Country rodes

Here in 2022, for tax purposes the IRS still categorizes work as “Farm work” or “Non-Farm work— even though the latter is many times the former.

In the 1950s there were comedy films about farm life—Ma and Pa Kettle was quite successful film series from the 1940s and 1950s. .

An old Maine farmhouse, wood heat, a pump inside the kitchen and barn in the left background,

They had an old car with a backseat full of stuff and no gas, no money, no place to stay, 4:oo in the afternoon. Just arrived in Toledo from Appalachia. OH! did I say “Very Hungry!
Toledo Ohio, Model Cities Program circa 1969

Tom and Nance moved to rural Maine 1968 – ’69. Both couples are about the same age about the same time.

A couple times we bought tires from Mr. Bellis who had different situation than I had known, if you believe his story,

He had a thriving business on a major commuter road into Boston and Urban Renewal changed the land his was on, he lost his lease could only relocate to this more isolated area in Arlington.

or perhaps what parts do you believe—its still a compelling story ? He had worked hard for his money. It was a cold winter day in Somerville.

AlamedaCreek

The camera is a lens to translate light into a meaningful visual experience for people . . .

The photograph.

Generally the photograph is commonly held as the benchmark of visual expression which is closest to a common sense of “reality.” —the ‘things’ in the photograph appear most similar to the ‘things’ people see.

Of course that makes sense, why would we develop a camera that made images of things we could not see.—except science has discovered things we could not see or hear and developed tools to hear and see them.

Sometimes people will see a photograph and have a very strong, perhaps emotional, reaction while another person, will not moved at all.

Students in photography class will be given an assignment and the submitted “same subject” images will be different

The students have a subject, which is the same, and then, the images are different. Sometimes understanding an image is to understand the “general subject” and how the particular images fit as representatives of the “general subject.”

How different are we from each other? How same are we with each other? ? We are each made of the same materials but with different mixes,and maybe sometimes a little here or there does not make it to each and every individual.

What difference does it make how the particles in the Universe are joining and separating, who cares? People and a few other living things such as elephants.!!

I find myself wondering if most of my photographs are images of myself, is this how I want to see people or is it how they “really ” are . . . or were . . . at some moment captured in light—maybe just want people to see me taking photographs.

Are my photographs actually capturing some “image of the real person”? How often is a “portrait” of a person insightful because it shows you the deep lines on their face, or the rough hands of a craftsman and you feel somethings about the person’s “inner character.”

Last week we saw NASA images from 3 billion years ago —they are always there to be expressed ,always there to be captured, Maybe Universe is bunch of images traveling at the speed of light seeking a medium to present itself ,but maybe only to humans.

EndPapers

After Mom had a stroke and suffered serious memory loss she lived in a memory care residence facility near our home, about 10 minutes drive. This was pretty much a decision my parents made,.they had long term insurance specifically for that purpose.

It fit comfortably with our situation, much of the basic “care work” in a residence is just that— daily repeated basic care which needs to be done correctly and to a schedule each day with compassion and consideration. If you try to do this at your home, the negative aspects may overwhelm and disrupt everyday life., . Who do you take out your frustrations on??> spouse, the one being cared for. and yourself.

We saw Mom at least everyday and even 3 or even 4 times a day.

At the residence even though memory care residents may often seem socially non-interactive, it seems to me that the individuals recognize others, navigate in a social network, have personalities and wants and desires. And there are the personalities which develop with the staff. Perhaps any level of social interaction gives them a social meaning to their life.

When we did see her, usually it was “quality time”, we took her out to eat, an outing, dinner at our house or friends, friend’s house,—things that were fun for all of us..The staff would dress her in special clothes she would feel good, staff would have her ready on time and we were there to pick her up on time.

In this way we combined the residential care milieux with a close family relationship, sorting the best parts of both to give her a good life. There are many different ways people can take care of their families and achieve positive outcomes.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Ole Miss, sing ”Link!”

Can o’ paint

Art is a bunch of lies which tell the truth , Picasso said something like that.

Art is illusion —pointing, printmaking, film, even photography— creating an image of something “real” by using paint, or light to create an illusion

Art is a sensual experience which interacts with the human mind to communicate in feeling . You can also sense specific “things, such as book store, man, woman, table—, but its the feeling of the whole mage, the gestalt, “in and of itself” that is the Art.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, the Art is not in the parts but how they are put together. Can a photograph tell the truth but choose not to do so or perhaps its the viewer that cannot see truth in the photograph.

Cowboy Fort Hill, Roxbury MA, circa 1972

Alameda Creek

The two principle objects of legislation should be freedom and equality “ Freedom, because all private dependence is that much force subtracted from the body of the State ; Equality , because freedom cannot last without it.”
Rousseau, On The Social Contract

Rousseau is seeing Freedom as some formal police enforceable structure to human behavior, such as government, to be necessary for the survival of a society, the solidarity of a society, and by definition that will mean that not every individual can do whatever they want to do when they want do it. .

In classical “anarchy”, not the anarchy of the authoritative conservative mongering, but a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body of people .

With the emergence of sociology —the study of group behavjour of individuals—in the 19th century the theory of socialization suggested that the process of culture, once understood, could be ”directed” and anarchists envisioned societies in which the process of culture would be “tweaked” by identifying the process of socialization to achieve a “more integrated” society. Murray Bookchin Social Ecology for example, wondered if there was an “optimum” size to a society which could “naturally” have 100% social integration.

In A. E. Van Vogt books his Null-A society, —non-aristotelian—lived with no formal laws, no formal government, People just knew naturally what to do and in crisis people “naturally” came together to deal with it at the appropriate moment

Art is illusion as are all visual images . . . Is a better world an illusion also?

This idea gained interest in the early development of capitalism in western urban areas. As these areas became increasingly wealthy with large populations of poor workers, and of course financial corruption, many, such as Nietzsche, Freud, Durkheim, wondered whether the undesirable behaviors in society were the result of individuals repressing their personal, natural desires in order to meet the unnatural requirements to fit in the society.

When we are growing up most of us are not thinking “Gee, I am going through socialization process.” We just did stuff and we learned from it. It is that process of a socialization which moves individuals to repress our natural self and adapt behavior which enables the the solidarity of the society to enables the survival. of the society

But in nature there are no individual human beings, while we see ourselves as individual—Descarte, “I think therefore I am,” .but empirically we cannot discover a person coming into being all by themself. Even when we “feel” we are all alone in this world, its just a feeling, not a reality. If we were to discover a person all by him or her self they would not be alone because we would be there.

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With Mom in the ER

My mother was declared medically incompetent to make decisions for herself., In the three and one-half years we went to ER a few times..

The ER situation trip can happen anytime— eating dinner, in a business meeting, or 3am— there is no choice of timing, no way to plan , it happens and the person with the responsibility for medical decisions needs to be there You never know how long you will be there., maybe an hour or 24 + hours . I kept a toothbrush and a book in my car.

It may be that she gets to the ER before I do, and the medical process begins without me. but someone needs to be there to make the decisions.

In the ER she is triaged, accepted into ER, gets a gurney and an area which could be be enclosed with a curtain for visual privacy, where you wait until the appropriate medical professional pops in, does something and pops out again. Nothing happens as regards the reason for coming to the ER until the doctor arrives to do an exam.
More than once the ER was so full gurneys were lined up in the hallway .

Whenever I was with her, I had a small point&shoot in one hand, at the least to record things for possible medical or legal matters . . .

The small camera can be non intrusive, Often it was in one hand while the other was involved with mom.

‘An elder person with memory loss gets impatient while being a patient in the ER. Often there may be some pain, if waiting time is too long pee&poop and cleanup might be involved. Once behind the adjacent curtain was a very drunk man yelling for the doctors to end his life, mom could not deal with it, she started yelling at him, the person on the opposite side of the drunk started yelling and it became a scene.

Gautama Buddha sought the cause of human suffering after experiencing the Four Sights of sickness, old age, death and the ascetic. He found it in awakening the buddha inside of himself to enable him to For Christians life is suffering also, but that suffering is not a natural condition of life, rather its a punishment from their creator for disobeying God’s orders , a punishment which removed them from their “natural state of being” and condemned them to life and death.

For Daruma a perfect world is an illusion and its always “Seven times down, eight times up.”

Gate gate paragate parasamgate BodhiSvaha

For tunes knot hurd

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”
Francis Bacon

A couple of loose turkeys running up Whitehead Road one afternoon about 4:30 pm towards intersection with Paseo Padre, a very busy street during the commute time with stop lights, at the intersection, speeding traffic and a couple of turkeys.

Interesting to watch, it appeared (to me) their behavior indicated they were inspecting “new things” with their senses. to understand – as if they were differentiating —Here is is something new—then defining— adding it to their knowledge storage.

After a minor hip operation Mom was in “rehab” at a nursing home for eight weeks doing PT and OT. I regularly joined her . . .

hopefully it gave some kind of motivational meaning to the experience.

Shinn Historical Park and Arboretum is a 4-1/2 acre hidden gem in Fremont. The Big House dates back to 1876 and is surrounded by large trees and beautiful gardens.  The park restrooms are only opened during private rentals and are not available for public use.

Shinn Park is an old Fremont farm,– well, not that old—nothing in this area of California is “that old” when “history” starts with the arrival of Europeans, but its one of a few of Fremont’s claim to a history.

from inside a little Japanese shelter one can see the lantern.

The Shinns planted trees and plants from all over the world including a little Japanese garden. Its usually a quiet peaceful place, sometimes I visit here when I am alone and confused. This time I met these Fremont school boys getting down to their Fremont roots.

Alameda Creek

Its been said, and written, that Immanuel Kant, a famous Western Philosopher (1724–1804), never left his hometown of of Königsberg (Prussia) or at least never a greater distance than he did not return home that same afternoon.

He was strict and self disciplined about a schedule and local people used to set their clocks by the rhythm of his daily activities.

So I wondered, if he was such a rigid, self controlled person, how or why is he associated with major achievements in western philosophy . . .

. . . considering that creativity and diverse experiences are commonly thought to be essential qualities of achievers.

Sometimes answers are found through creativity,

sometimes through doing what was done before.

The Kiss

For some getting up every day and doing the same thing works fine.

‘Others might expect a little more in life,

Sometimes I feel forever lost in the fog of my inexcusable karma.

EndPapers

Sarco suicide tube, available in Switzerland or if you live in a country where suicide is not legal you can purchase the software to print out the tube using a 3-D printer. The goal of Sarco is to remove the need for any assistance. This ensures any use of the Sarco is legal. You have to give them points for their marketing slogan

Still maybe its a good offer if you life looks like this, or . . .

maybe it can turn into this:

Avalokiteshvara:

The pure saint Who Observes the Sounds of the World
In the discomforts of pain, agony, and death
Can be a point of reliance.

The Lotus Sutra Chapter 25: The Gateway to Everywhere of the Bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World

Last week was the one year anniversary of Bill’s passing, I thought the service would be about Bill, but it was a regular Sunday service with a couple of lines about Bill patched in at the end of a sermon discussing a buddhist perspective on the physical confrontation at the Oscars,—one headline was the slap heard round the world and I wondered if Avalokiteshvara: heard it. At the end of the service each came up to burn incense and make prayer in Bill’s memory.

The back of the magazine was a full page/full bleed photograph of tablet, hands and feet. Its my stomach, pants and my feet on top. I had the little point & shoot —its for fun. and it s life mimicking art.

How do you know when advertising speaks from the heart and the color of the day is blue.

Sometimes when I go to San Francisco I stop for awhile at UN Peace Plaza, read the inscriptions cast in bronze in the walkway, and then looking downeast make an image of TRUTH.

WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED . . .

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and . . .

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and . . .

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and . . .

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. . .

Gate gate para gate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Know weigh you seigh

Older than now

For about 3 1/2 years my mother lived near me in a memory care residence, two different places actually, with eight weeks sandwiched in at a nursing facility while recovering from a hip operation while receiving occupational therapy to learn to walk again. .

She suffered a stroke with serious memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. At the first place, I got her a phone, she could talk, thoughI am not sure she knew who she was talking with, I think most of the time she did not know who I was, much less someone on the phone My sister would call from Japan—thank you Skype — whether or not mom knew it was her. they used to talk, and later mom would let me know she was happy because she got a phone call

I took her to appointments, mostly medical related, when it was a new location I would make a trial run by myself to assess the logistics and have a strategy— How was the parking? How many steps? What were check-in procedures,? etc.

Nursing home rehab facility

In the beginning they fed her in the bed and then one day, no warning, she was to eat in the dining room—I did not even know where it was. One woman would, very loudly, say, over and over and over, “I want to die! and other similar stuff. One day she was seated at our table, started her monologue and mom started yelling at her to “stop feeling sorry for yourself!” Mom was yelling and she was chanting, not missing a beat. It was a little weird but was resolved quickly.

After a hip operation physical therapy was used to get her back to walking again. I tried to be there but sometimes they would change the time with no warning. Here are two people with professional medical training employed to spend 30mins? 40 mins? with an old woman helping her learn how to walk again. And they have to fill out documents and reports., on which others will make judgements about mom’s care.

After lunch she would come back, sit on the bed, we have some talk, then she would lay down and go to sleep. i was never sure if, or when, or why, sometimes she seemed to know I was her son. But she knew I was there. And, I think if I wasn’t there there were many times she knew I was coming.

Some days we would walk, she liked to walk, It can be stressful to visit people in this condition but there is no other option except not to see them, and that option may soon be gone.

Alameda Creek

When you look at these photos, obviously you are not seeing a “visual record of a moment in time.” or at least an “accurate” record relative to the “normal” human visual experience.

A photograph is a place where the past and the future once met, and even though the photograph itself, print or digital, when seen in the present actually happened in the past, the image itself which while being visually experienced in the present may, for people with a connection to it, bring additional meanings because the mind will interpret the “personal meaning” of the image,

A photograph is never the whole or comprehensive experience, It is a piece of a light reflection through what was in the lens of the camera.

What human eyes experience and what meaning that experience has when it is “defined” by the mind are not the same thing.

People will have a visual experience and the mind will put words to it.—Always with a photograph is the question “What is it?” which is communicated to, or understood by, the viewer’s feelings

Those personal feelings are individual. Some things we learn as part of a group—such as culture — while some are personal and individual.

We know “Its a photograph” because we visually feel the “thing” that we commonly define as a “photograph,” but . . .

We also have individual experiences our mind uses to ask “What is it?”

“Human nature?” Human beings differentiate “things” one from another and define them, give them names. That seems kind of obvious?? Can we only know the “things” in the Universe which we can sense?

A spoken language is a bunch of sounds with commonly hold meanings. We can make sounds and communicate with other people . . . there are common meanings. Even if we speak different languages, when we experience a photograph we share a common feeling of “This is a photograph” that measurement of assess the “thing being viewed ” as a photograph. The medium and the content are different and equally iportant.

Assassin bugs

As individuals we all have had our unique experiences . The content, or image of the photograph may effect, more or less, the mind’s interpretation i.e the individual’s meaning of the image.

Its a memory , Some viewers might be confused, and then another (usually the photographer who “shot the snapshot”) says “Well you needed to be there to get it.” As professional photographers show, its not the being there that matters , but the skill and care of the photographer.

Its amazing the same photograph can have different meanings for different people but its as amazing that the thing called “a photograph can be measured by human feeling.—We don’t even think about it—I, without thinking, know its a photograph when I see it.

Computers and photoshop have made the “feeling judgement’ more complex, Many people enjoy the digital manipulation in film and tv and others use it to spread misinformation.

For the photographer and some select others, some part of the “meaning” of the visual image —the memory or how the brain interprets it— is not about the present, but about the moment of the image. Not the moment we are in when looking at a print of the image, but the moment we were in when the image was made.

For others it may be about their own personal experiences. A photographic news story about a grisly murder scene with a well known landmark in the background may awake a feeling of a wonderful visit in some faraway viewer

The photograph has, as its own right, a common feeling which marks out its own “thing in and of itself.” Still, too often its a photograph of some thing or things —a bird, plants, water, a reflection, some air.

End Pages

Street photography

Street photography

a handful of love

lunch at high noon, Albuquerque NM

In Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo there are homes, apartment complexes and farms. This one has an auto-mat to purchase freshly picked farm produce.

“In everything no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable ”
Tsurezuregusa (Japanese Philosophical text)

Bizen is a Japanese folk kiln—(one of the 六古窯 Rokkoyō) traditionally fired around the village of Imbe, in Bizen Provence. The clay comes from this area, and perhaps because when fired the clay undergoes more shrinkage than other clays, Bizen is not glazed.and fired in wood ash resulting in a symphony of beautiful wood tones in the surface.

However innumerable the sentient beings, I vow to save them all,
However inexhaustible the passions, I vow to to extinguish them all.,
However immeasurable the dharmas I vow to master them all,
However incomparable the truth of the Buddha I vow to attain it.

Vow of Bodhisattva

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhisvaha

Life of know life

One n’ either

At 76 years of age some days I might wonder what the world wold be if me and my camera had chosen to be the guardian of the Gate of the Past, that gate which always shines with glory . . .

Would .I have rejected the Bodhisattva He Who Observes the Sounds of the World

What sounds would I have missed hearing ?

Maybe the sound of people being friends. or just the sound of my own name.

Alameda Creek

Walking along Alameda Creek gives me a chance to be someone else than myself . . .

That self full of 76 years of life, even so I can still pretend I was not me. . . .

If only I had done that or had not done this. . .

Could I have been a different?

Would I have been a different person or the same person? Is my essence greater than my experience or would my experience have changed my essence?

Or does no matter what your life was . . .

The same person would have come through it all being me..

Everyday, or most every day, I walk along theAlameda Creek levee

Somehow the same places look different . . .

and the different places look the same.

Only to find that its me that has changed, and is changing, into my self.

EndPapers

A moment in a small midwest town . . .

and a moment in a big city.

A family I remember from, over 50 years ago. They were my friends then, I hope their life was good., His father had been a preacher rural Missouri, he played a little piano and sometimes we would sing some of those old gospel songs.

My own mother,, at the time of this photo I was not sure if she knew who I was, maybe at the moment of the photo she did so today I can have the memory she did know who I was

That is one nice quality about words, you can make them mean whatever you want whenever you want—“
I mean, know words are still the same.

Some daze its easier, well maybe more fun anyway, to think of it all —my life— as just a bunch of designs dancing randomly through my memories. As I get older it seems easier to sort & shuffle these memories around, recall them in a different order, imagine I actually did them n that new order, where I knew things and then unlearned them rather than learning from making mistakes but maybe I would have just lost the things I wanted instead of only getting some of those things I wanted and not getting others,

What my camera feels like sandwiched between reality and my illusions.

Gate Gate paragate, parasamgate Bodhi Svaha