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

World Words, Work or Wore?

world words

Relentlessly Earth is becoming smaller and smaller, not in physical size but in the number of people and their increasingly accessibility created and enabled by the internet.

works

That is probably a major factor driving migration. Even with tv and landlines there was not the person-to-person contact enabled by the Internet. As population increases while space decreases the world is evolving and growing global culture

Sunday afternoon in the pizza store

Just think if one could just reach out and grab a piece of light and see the images it carries on your iPhone!!

wore

Worn out. woman

When confronted with survival challenges for over 300,000 years homo sapiens, have used migration as a major solution resulting in various forms of political control for social solidarity. Since the 30 Years War and treaty of Westphalia, about 400 years ago mucho Earth has accepted the nation state, the geopolitical unit — the nation-state and endowed it with complete political sovereignty—the right to murder inits own interest.

Alameda Creek

Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is perceived by the human eye.,” (Where a photograph is also perceived.)

In physics, electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of the electromagnetic field, propagating through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. All of these waves form part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

A photograph is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip.

Light is expressed on the screen, and the gradation of light expressed on the screen determines the color and value of the printed image. Its like 4-color CMYK process inks on an offset press mixed in “screen mix” to print a photograph or a soup can except in CMYK more color is darker, in RGB less (reducing the color light) color is darker.

Light is traveling through Universe, transporting information as latent photographic images, if it meets no reflective thing on the way, then its last “latent images” might be accessible, and perhaps even more.

Or perhaps as light keeps reflecting off things its ability to express gets weaker. Maybe traveling through dark has a cost to light and maybe light has a limit.

Where does light go when it gets to the end of the universe?

When light is not light is “it” black, maybe its not that the light is black, but the absence of light is black. Or is it the “Presence of Black.”

If light is absent where did it go? Why would light be here, or there, or anywhere at all ?

Light is a mystical tour of the Universe waiting to be viewed—all over the Universe are gazillions of latent photographs —.It would be nice to see them — We do actually, i.e. X-Rays, CRT . . . and that technology keeps developing.

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Is it intrusive to make this image? I didn’t know these people, I took their picture as if they were a carved stone in a Japanese garden.

The visual landscape in Tokyo, like Japanese in general, it has a unique Japanese feel and the Japanese sense of design is always a part of it ,

Tokyo land used for an automated two vehicle pay to park parking lot.

A photograph can be visually “more poetic” than “more real” . . .

It is difficult 
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is  found there.

from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower Pictures from Bruegel William Carlos Williams

Miss Shun, Miss Ed & Miss Chief

U&LC was one of the first publications to focus on the emerging “design community”, published by the International Typeface Corporation (ITC) and art directed by Herb Lubalin, —you have seen some typfaces with is name. The purpose was to market their typefaces to designersi n the emerging design and photo type business.

U&lc refers to upper & lower case . When metal type was used for printing the letters were cast in metal and stored in flat wooden cases with different spaces for different letters.— the “a”s in one area, the “b”s in one the “b” s in another area, ,etc.. larger area for the “e”s and smaller area for the “z”s, etc.

While working the type setter would select the letter from the case and put in the correct place on the composition tool. The letter cases were stored on shelves with the capital letters on top and the small letters below., The type setter knew by feel where each letter was and the capitals and small letters were respectively called upper and lower case. When wanting to use capitals and small letters, a designer would specify “u&lc.” to the type setter

Designers from all over would sent their requests .

which became part of the content.

The design sense of this one may be before the experience of designers who were not working in the field before computers. Before printed marketing materials became became ubiquitous, the work was much simpler and the designers were called “graphic artists.” As the importance of design quality grew, graphic designers brought an identity of professionalism and respect.

The term “graphic artist” increasing came to refer to the people that did basic mechanical work and some spot illustrations while designer was used to refer to creatives .

Sometimes presenting visual design concepts to a client marketing group there would be an older “veteran of the business,” so to speak, who did not like the design, or or thought he or she should have been the one to “select” the designer, maybe thought they know more about design than every one else in the room, or who knows what? A chip on on a shoulder.? While everyone else was referring to me as the “designer,” that individual woulds use the term “graphic artist” as often and in as demeaning a manner as possible. This one captures the essence of that period, you get it at the last line, note the corners, hahahaha, I can remember drawing solid lines with a ruling pen and then cleaning the corners and cutting the layer off the paper to make the equal pieces of white. Later you could buy lines on transparent tape, tape them in place and trim the corners. and even later press on broken lines with corners.

Alameda Creek

Sometimes it may seem as if my words flit from one thing to another with no sense of connection, no clear bridge from one line to another.

I have some sort of an “Attention deficit” disorder.. I can follow what I am writing and its relationship to the images as I am doing it, but for others it might seem like reading Finnegans Wake . . .

later when proofing I see other ways it could be read,

Nothing more than a walking man with his head hidden by a leafy branch. Maybe he runs into some one on the trail, gets infected by covid and dies; maybe he buys a winning lottery ticket; For this one moment, a window between past and future, he is in a harmony which may last for 1/25th of a second.and somewhere in the universe that 125th of a second image may be traveling around at the speed of light, searching for an eye to finally express itself..

What kind of memory is enabled in a photograph? Is it memory which may not last as long a photograph but will last for a life time.

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Mr & Mrs Gary Holt, it seems to me her name was Jun, its been sometime, I cannot remember for sure, I met Gary some years before he married. Gary was a Berkeley Potter, home and workshop located at Fifth Street between Jones and Page. .

Holiday sales were weekends starting the Friday after Thanksgiving through the last weekend before Christmas, an annual Spring sale.

Chawan, I think he called this a salt soluble, has a Miro-esque feeling to it, one of his first ones of a series.

Guinomi by Gary Holt; ki-seto tokkuri by Kagami Shugai

I am not yet quite my farther”s age in this photo of him—sometimes I reflect on getting old, arthritis in the hips; fingers and hands significantly less functional; and so on, he lived with encroaching Alzheimer’s, this was the second to last time I saw him functional.
The last time, the next Christmas holidays, we drove around at night looking at the holiday lights. Later, a bottle of wine and, again, for a last time, we went one by one through his collection of 60 netsukes; where he got it, what moved him to buy it; and so on. He was an engineer and the netsukes were the closest, perhaps the only, Art , in which we could overlap.
He was most impressed by the hand craftsmanship; I liked the design creativity; the difference did not matter, we shared something important in life. Sometimes I think my own life got in the way of knowing him better.

“Out of the sly and crafty eyes of many of them leap cupidity,
cruelty, insanity, and crime: From their lopsided faces,
sloping brows and misshapen features may be recognized
the unmistakable criminal type.”

A comment about immigrants spoken by Attorney General Mitchell Palmer US AG 1919-1920

The Palmer Raids,  a series of raids conducted November 1919 and January 1920 by the United States Department of Justice under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson to capture and arrest suspected socialists, especially anarchists and communists, and deport them from the United States.

Having cut off his arm, Eka stood in there in the snow until it reached his knees,
Daruma asked What is you want?”
Eka said,“My mind has no peace please give it a rest.”
“Bring your mind here, I will give it a rest.”
I have searched for that mind, I cannot find it .”
“Then I have put it to rest.”
My less-understood paraphrase from Blyth translation of Mumonkan

My mother, after suffering a stroke, severe memory loss, and expressive aphasia, and at this time, she did not know who was , just the guy who shows up every day. She reaches out to touch the image of her husband of 64 years, they were high school sweet hearts, Deep inside she feels, she1 knows , there is something there, bu even though her mind will not let her remember, it does not stop her from raising her hand and touching his image.

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha

Wear two go

志野焼 Shino-yaki

Antique e-shino plate: Shino is a Japanese “folk pottery” kiln from the Seto-Mino area of Japan. The “e” refers to picture; e-shino means shino pottery with a picture, such as a brush drawing of a plant.

Generally quality Japanese pottery, folk or Kyoto style, comes packaged in a wooden box called a “Tomobaku” (link to Robert Yellin’s explanation). often the box is also a piece of Art.

This is how Sidney Cardozo writes about an encounter in his book The Art of Rosanjin. 

When Rosanjin did call on Picasso, he brought this most renowned Western artist an example of his potting. Naturally it was in the finest of paulownia wood boxes. Picasso was fascinated by the smoothness of the wood and glowed with pleasure as he stroked the surface. Impatiently, Rosanjin thundered “Not the box, not the box, you simple child! What I made is inside the box!”  
Quoted from Robert Yellin’s excellent site on Japanese pottery : http://www.e-yakimono.net/html/thebox.HTM

This box top says:
Large kanji = Set (of dishes); small kanji refers to e-shino,
They are (likely) antique I b ought them some years ago from Robert Yellin who told me they came from a “roadhouse,.’ its a nice story, I don”’t know if its true, however the large characters are an old way of referring to a set of dishes. In Japan where a set of stuff for serving food is generally five—plates, ,bowls, yunomi, hashioki, etc.

Pottery is a tool created by human beings to improve the quality of life. Its been around for over 25,000 years . Who thought of making a bowl out of mud?; who thought of firing the piece of mud and figured out how to make a container which could hold liquid? Pottery is a tool people use in their daily life. and the quality of the potter is both technical and ascetic.

Unohanagaki style shino chawan, after style of a famous tea bowl., also purchased from Robert Yellin,

Do you have a favorite cup or bowl. which you use regularly because you enjoy using it? ?? Which artists first created pottery to gave meaning to the lives of everyday users, I think the artistic experience of daily using a wonderful rice bowl is more important than going to a museum where I have to pay, stand in line, can only go at certain times. and No Touching Please!

An aka shino (red) guionmi. for sake

grey shino guinomi

Gray shino yunomi for every day sencha or buncha..

Alameda Creek

Invited by our parents
We came here

As temporary guests,
And without remaining mind,
We go back to our native place
.

Takuan Sōhō  沢庵 宗彭, December 24, 1573 – January 27, 1645

Mos’ days I walk along Alameda Creek . I have a small p&s —Nikon 8200—camera. I’m walking for 3-4 miles for exercise so I don’t carry the heavier SLR , and the SLR would focus me on protecting the camera when the main purpose of being there is the exercise.

Some people express “Its a wonder that people are so different!!”

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 song by Grateful Dead

Equally amazing is that even though each individual has “unique experiences” using their five senses to “know” the Universe, these unique experiences, through reason, become common experiences..and it can do this while maintaining the unique experience. Houses are al different , but we can talk about houses n general—common meaning— and our Dream House or a F.L. Wright house .

Its a wonder we are so much the same— humans have common languages. A language is a complex thing to learn and individuals learn, at whatever different levels, a language—even people who may not have .all five senses are able to learn/create some kind of language to communicate with others and to share common meanings.

Words, audible sounds, which originally were unique meaningful expressions of an individual became homogenized common sounds for a networked group of people, a society.

When western anthropologists first “discovered” different small societies there were not so many material variables and/or they were not able to see them, but they could “feel” and “see” this“ process of culture” as it worked in a small setting..

As part of the “European colonialization period” social scientists, still in its infancy, like most Europeans tended to view these others as “technologically not so advanced” which probably leads to an observational methodological bias that the more advanced can observe the less advanced and understand what is going on and the less advanced cannot have this understanding.

Along with the negative aspects, the concept of “culture,” the process of the homogenization of individual unique experiences so that people speak the same language with common meanings was, to some extant, at the expense of individuals not having sounds to express their unique experiences which few, if any others, outside of family would understand.

Learning your language just happens by growing up. Its a natural process of human beings.and a good example of how natural human qualities are quantitatively distributed among human beings. What is the difference between an obsession and an ability to focus?

Through written human history, we know there were other people who as adults traveled around the Earth, learned to speak and read/write other languages. Centuries before CE, peoples were migrating, traveling, trading, conquering building civilizations all over the Earth.—basically :

The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been
opening lines from Romance of the Three Kingdoms  三國演義 14th century Classic Chinese novel.

What we call “Globalization” is a process which has been going on for a long time , since the beginning of Humanity, when homo sapiens decided they could not survive here and moved there.

But very slowly. . .

Home sapiens are 200,000 years history, These technological changes creating a Global Village have rapidly accelerated during the past centuries, faster during the past few decades and even faster during the past 20 years.

People all over the Globe have quality “culture-process” inter-communication, and increasingly humans all over the world are affected by, and are effecting, a world culture. In the he human past is hows this kind of process has been cycles of killing, stealing , subjugating and the “law & order” of a political elite. Who owns the Earth? Why do I own this piece of land my house sits on? Going back 25 years its because I paid for it, but going back centuries, its because some people committed genocide and property theft to colonialize and later found this country.

If in the present and future process of Globalization, humans cannot develop a better process to unite and create a global political entity, who’s to say, but for sure hundreds of millions of innocent humans on Earth will die.

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I do not believe that Art has to make a social or political statement, but I do believe Art can be used to make a social or political statement, and that sometimes the Art makes a social or political statement without the intention of the artist to do so.

To whom does Art belong?

This family used to walk by my apartment regularly on their way to shopping. He looks like a good son but sometimes I feel sorry for him Jamacia Plain, 1973

See how they are dressed, the expressions on their faces and their gestures. It feels like Iron Curtain countries, 1950s. I used to wonder, here is a young man about my age, did he work at a job with a career track? What kind of goals he had for his life? did he date or join buddies for Saturday night at a neighborhood bar with a pool table which served boilermakers with beer chasers? Jamaica Plain, circa 1973

A snowing day in the Back Bay (about 1972)

Early one morning, Sometimes people like photographs of themselves, sometimes they object. Making photographs of myself has been a combination of a readily available and cheap model ,

This man looks like a walking meditation.

This is really not graffiti., I stand in front of the sun, the image is there, and after I make the photograph and walk away the image is gone just as if I had never been there. Still theoretically the area of sunlight blocked f would for a second or two have a made an impression on the paint. Suppose we had a machine which 200 years from now could read the paint and visually recall the moment of the image and measure the difference—would that change history?

Words can be more perfect than behavior, they can describe a utopia, but while its only behavior which can make it happen, its the words that inspire and direct.

gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā,

A small image of buddha from the temple where grew the Bodhi Tree under which Shaka Buddha was enlightened.

My grey shun

The fall is persimmon time.

This year I mix them with Trader Joe’s oatmeal, two minutes in the microwave, add some California raisins and almonds, another 30 seconds, then add persimmon (or apple or banana) and a little milk—protein, vitamins and carbs..

The moon far away . . .

and nearby is our faith in a near consumer economy.

Alameda Creek

Human beings—Homo sapiens—have been around for about 300,000 years..

Rome., Greece, China, MIddle East, , Aztecs, Incas, the Eurasian Steppes, wes3 of the Jade Gate — for peoples all over the world, primary written knowledge of the history of human beings is limited, give it 4000 years to be generous . . . or include art as an expression of primary evidence, painted images go back to 45000 years ago or on the Iberian Peninsula where art is dated to 64,000 years ago.

300,000/6000= 1/500 = 0.02 or or 0.2 %

Human life as we know it is about 0.2% of the history of the human species.yet is only the last 150 years that “technologically advanced civilized” humans‚ have created nuclear weapons and altered the global climate in their drive for more and more wealth

Its interesting how we see history, for example, when using the symbols BC and Ad , or symbols BCE and CE or where ever humans choose to designate the concept of something unknown , when they choose to divide the continuum of history from an unknown past to the known present on to the unknown future. Both ends, the past and future are undetermined—unknown— and yet we do not let that “unknown” bother us from our daily life in the middle—Its November 20, 2021, who cares about any other time, out of sight, out of mind.

Show me your face before you were born . . . why can‘t we remember the future? . . . What was happening before The Big Bang?

Life forms on Earth have all figured out a way to survive as a species. Survival of the fittest —reproductive success. No life forms are separate, they are all inter-related and part of why we survive on Earth

Here we are on Earth, our home in the Universe, the one planet in one solar system, out of billions of solar systems in one galaxy out of billions of galaxies in a Universe which is expanding. Will human beings survive long enough to have to migrate in search of another sun?

For 300,000 years humans have been living on Earth and increasingly we are learning that during that time many people traveled extensively , and in hard times when the fitness part of “survival” moved people to migrate, long before there were kings, or warlords, or geo-political nation states with “national boundaries” defended by standing armies paid for by taxes legitimized by the idealogical license of “National Sovereignty.” Migrating is what people naturally do. its geo-political entities with tax payer funded standing armies which is is unnatural

“Capitalism” —an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.— (Oxford Languages)

Or—
Capitalism is often thought of as an economic system in which private actors own and control property in accord with their interests, and demand and supply freely set prices in markets in a way that can serve the best interests of society. The essential feature of capitalism is the motive to make a profit. (Wikopedia).

The internet enables the world to inter-connect instantly and constantly —as long as there is electricity, which has to be produced. For the first time in history people all around Earth see other people, other societies, and compare themselves and dream of something better for themselves.and their families.

“Economically successful” western societies have developed consumer markets where fashionable new products are constantly created to compete for discretionary monies —planned obsolescence—and for many individuals in the developing world, the global economy is their chance to participate in a market with lower prices and better quality products—if only the “developed countries” actually believed in free markets.

For so many new products its cheaper to just take another piece of Earth from “over there“, bring it over here and make some new things to sell in the market, and just throw the old thing away, “over there, ” please, not here.

“Every proposition  on Earth can be figured on a basis of profit and loss and there is no other practical way to figure anything.”

.“When I say profit, I mean earned profit, but not in the  legal sense I mean earned   “De facto,”  and not “de jure”.”

“Take the income I will earn for the rest of my life from the ownership of stock  in Southdown Incorporated, that is called “unearned income” but actually I have earned it by years of of devoted service I have rendered to the company. I have earned it because I deserve it. But as a contrast  take the  profit, the income that Sarah Jaffe has been getting from her ownership of stock since the death of her father. Mrs. Jaffe, I’d like to ask you what have you ever done for the  corporation .Tell me one single thing  small or large. Your average income in Southdown dividends for the past five years has been more than 40,000 dollars, have you earned one cent of it? 

My father did the earning,.”she said

But you personally ?

No of course not, I’ve never earned anything 

Prisoners Base, a NeroWolfe novel by Rex Stout

Every person on this Earth has a birth right to life., still after 300,000 years of homo sapiens and 4-5 thousand years of “civilization”, humans still delight in finding reasons to murder each other .

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For over three years I was personally involved with the care of mom, she had a stroke with severe memory loss and expressive aphasia. She lived in a memory facility and was in rehab for a couple of months.

Being involved in the care of one’s parent is a privilege and honor. For what ever reason one gets chosen even if its by default.

It takes a lot of time.

At rehab, she was there for eight weeks, the sliding front door was locked, needed a “buzz” to get in. Mom always curious and anxious to get outside would sit by the front door. When someone approached the door and the buzzer rang she would be waiting to make her escape by zooming out the door.

The staff let her roam around the facility in her wheel chair and she would visit other patients and give opinions to the professional caregivers as to “what they were doing wrong.”

My mother’s name was Lynn, which was also the name of town north of Boston, this railroad line ran through Union Square, Somerville, I would assume it might go there. Photo circa 1970

Gate gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha.