ceremony going on , I met and conversed with the father of the artist-daughter.

Where people come to eat pizza served in a cardboard box, get their own drink, napkins and plastic ware, sit at conference tables, eat and watch TV. bare walls, drab colors and high ceiling with exposed ventilation. If my memory served me right, it was a lot more fun at Durgin-Park in the 1960s.

Such a big space at the Sales Force Transit Center, above and below will be swarms of people. Most people take the elevators, still the long the long escalators are more fun

My images jump from one thing to another, the missing connection maywant to be meaningful or meaningless, but there is no more than what you see.

A little tension in the door way can go a long way each day

Alameda Creek

The evolutionary jump from primates which could communicate sounds associated with known events to a language is an interesting step.

Each little step: In this continuum of human life, some where, we try to identify the place of origin of human beings. Animals can associate sounds and things, birds warn each other of danger but only humans developed the ability to make unlimited associations of sound and “things” in time and place, and as a concept — a language.

As some “ sounds” associated some “things” became a common vocabulary among the people in the society, language begins to develop. (maybe not exactly that way, way but it probably developed slowly and incrementally as people developed ways of social interaction—rules.

On the Earth societies grew bigger and bigger in size, —imagine this evolution metaphor—families became extended families, which became intermixed groups, growing to villages towns, cities, kingdoms, to etc and then to “ sovereign geo-political nation states.

For homo sapiens to become who we are its been a long, hard road, over 300,000 years of inhuman violence and cruelty as well as times of compassion and kindness.

Culture, a field structure of human behavior is like a snowball rolling down a never ending hill, where the behaviors, especially the repeating behaviors of people attach together like an infinitely enlarging, snowball. Never stopping, always growing bigger. Peoples behaviors in the past make up this big snowball of culture.

Imagine people pop up from the surface of the rolling ball to do behaviors influencing the structure of behavior, i.e. how people behave— the snowball of culture gets larger and larger. Its an unseen force field generating a structure for human behavior, being originated by human behavior. When the behaviors we do are successful we do them again and in a society others also learn to do them. Its the natural human way of doing things.

A structure of behavior is not a material thing, you cannot see, its just the results i of various intertwined degrees of common behaviors of people as if in a gravitational field where suns and planets in outer space move around the Universe in an orderly predictable by the theory of gravity, only its the behavior of people and what happens in the relationships between people that make the structure of behavior.

As people grew in numbers, their societies became larger, geographically closer, and social human interaction increased. For most of the history of human beings migration was a common choice to deal with local problems—no passports needed. Various types of societies came and went, with cooperative and violent interaction between people, and larger and larger political units.

We now have the whole Earth divided into “nation states,” each claiming “their own history,” “national identity,“ geographical boundaries and sovereign rights. Oh, and taxpayer funded armies and a flag. to die fore.. There will be need to be some global common basis of order for societies to function together such as standard business law and standard property law.

Global economy has already teased its promise of lower prices and higher quality for more people but the structure of nation states, with ideologies of national sovereignty and political demagogues results in worldwide confrontational interactions, some military, and lots of rhetorical extremist demagoguery , people die and property is destroyed.

Earth has been divided up by people using both humane and inhumane behaviors. Its our human history, our human culture, but the benefits of this history are available to just a few. Many millions have unnecessarily died to make a better world possible for just a few. Every one born on earth should have a right to a place on Earth. Life, being alive, means you have to do behavior, do something, to survive on Earth. Of course I have no idea how to make it happen.

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I do not see myself as a photographer, nor as an artist—rather a designer.

This image was photographed like you see— shadows inside of shadows— using tri-x film, the negative scanned in and the image treated as overlapped separated multi-tones in photoshop—almost 16 years ago.

Often my images are me trying to understand not my psychological self, but why I do not look like I feel.

Some people I have known decided they did not want to be around me and I never saw them again. Others just went on with their lives and I never saw them again.

I wake in the mornin’,
Hear the ding dong ring
Go marchin’ to the table
Its same dang thing.

Leadbelly, The Midnight Special

Sometimes I don’t quite know what to do with some photographs, it feels like ramming my head into a brick wall, finding no refuge in the end.

I am not a religious person, I have had some interest in the subject, mostly because of its connection to philosophy, and, well, I like the zen stories and pictures. Buddhism is said to be humanistic, there is no God, just ending the suffering of rebirth, basically the suffering of being born back in to the world. Christianity is about getting back into (reborn) heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. In Buddhism I guess each reincarnation you get another shot at it, but in Christianity this life is your only chance to get to Heaven, or to, Hell—either is eternal but at least it ends rebirth.

Avalokiteśvara is the bodhisattva of compassion who hears the cries of sentient beings, and who works tirelessly to help those who call upon his name. An image of Amitabha Buddha sits on his head.

Avalokiteśvara spoke Heart Sutra to Shariputra,

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svhaha

Schemeless seamless dreams

Half Price moments

The creation of writing was a qualitative change in human history.—clay tablet, vellum, , paper, manuscripts, books and now electronic.

A retired history teacher, we discussed quantitative versus qualitative approaches to history.

I used to like to go to bookstores. Decades ago when I was traveling around new England in my van , if I passed through a small town and there was a used bookstore, I would stop and visit.

A photography teacher in the photography section.

Living in East (San Francisco) Bay, on Sundays we used to visit North Berkeley, have some Chinese breakfast ,browse the Art & Craft Co-op and the Black Oak Bookstore in North Berkeley,

This man talked about his daughter, for about 20 minutes straight, I listened to the history of her career. He was very proud of her.

I like wandering through the shelves looking at the books. I enjoyed doing it at the library also, but there was no talking !

This man talked about Vedanta and Dyhyana in the “religion” section.

I enjoyed doing it at the library also, but there was no talking !

This man was a career mechanic who enjoyed working on cars so much that even on his day off he was enjoying learning more about cars.

In the city where I live there is a Half Price, Bookstore and I enjoy browsing, especially the clearance section and meeting interesting people, I think being around used books is big factor in that enjoyment.

A retired teacher.

At HPBooks I can meet people, and have a short conversation which usually it starts when I inquire with a question about a book they are browsing and the conversation unfolds…

Alameda Creek

STEM—Fremont is in the Silicon Valley area, Lam, Tesla and Seagate (operational headquarters) are examples of local businesses, and is home to many Valley employees.

Fibonacci is a series of numbers associated with many different “things,” such as artistic proportions and technical analysis of stock charts.

(Except for the first man, every shirt has writting on it.) .

Alameda Creek

Its difficult for me to throw things away., Its like spending money down from savings . . .

Whatever is the “thing, it is a thing made from a piece or some pieces of this Earth.

When I throw it in the garbage its got nowhere to go,

If it can be recycled , that is great.. Some things things are donated in the hopes others will use them.

Some, things , such as glass and paper, but not enough, can be recycled through technological processes.

Other stuff just goes to “the dump.”

Some of that “dump stuff” takes very-very more than people’s life times to be returned to Earth. And it sits there decaying, “entropying”, and wasting space and energy that could be used more productively. for life on Earth.

Earth is the home of people, everyone born on Earth has a birthright to a place on this Earth. I do not mean “we should expect others to “share their very-very wealth.” and their “very-very power.” Rather we all should learn to respect everyone’s Birth Right, a right to a place and a life on this Earth. Just because yo draw a line in the dirt and call it a country does not give you more rights to the Earth than anyone else.

Of all the planets, in all the solar systems, in all the galaxies in Universe, Earth is the only one we know which has “ intelligent life”—us— on it . . . a life which is busy with some killing others so they can live their very-very lives..

Matter can not be created or destroyed and like a bank account which has no income, you only take out money for living and in the name of our “successful consumer economy” . we are busy spending down the very “bank account” which gave us life . . ..

. . . mostly so a very very few can be very very wealthy, while many of us not in that group, can live comfortable lives having families, homes and professional ,careers and others, well after all, maybe they did not have a birthright.,just born on this Earth by accident. . . .

while we hopefully pass the problems on to another generation. One day there will be nothing left., well not nothing, just nothing left that will support human life , but the “very-very some” will have their piles of consumer junk as memorials for future visitors from far off in space somewhere who will look on the piles of garbage just like we look on the pyramids today.

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For most of my 76 years there have been a few recurring themes in my dreams,

I am somewhere in Boston trying to get back to Cambridge, maybe way out somewhere in Brookline, and I need to use public transportation which which takes me to a public transportation station on the Mystic Bridge, or is the Salt andPepper Bridge, it changes,

Sometimes I am lost downtown, I don”t recognize the stores, but I have to get across the bridge to get to Cambridge,

I am confused because the Mystic River Bridge does not go to Cambridge,

I pop out on Mass Ave some where between Harvard and Porter Squares and work my way back through Harvard square past Elsie’s over to Fairmont and River Streets where my apartment is occupied by someone else.

I am not known there where there is no room anyway, out on the street again, up Mass Avenue

Searching to find Brother Blue playing his harmonica and tambourine in time to his stories with his blue fringe swirling around his turning.

My dreams make no sense either, so to remind me of this Buddha holds a chard -with-rope-texture presented to me at Chaco Canyon.

Gate Gate Paragate. Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Last&first mu

First full moon of the New Year

Visit to Quanyin at Wat Buddhanuso in Niles. Quanyin, as Avalokiteshvara, spoke Heat Sutra to Shariputra.

Four face Buddha at Wat Buddhanusornto is the Thai Phra Phrom  representation of Brahama and is often a part of Theravida Buddhism. The front face represents career and life, clockwise, the second is symbolic of relationship and family, the third is for wealth, and the last for wisdom and health

Thich Nhat Hanh passed last week, he touched many people all over this Earth. I heard him talk in Berkeley over 35 years ago.

White Buddha

And if you are seeking a more aggressive deity, Guan Yu 关羽 Buddha Chinese military general served under the famous military leader Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China.. And a hero of The Three Kingdoms. He was known as the general who defeats bandits.. He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular in  ConfucianismTaoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are often found in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants.

Nakamise Main Street Madonna taking shelter, maybe from the ran or the unending work keeping the modern consumer. economy going g by being a worker spending days making a product and a second job of consumer,, buying the product.

Then using it, while later packaging, and used products go to the garbage dump OR perhaps are recycled, The product, has to be made from other “stuff, and from some meta-level, stuff is really just pieces of Earth. The Earth is our stuff , this is al we have to play with, do we us eit for $500,000 yachts or housing for poor people? At some point do we run out of pieces of Earth to make stuff? or do we learn to recycle everything.

Alameda Creek

I imagined someone doing back flips across the field.

Like Fujin and Raijin at Sensoji, the powering bare tree stands guard for the woods.

Momental records of a camera-computer visual cacaphony

Along Alameda Creek people do not always walk in a line, maybe they are walking three abreast—three -deep,and staggered— they feel like they share a disciplined purpose.

The bicyclist is in the “correct” lane.

One hesitant, the other rarin’ to go.

Looking for what do people do, Is this the way we really are?

Can we leave it on the ground like nature does in the name of entropy?

Reminds me of a line from the song by Michael Peter Smith . . .

The Dutchman’s not the kind of man
Who keeps his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in,

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Light misconverswaytions with my celph..

When I got interested in string theory, read about more dimensions than the ”ones we know,” I thought the “ones we know” are not even real. One dimension? Its a concept, no “thing’ except a mental concept is one dimensional ;

Two dimensions? Same thing, its a concept we all use, even those no good at math understand that when you buy a rug for a 9′ x 9′ room, you do not bring back a 12′ x 12′ rug..

shado shado

Three dimensions? Basically the same thing, a three dimensional thing is always changing, even if the only force of change is Entropy & Time, which means changing.

A shadow is two dimensional—to the best of our knowledge—even a photographic print on paper of a shadow has some dimension, no matter how small, but the real shadow has none.

A shadow is not a “thing,” its an absence of some real thing— Light. Its having Light misconverswaytions with my celph.

The left is a shadow on an Acoma bowl, the right on a balloon.

Its a universal emptiness which at times is a worrysum . . .

yet is also a reason to reach out . . .

She picked up the book and asked him the meaning of certain words.
“I am illiterate,” he replied, “But if you wish to know the purport of this text, please ask.” “How can you grasp the meaning of the text when you do not even know the words.?” To this he replied, “The profundity of the teaching of the various Buddhas has nothing to do with the written language.”

From a conversation between the Sixth Patriarch and Bhikkhuni Wu Chung Chong.
(I enjoy the translator’s choice of words.)

Gate Gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svhava

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.

Arthritis

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.

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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