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

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.

Sin, tea, ent + being = reason?

In 1900 there were only some 200 miles of hard surfaced road outside of cities in the United States.

Package for retail sales of the film Green Tea over Rice Director; Yasajiu Ozu © Shochiku Company Limited

Setoguro tea bowl—

I think it was Hideyoshi who when served tea in a black bowl felt so insulted that he ordered the tea master to seppuku.

Alameda Creek

The word “binary” has become common ,computers operate on binary communication where technological advancement is when every task is continually being split into two smaller and smaller levels of decision making operating faster and faster. Communication between digital machines is when information— 0s & 1s—are moved exactly from one machine to another.

Everything in the universe is “binary ’ in the sense a “class of a thing ”is “identified”, given a name and as it becomes increasingly accepted people “know and experience” it more and more and later it is “discovered” that the “thing” is actually made up of diverse smaller things, or bigger things, which ever is the direction you are going.

Things are never made of “equal things” as then it would be the same thing and not a different thing, While things are constantly changing including people, different things change at different rates and having words for our individual anecdotal experiences creates both ingorance and social solidartiy

How humans interact with things is our experience—seeing, hearing smelling, touching and tasting. This is how we experience the universe . . . of which we are not apart.

Humans are biological, they have life, and they have entropy— individually things come into existence and go out of existence while socially generations continue . . .or a society become extinct. If we become extinct we will not know it.

In addition to our biological senses we have a biological mind—Reason is only the begotten child of our five senses.

Perhaps we are fortunate, living is experiencing, by default being human is to experience and is coincidentally our methodology for knowing,

While we cannot experience what we cannot sense, the mind seems to give humans a biological ability for Reason which has enabled humans to discover things in and about the universe beyond the capabilities of the five senses. Most of these “discovery methods” are extentions of the five senses.

Words enable us to know “things,” it give us a common sounds and written symbols. While the “things” we speak or write about are in constant change, the words we use to speak or write about them stay the same. When you write “crane” on a piece of paper, next week it still has the same sound and meaning but the crane has grown older, its still a crane but not exactly the same crane

Words by their very nature make us experience and know the universe as binary, we think in black and white . . .

a but live in a world of constantly changing “gray matter” only known to us by common bunch of abstract sounds and markings on paper which we call reality.because we cannot know anything else.

This is what makes the word “thing” so functional. We can use it to talk about a thing for which we do not share the same meaning but the pressing topic of conversation is about something else which is relate, we speak or think, the general term thing and evade a discussion/argument.

In graphic design (printing offset) we used the term “art” to refer to anything that was meant to be printed on the paper, not quite what you would expect to see if you visited a museum but a more specifically defined term for a commercial situation where the purpose of the “art” is to specifically communicate the message of the payor as different in Art which is to communicate the message of the payee ( the artist).

Being able to write and make visual/audio images alters the quality of communication—perhaps this is one reason “photo/video journalism” is the “highest form” of photography.today—it is supposed to visually communicate some kind truth, a “reality” which we can all naturally see. Perhaps sometimes the reality is too much and its better that photojournalists design (censor?) their images to communicate a reality.

It was as if print, uniform and repeatable commodity that it was, had the power of creating a new hypnotic superstition of the book as independent of and uncontaminated by human agency. Nobody who had read manuscripts could achieve this state of mind concerning the nature of the printed word. But the assumption of homogeneous repeatibility derived from the printed page, when extended to all other concerns of life, led gradually to all those forms of production and social organization from which the Western worlds derives many satisfactions and nearly all of its characteristic traits. 

The Gutenberg Galaxy Marshall McLuhan

words words

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There are so many more answers than questions, The front window of a bar where you cold order eight takayuki handstand outside in the street waiting. Had just finished dinner, and it would be my second serving of takoyaki that day, but could not resist. fourteen yearslater I am still the same weight, but glad for the memory of a delicious treat.

Shiokara—salted squid— is more of a “learned” taste, goes good with sake looks just right a Munehiko Murata ekaratsu plate.

Fore fun poster from late 1960s, thinking Alfred Jarry and Daddy Ubu . . .

Only thank God men have done learned how to forget quick what they ain’t brave enough to try to cure.”

The Hamlet William Faulkner

The young man who was to become Bodhidharma aka The Twenty-eighth Patrarch of India, the First Patriarch of Chan, Daruma brought Dhyana to China creating Chan.

When I visit San Francisco I feel I miss the excitement of living in a city, buts its like seeing photographs of snow, it looks so inviting.

,This was a piece of Art in a gallery, a mirrored staircase on which I walked up a few steps and made the photograph before I saw the Please Do No Stand On sign but I could not resist.

Know thin’ zen

Spring

Yellow flowers, Rape blossoms ,
You meet the spring once a year,
You paint the land by yellow.
When the wind visits, you flow.
During you are dancing,
I have a view of sea waving in yellow!

Poem and brush by Janney

Alameda Creek

Since Covid I have been walking along Alameda Creek almost daily.

An AlanWatts broadcast about 1973 mentioned the universe was happening in the same moment, perhaps the moment of no moment—a muMoment—everything happening in the same moment in infinity and time happens only inside the Universe, not outside of it, there is no outside. If its all happening at once why do we know the past but not the future?

The universe is estimated to be 6 billion years old—6,000,000,000; Homo Sapiens at 300,000 years. about 0.0005% of that time.

Time is one of the tools people created for survival, it seems real to us because as individuals we have “duration,” a life time, which has a beginning and an end. We live in societies where the “durations” of people overlap which, through communication extends individual experiences beyond those unique to a single life—we have a history.


.Around us the universe moves and we differentiate and define its patterns, some hourly, some daily, monthly yearly, all human created periods of time based on sensual experiences and reason..

Yet for the universe there are no years, no days, one second and 6 billion years are the same, there is only The Universe, no time outside of it. That is what makes the title of the book “A Brief History of Time”so interesting.

There is not anything which is not the universe, so how can it be aware of itself when it is itself? I am therefore I am.

To suggest the universe is not aware of itself implies that we know this, which implies there is a subject and an object, something outside the universe—us— which knows the universe,—but we are part of the universe, not separate. The more we know about the universe the greater is the distance between the universe and us, and the greater is our alienation. It is being human that alienates ourselves from our true self.

Sometimes I feel lke a motherless child a long way from home..
This is where we get the concept of alienation, the idea that human individuals are separated from their original self, their “true self.” and that separation is why we , as individuals, suffer. The Genesis Story, Freud, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, psychology’s “divided self.” the Buddhist notion of awakening the Buddha “naturally”inside each of us, and more.

Most of these “alienation theories” suggest alienation is the result of human social adaption which denies individual wants and needs for the needs of society for survival. Humans are social but alienation, like birth and death, is experienced individually. The notion that we are separated from our “ true natural self, “ real or not, through history seems to find meaning for many people..

Humans are a part of the universe—if there were no universe there would be no humans? and the universe appears to humans as being older than the history of humans, and perhaps of life itself.

My feeling is if the universe evolved (created) people to look at itself, then to get an objective assessment it had to separate itself from people —it created subject and object. Perhaps in a vain attempt to admire itself the universe created its own mirror—people—or perhaps more accurate, the process of seeing itself also created “alienated people. The Universe created perfect people and then in a vanity to see self turned them into alienated people.
Or just as likely, humans created the universe to have something which they could never full understand, a perpetual challenge so they would never get bored.

Japanese Pottery

Seto is a famous pottery area outside Nagoya—pottery in general may be referred when using the term seto-yaki, a fired-thing from Seto. Ki-seto, yellow seto, popular during the Momoyama period , usually has an overall yellow color with green spots and darker brown “scorch marks.”

Guro (or kuro) means black, Seto-guro is a black Seto fired thing. Oribe comes from the same area of Seto and Mino. Oribe is often a warm biege with green, often in drippings, and some dark brown brush drawing..

Bizen guinomi by Nakamura Mokoto, the Nakamura lip has a certain charm to it. Inside is often a unique alteration of the form, the edge may get thinner and a ridge forms—in the 9-12 quadrant below see the shadow of the ridge on the inside lip which you can feel with your tongue when drinking. the sake as it flows out of the guinomi over the ridge into the mouth.

I saw this E-karatsu guinomi in a Japanese online pottery store, it cost about $150 and the store only took US mail money orders, i.e. no credit cards, checks or Paypal, so I went to the Post Office, stood in line, bought the money order, sent it, and then . . . . the dealer never received it.
Some kind of an investigation took place and they figured it got delivered to the dealer in the next door store, no one knew where it was, but it was canceled and I had to send a new one but I had to wait 6-8 weeks to get a refund. The Japanese dealer just sent the guinomi to me with a note to send the money when the Post Office made the refund.. The clay is dark orange and the glaze is thicker and thinner, so in the thinly glazed areas the influence of the clay on the color varies.

I found this Hagi yunomi in a store out towards the end of Grant Street selling “Japanese stuff” —mostly not new and back when it was in style. It had a crack in it and he did not understand why I wanted it, I paid $5 , brought it home, filled it with leftover rice and a little water, let it sit for five days, cleaned it out and when you ping it with a finger it sounds solid and true— and holds hot tea as well.

Shigaraki pottery often has a charming roughness to it, small stones may be embed in the clay. When using this guinomi its feels like one moment when I felt thirsty I naturally reached over, grabbed a hunk of clay, formed it into a cup and now I am using it to drink—it feels immediate as if I am at the beginning of what pottery means in the evolution of human beings.

Chinese, not Japanese, rooster bowls are commonly seen in Chinese restaurants. Usually they are larger for soups, this one was smaller, and the curves gave it a softer more nuanced feel, and beside,s my zodiac animal is Rooster.

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I like the places my feet can take me, along Alameda Creek, the streets of San Francisco or Tokyo. Besides if you start at the top, my head, and work your way down my feet are at the end . . .and,

with my head on top , I usually see my feet against the background of the ground while the ground experiences me walking all over it, often with little or no regard for any damage I might be doing to it.

Indoor, outdoor, feet are reflected outside on the rubber sandals.

The last few lines of The Heart Sutra in old script brushed by Janney

Pilgrim’s mean reversion

Living in an apartment in a city is a reasonably anonymous experience, but in a small rural town where short term rentals may be few, every time locals visit the shopping area they see how you live. Once I lived in a such a place as an undergrad in a small rural town a half& half basement from the street side and first floor from the back.

The main street was built on the side of hill, At street level my apartment would be in the basement, but go around 180 degrees and there was the back door entering into the kitchen. The “front door” was on the side with steps down to the living room. On top, the first floor enter the local bar from the street, a hangout for college students, they did not bother me much and it was owned by a local judge.

Somewhere in New England 1970

In Maine sometimes I would drive over to this house and wonder why such a big tree was so close to the house, there was no paved road to here, only a dirt road, and there was an old tractor and a couple pieces of trailer farm equipment busy rusting nearby.

Is there something to see of the previous people who lived here or is it a lonely house left with some secret memories of once being a home. Maybe it was rejected because the occupants could not make it a home.

Imagine how long it took to establish a common set of standards for building houses. Many gothic churches began construction with a defined, incised in stone, standard measurement for every worker on the site to use. They may have been different for different sites, though I would imagine professional builders would develop their own and any ex-employees or apprentices would likely learn, adopt and adapt them.

Western Massacheusetts, 1970, I liked the contrast of the textures of the living things to the building.

Houses—perhaps homes at one time—and the questions they raise, was it a house before it became a storage building? Is there any sign of happiness happening in this house? Maybe kids slept in the attic and kept a collection of little flip books and Edgar Rice Burroughs books so and when their cousin visited he could spend hours up there reading.

One day this house just appeared beside the road, it once had electricity, were there ever shutters on the first floor windows?

Imagine how many workers were displaced by standardization of building materials, workers who might’ve used a different measuring standard for every house. Maybe at the moment it put a lot of people out of work, but in the long run it made houses increasingly affordable for more people by reducing the labor needed to create materials, standardized the skills needed to build a house, and as society changed, resulted in lower prices for houses, more houses being built and more jobs for people building houses needing less skills than before.

One August afternoon on a country road in southern Vermont, the corn is high, When its ripe the farmers often have some on a roadside stand, if its a small stand it may have been an honor-pay practice. Corn picked, brought in that afternoon and eaten the same night is a country treat never available to city dwellers.

Japanese “Folk” Pottery

In the US there is this sense that somehow “folk art”often called craft, primitive art or “homemade,” is never to be “Art ” because it lacks an intellectual meaning component. “Great Art” is supposed to make a “statement” about the meaning of life, a statement which appeals to, or perhaps celebrates, the humans sense of “reason,” a sense beyond see, hear, smell, taste and feel and unlike our five biological senses with which we are naturally endowed, result from the additional effort of the individual—some appreciate Art more than others and we know who they are because they can express this extra sensory quality in Art. Its a little different in Japan. Craft is recognized ones as Art and the meaning of life is to be found in the doings of daily life

A guinomi is different than a choko a term also used to designate a small cup to drink sake. Guinomi means one gulp, a chokes usually smaller, more like what is used to drink sake at most Japanese restaurants in the US. There are cheap guinomi and expensive choko, but most guinomi are not cheap though not necessarily expensive and has its own individual presence while most choko are cheap and lack a presence, Generally when you drink sake with a guinomi made by a potter who has been true, you discover the meaning of the sake.

Ki-Seto guinomi (Yellow Seto), the basic glaze is yellow background with green and brown scorches,

Think of the unknown potters through history who figured out to form clay into a container, how to fire it and made the extra effort to decorate it—to make an everyday object fun and enjoyable to use. Its the using everyday that makes it have a meaning which “Art” in a museum can ever have —hell, you have to pay to see it and then you cannot even touch it, andsometimesyo have to stand-in line and then view with wit ha bunch of other people hanging around. Better to use it to eat and drink from and then wash it after and put it away to be used again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Hidasuki Bizen guinomi Pots are fired with wood ash “glaze” and while they feel unglazed they hold liquid. In the kiln the pots may be stacked and tied together with twine which burns leaving traces of the twine. Bizen is located on the main island in Okayama Prefecture between Kobe and Hiroshima on the Shinkansen.

Every culture has folk art and examples of GREAT DESIGN!!. Thee is no ”My culture has better design than yours.”
Folk art arises from the everyday experiences of small societies which share similar values and behavior and the art expresses the culture or “the common feeling of the people.” As societies grow they increasingly include more people from diverse backgrounds bringing behaviors which results in conflicts, and changes.

Aka Shino (Red Shino) guinomi. Often shino has a strong white glaze but red shino is also popular.

Bizen, Hagi, Mashiko, Shigaraki, and others are examples, and sometimes the word “Rokkoyo” which specifically refers to  Echizen, Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Tanba and Bizen Jomon pottery is considered one of the oldest pottery dating from 13,000 BCE.

e-Karatsu guinomi and Shigaraki tokkuri i. When pouring from a Shigaraki tokkuri or drinking fro m a shigaraki guinomi don’t be surprised to feel solid particles from the Earth embedded in the clay. Karatsu often has a wonderful experience of depth of transparency in the glaze, like a da Vince glazed painting.

Folk artists learn one way of doing something which works fine in a common society, but a diverse society has multiple standards and contemporary artists may find an audience in unique personal expressions where popular Ar is defined not so much by the unique individual achievement of the artist, but by its commonality to any lowest common denominator.

Kuro Oribe Chawan Kuro-Oribe. kuro or guro means black

Seto and Mino, cites in Japan near Nagoya, have a long history of kilns with some sharing of skills and techniques and some differences— Kilns in this area have been operating for centuries. Some may be referred to as Seto or Mino style which are often more personal expressions of the potter. I like the various other Seto/Mino styles which have a tradition and the potter’s personal creative expression includes the tradition—Shino, Oribe, Ki-Seto, and Seto-guro,

Often Oribe wants to challenge the pottery user in shape or in decoration, If nothing else—but there is much more— Oribe is fun to hold and use.

This is one place Japan pottery and Japanese folk art in general (and in my opinion also USA Pueblo pottery) is different than pottery traditions in other societies. There is a tradition in which potters find their personal expression within the tradition— When you see Oribe, or Shino or etc. you know is Oribe or Shino yet the great potters have also found creative and unique ways to express themselves personally. Japan has a cultural value for Folk Art which is lacking in the USA and in Japan this creates a common cultural bond, again lacking in the USA.

Thus Art, as Folk Art, in Japan is part of the common everyday experience contrasted to in the USA where the experience of Art is separated from the personal experience of most people —Look, don’t touch the Art please!and often the property of an elite.

Seto Guro chawan. Guro means black, This is a large, heavy, demanding chawan needing both hands to hold it firmly

In western Art, the artist eclectically studies other artists as the basis to make Their Own Creation, separate from tradition, The Nakamura family makes Bizen, as do many others, but there is one lip to a guinomi which is Nakamura family and still its Bizen. Often in wester nart often the achievements of the“great clay artists” is referenced as non -functional pottery—a long way from the making of pots y used by people everyday sharing a common experience, and meaning, of using them.

Oribe tokkuri and Setoguro guinomi. Often Oribe has green and brown on a beige background, there may be an illustration from nature and a drip.

New Years with Shigaraki tokkuri, e-Karatsu guinmoi and small dishes.

Alameda Creek

There are days when the simple movement of the Earth traveling 67,000 mph through space fails to summarize my mind, that is when I like to walk along the Alameda Creek.

You could say its like I am spying on people, taking “secret pictures” of them. Look closely, my images are not about the people, but the line, color, shape, gesture, Well there are some that are about the people but in those its clear that I have their permission and they are posing.

What is it we do in our lives that makes living worthwhile? Walking along Alameda Creek.

For many the truth of a photograph is about about something that is real, a moment of insight into a person, but for me its just the color, shape, line, texture, how it gathers everything together to create a personal visual experience separate from the restriction of thinking—the mental differentiating and defining of the reality in the image to fit what we should think about what we saw and not enjoy the visual experience in and of itself.

Is there something about the movement of the shapes that give a feel to how things interact with other things—straight lines contrast to curved lines, dark contrasts to light.

Again you could say that its like I am spying on people, except these images are not about the people, I am not talking to them, I don’t care how they are, whether they are sick or feeling angst, are they lonely or happy, and you do not find yourself asking those kind of questions or making personal judgements about them. But I and you can experience the shape, the color, the gesture and the line without looking at a photograph and feeling obligated to even mentally ask “What is it?

Who is spying on who? There is a little parking lot along Alameda Creek at the Beard Rd trail head, which has a toilet and regular delivery persons who work this area know this place, PG&E, Amazon, FedEx, mail carriers, its a common bathroom available for free.

End Papers

Do I know who I am at any moment when I am being me? Domy photographs hold some kind of truth about who I am. or are they simply random 1/125 seconds of my life? Why did I make this image? Is a windshield one level of separation?

Sometimes its like being a Monday quarterback I should have seen this moment then and not now but after fifty years how many different time have I told myself t he same thing after seeing this or that photograph. Are my photographs memories of missed opportunities ?

My photographs can only hold truths about myself, maybe most of the time I am lying to myself in my photographs or should I have found more hope them anthem than I could. They are like Oracle Bones from the Shang dynasty waiting for a moment of divine inspiration.

What good are these images if I cannot divine some good fortune to come? Or cannot wonder and know what it is like to be sitting in front of a grocery store with my possessions asking others for money.

My father one early morning in Sparks about 2005, He passed in 2006, I see this image, it was one of the last I made of him, certainly the last using film. He was older than I am now—I’m 75—Mom and Dad retired in 1984, spending 20 years in Albuquerque and, for him two more years in Sparks. Maybe I never knew him well enough, maybe I do not know how to know somebody or anybody well enough. I remember these lines fromWoody’s song written to the tune of Irene Goodnight byHuddie Ledbetter:

My father hoped that I would be
A man of some renown.
ButI am just a refuge
As I go ramblin’ ’round, boys,
As I go ramblin’ ’round.

Ramblin’ ‘Round’ lyrics by Woody Guthrie

After his passing my mother lived in Reno at a retired facility, in 2008 sh had a stroke suffering memory loss and Expressive Aphasia and moved to a memory care facility near me, where I got to know her in another way. We used to go out, here we are at the shopping center. What use is photography if it is not fun?

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha, may it forever hide my shameless theft of Sengai.