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

Shamen & Sketchly

When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Make me feel so free, make me feel like me
And it lights my life with love.

Van Morrison from Brand New Day

On Sundays we may go down and have a pizza. Two big TV sets. high ceilings,

In line at TJ’s a few months into the pandemic.

Before the pandemic samples were common at TK=J’s

You could say life in Fremont is boring,

Alameda Creek

Its sick and its tired,
Its hungry and torn.
It looks like its dyin’
And its hardly been born.

Bob Dylan lyrics I think its called Song to Woody.

Each week includes some photographs of walking along Alameda Creek. These days are numbered now, I have been diagnosed with arthritis in hips, as well as other places.

Universe is maybe 13,7 billion years old, Earth is 4.543 billion years old,—300,000 for homo sapiens —that’s us!—about 300,000 years.

To the best of human knowledge—i.e.science— it took 13.7 billion years to evolve human beings, 4.543 billion years to find a place suitable for home, and homo sapiens represent 0.0000002 of that time.

Science will never be “Truth,” its always to the best of our ability to know . . . until we know every “thing” in the Universe.

Look around at what we are, how we behave on this on Earth,

We are how we treat each other, not how we tell other how to behave, but too many think we are the latter.

I heard professor Stephen Hawking once comment (my paraphrase) — Philosophy used to know more than science , but now science knows more than philosophy and it will be like that until science knows every thing in the Universe.

Thus, O Sariputra, all things having the nature of emptiness have no beginning and no ending. They are neither faultless nor not faultless; they are neither perfect nor imperfect. In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no discrimination, no consciousness.
Maha-Prajna-Parimita-Hridaya from A Buddhist Bible ed: Dwight Goddard

On the other hand, perhaps Universe evolved humans for a purpose; more likely humans prefer to think they are here for some purpose, they don’t know what is that purpose but that has not stopped from acting like they know and forcing the behavior of others to their purpose.

And in a sense we are. What other life form studies Universe, no other life form developed Science just to get to know Universe.

What we call “knowledge” is our human experiences as a part of Universe.

We often believe this is a“ ”Truth”

The flowers make a background, the roof, the sky, different leaf colors

Universe is an amazing, ongoing, phenomenon. Here I am writing being part of Universe—birds are singing, Sun is rising, noise coming in my ear, jogger passing by, clouds moving in the sky.

And beyond, Jupiter is in orbit, Milky Way is traveling through space and light is busy traveling to the end of Universe

Universe made of gazillions of particles coming together, then parting ways, creating and disassembling, always aUniverse in motion and change.

We are how we treat each other. our present behavior was created by past human behavior, while people pass on, how we treated each other in the past has created a structure of human behavior. behaviors we may think are good behaviors we may think are bad things; behaviors we think are outdated and no longer needed and behaviors we may believe are important not to lose.

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Feet are our connection to the Earth, gravity enables us to walk upright while not falling off Earth.

In-door slippers, outdoor sandals, tennis shoes and stockinged feet.

Textures, shapes, some color and line

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Sometimes I wonder if I am just following in the footsteps of someone else.

When I see my self, do I recognize myself? Photographs help me to ensure that my selfs have the same visual and don’t try to trick me in to believing fake experiences .

At the festival its always nicer to have someone with you. Painting by Janney

Homeless hearts hear

I turned back to see
But the man I passed was veiled
In mist already
.

Shiki Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

In Tokyo the shapes often take on its own sense of rhythm

Positioning in public reflects a rhythm , we are all people on Earth, made of the same stuff, but each one different . . .

and we live in societies, call them cultures, or countries, or civilizations, each with a structure of human behavior patterns, A one time these societies were smaller and less interconnected

Media emerged generating tools and techniques to communicate without face to face situations. Mass media, print and later electronic devices have enabled information to be instantly and ubiquitously available anywhere on Earth.

Home sapiens are been on Earth for over 300,000 years, developing many different types of societies —remember all of societies or civilizations we see were successful—they are here. The unsuccessful ones we do no know.

Most of the 300,000 years was spent in homo sapien individuals finding successful solutions to survival, Those solutions created societies with structures of human behavior—patterns, norms cultures—which have brought us some “humane” and some less than “human” solutions and behaviors to survival as “normal behaviors”—

Everyone has a birth right to be on this Earth, but it is a right not recognized or respected by history, laws, nation states, or business. Without justice for the inhumanties of our human past .Although most of these inhumanties were done in the name of God or social order, the real result is severe economic inequality creating economic and social disorder. Justice to enable a sense of Peace on Earth must address —this.Earth or any part of it is not anyone’s private property.

Alameda Creek

Science keeps pushing on to know the Universe , recently visual news from the James Webb Space Telescope were in popular news.

Science seems to push on, there always seem to be more things.

Whether you study larger or smaller, there is always some “thing” more larger or more smaller.

The larger limit is finite, its the size of the Universe—by definition the universe is one, there is nothing else that we “know,” People talk about multiple universes but by definition there can only be one. This is a concern with word usage, not observation. But what how small can you go until there is emptiness.

When we think we have reached the end —The End! that would be having identified and counted all of the things in the Universe.

Stephen Hawking said science will one day know every “thing” in the universe — the whole universe, The Universal Catalog and probably more “things” than any single human individual could memorize in a lifetime.

Still not mate what, its a “no.” Because “things” are a human concept.

It appears to me that the Universe keeps creating new things, or maybe its the people doing the “knowing” who are creating new things.

If science were discovering things which were all created at one time then that would be the same finite number then and now . . . are we creating or finding “things.”

Regarding the number of things in the Universe, it appears, we have not reached the end of the Large or Small continuum, humans just keep finding more and there is not way to determine whether they were here before or we created them.

Or, maybe, while we are busy “knowing it”— the Universe is busy “creating it.” The chicken or the egg ?? Does a “thing” exist whether or not we have a name for it: or we can see, or touch, or smell, or hear, or taste it?

The Universe is a bunch of small particles and using our senses we experience the Universe as “things,” give these things a name and call it “knowing.”

But to the Universe—as far as I know—there are just these particles, it does not experience things separated from itself, it is people that do it.

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My photographs are like little insta-poems . . . a moment of something interesting to me and I make an image.

Two of my gutter hangers disconnected and I had to get up on the ladder to see what was wrong.

City governments paint the word “STOP” on the street, probably gadzillions of times and the letters slowly develop their own appearance.
The top of the “T” in the word STOP.

A program like Photoshop enables one to see the image differently. I don’t feel any constraints to an “artistic purity” “or a “photographic purity,” perhaps the main reason is when I used film I had a couple of Nikon Fs, a a 135mm, a 24mm and a infrequently used 50m lens.

The top of the “O” in the word STOP.

Even then, 1960s, I remember an exhibition taken down by the f64 “wing ” on the board because it violated their sense of “photographic purity.”

Mostly I jam just very whimsical, or maybe I cannot afford all the top level digital camera equipment. My first NikonF, secondhand, was $50.

With the radish he
Pulls out, a radish-worker
Shows the road to me.

Issa Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi svaha

Sounds lightly

BART eyes

BART is a public transit system bringing people to, and back from, San Francisco. These are some images I made through the window of BART about 17 years ago while riding to Oakland.

What is there to see? more like why is this what we see.. We have so much ability to design and produce beautiful places for people to live.

A world organized around the needs of an economy constructed to make a few people “very wealthy” means controlling the behavior of others

Alameda Creek

For some a photograph is the ”a standard to the best of our knowledge,” —The Standard . . . except if its been altered in any way, or more specifically, any way which would alter the “Real Meaning” of it.

If its a “commonly accepted thing” in the photograph, such as a hammer, or a steak, or a box of Cheerios, we usually accept it with little hesitation.

People like to have a common unity between what their eyes see and how their mind defines the meaning of the “things” that they see. To see a photograph is to ask what are the things in it and how do they relate to each other.

The process by which, through the behavior of growing up, we come to know and create ourselves and the universe. is referred to as “socialization.”

Often its said that people are socialized into the society, and then, well some individuals are not. Actually the purpose of “socialization” is no purpose, its a property of being human, and while each of us has a unique experience, being human means as we learn the tools of adulthood we learn to repress some of those unique experiences to the general society accepted definition . . .

we replace our unique experience with the common one of society and perhaps this is what makes a society —people living together— and all of its benefits possible

We experience the world through our senses, as we develop from child to adult the experiences collect in the “mind” and human beings. using the skills and abilities not just from the biological qualities, but the social experiences of growing up to make some sense of it., to find “our” way.”While learning a language facilitates this process, it also inhibits as learning words may also mean redefining your individual unique experiences with an inappropriate word.The “thing” we experienced is not the same “thing” the word means.

Humans have language, we could say we have a “capacity for language.” Where other “higher level” animals may have the ability to communicate, such as to communicate danger, all the recipients of that message already understand the “danger,” the message only says “the danger is here.”
People can not only express a danger but they can communicate new information about that situation.

When we see an image and define it as a photograph our mind gives us certain assumptions about the nature of the information. A photograph is a visual image which usually is made up of recognizable “things”, things which our mind has defined as “recognizable things.”

Photography is interesting because it may spark a confrontation between the visual experience of the eye and the common experience of the mind .

Sometimes a photograph has “things” which we do not recognize and instead of appreciating the direct visual experience our mind wants to keep working to find a “solid definition of the thing,” put it into its correct category, “to find its name” and often we confuse knowing the name of a thing with understanding the thing..

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Why do these images seem to have nothing in common. That is a puzzle of my life. When there seems to be no place for me. or for my photographs then together we do have something in common.

People like order, they like to differentiate one thing from another, have a name for each thing and understand the relationship of one thing to another. Order in the Universe.

Driving from Fremont, California to Albuquerque or back, you may pass by Boron, California, population 2,280 (1920).

20 Mule Team Borax soap .used to sponsor a radio show (1930-1945), and in the 1950s a TV western, called Death Valley Days, stories about over coming the hard times living in Death Valley .

According to legend, two men, a young muleskinner — or mule driver — named Ed Stiles and J.W.S. Perry, local superintendent of Coleman’s Borax Co., came up with the idea of hitching two 10-mule teams together to make one 100-yard-long, 20-mule team. The mules pulled two huge custom-made wagons, each loaded with 10 tons of borax.

A smaller accompanying wagon of supplies and food was hitched behind the two big wagons. Together they made the 20-day round trip between 1883 and 1889, hauling more than 20 million pounds out of Death Valley. Not one animal was lost, nor did one wagon break down.

An abandoned house along a country road in New England, one kanknot wonder what happened, did they own the land and house and leave it, did a husband and wife break up to leave the house to live separate lives , were there children born in the house?

Waiting fore the train, Shibamata.

Morning reflection in a mirror, the light draws itself. or maybe its the dark that rejects the light.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

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.

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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