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.

Site be, fore vision

When I read about String Theory and reached its assumption there are more dimensions than the four we know— D1, D2, D3, and Time-Space; . . . ?

?? . . . questions appeared. If there are no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd dimension than how can there be more of them?

Euclid mentioned this— there are no one-dimensional or two-dimensional “things,” these are concepts people created to use as tools to communicate, to design and to make other things..
A plane is a concept, it does not exist in nature, still when we go to the store to buy a rug for a 9′ x 12′ room, none of us buys a 15′ x 20′ rug. We use these concepts all the time as tools and treat them as if there are real because they have real meaning in our lives. But it too peole man years
Even three dimensions are not real — during the time to say the word “refrigerator” some small particles have changed and its not the “same” thing.


Can you look at photograph without seeing some thing?

A point is a concept, we may think of a point as a dot on a piece of paper, then how about . . .
7934 Center Road
New York City NY 66503

. . . and you easily grasp the concept of a point located anywhere on this earth.

A shadow is a one dimensional thing, when you put out a hand to touch it, suddenly it appears on top of the hand. It has no mass, still you can measure it, not by weight but by distance, a measurement which varies in cyclical correlation with the movement of the sun.

Shadows are effected by the direction of light and the things it meets anyhow effective they are in stopping the flow of light .

We moved here in 1993 , Alameda Creek is just a short walk and for many years Alameda Creek was a place to walk the dog, two miles before work, and two after dinner.

My office moved home in 2007 and I started walking four miles along Alameda Creek almost everyday. “Faster walking” is a better description, its not running, jogging, or formal speed walking, yet I often pass others and . . . more than once I have encountered people at stores who recognize me as“the guy who speed walks’ along the Alameda Creek trail.

While walking I would listen to the radio. In the morning might be iMan or KQED, In the evening There was Gene Burns on KGO and many others, But one show that I enjoyed in spite of “my biases” was Adventuress in Odyssey,Whit’s End.

Its a politically conservative christian series of podcasts that told individual and serial stories about the people and events in Odyssey, an ice cream parlor where kids and stories circulate, owned by Odessey’s own “know it all, compassionate, understanding, fundamental christian authoritarian, with forgiveness for all,”,Whit who had invented a time machine he called “the Imagination Station ” and kids in Odyssey could take trips back in time to be characters in biblical or often conservative patriotic stories about character.

For me the sound was the most fun, perhaps because the sound did not have so much religious-political agenda and it could be creative, professional and full of energy,

The stories could also be long and complex as a story about a “dark matter” evil media conglomerate seeking a secret take over of the world through transmitting wave at people in their homes over their TV network turning the viewers into supposedly “controllable zombies,” but as God created humans with choice, the true christian naturally finds the strength of faith to resist those forces of evil while others succumb to become “uncontrollable zombies and later rescued.

Adventures in Odyssey has its racial, gender and religious biases in its sound stereo types of characters even when the the writing is so overly pollyannaish that often to recognize them brough felt like was criticizing my mother.

One thing they did differently from“The Archers” a BBC audio drama production which plays multiple times a week since 1951 is worth noting, even if experience is anecdotal.
The characters in both shows are created and on their respective web sites The Archers has information about the characters posted with photographs of the actors and separate biographical information about the actors with their photographs.

Adventures in Odyessy uses realistic cartoons of the characters compatible with their characters in the story along with information about the characters while photographs of the actors only appear with their personal information,

The difference in viewing the two is on the Odyssey site the drawings are a close match for the characters in the story,

In the Archers site, the match is not as good as a quality tv show or the news, both which would be a likely standard for a lowest common denominator for the relationship between the what you “naturally“ look alike” and why you have the job.

On radio you do not have to look like the speaker. William Conrad was an example of that. He voiced Marshall Matt Dillion for many years No one knew he was short and chubby but the success of the radio show was in part due to his voice which projected to them what Matt Cilion should look like and probably set a standard for what James Arness looked like, here the success of the voice actor influenced the choice of his successor on TV.

Often all we know is a part of something but we may think its the whole thing. When we see a photograph we expect the understand the whole thing,

Looking out along the graves on the buildings side one afternoon at Sengakuji. The 47 Ronin are buried here with Lord Asana, and, I believe, his wife. You can visit the Temple, buy some sticks of incense, burn some at each grave, or select graves if you might have a personal reason.
After the Akō incident instantly the “story”burst into its career in many forms, all seeking to circumvent the Shoganate’s censorship rules. Puppet shows, Bunraku, street actors, Kabuki, plays, movies, TV series. Its a perfect PR match between Bushido and a Soto Zen temple.

Last year we visited the site of Lord Kira’s Edo period residence, it was on a side street on a corner around two other corners form where we saw Rakugo. For many Lord Kira is the bad guy in the Chushingura story although there was a poster on a wall next to the site with information about an annual parade in his honor. He was from Nagoya area where many to this day respect him as seems many do in his old neighborhood..

Onto the floor marched Miss Trinidad and Mr St Vincent and Miss  Barbados and Miss Kitt, each entrance effected to the burst of the Maine “Stein Song” each lady or gentleman being identified  by a broad purple ribbon bearing golden letters. Then came the standard-bearers, two gentlemen carrying a banner, the staves topped with the Union Jack on one side and the Stars and Stripes on the other. The banner read:

WEST INDIAN FEDERATION
United We  Stand! Divided We Fall!!

After that the climax, Wilmoth Houdini.  He was splendidly done up in white tie and white grin.
H. AllenSmith   Low Man on a Totem Pole   1941


Photo of San Francisco along Market Street new UN Plaza.

Wilmoth Houdini, The Great Houdini, was a calypso musician during the 1930s who was popular in New York City, Once in a library looking through old Life magazines I saw a photograph of him on the cover.
I have some recordings and tapes of his music as well as other calypso musicians of that time. They had a very powerful way of phrasing, you can hear the words, its not clear what they mean, they are moving too fast to focus but the sound itself so delicious you cannot stop listening. Then the last line turns a corner and you understand the whole verse and are amazed at how they got you there..

Since early in this century (20th, ed,) the English-speaking worlds has been made to accept the principle that the diction od poetry should be no different from that of prose, Poetry, we have been taught , should make its effects in a less obvious fashion. So the translator today has no way of signaling to the reader that an artificial language is being used to translate a similarly artificial language. He is faced with a choice between explaining all the technical devices of the original and leaving many of them out.
Edward Seidensticker Japanese and I

Waiting in line at TJ’s

Sow, mini-books on Zen?

I would like 
to offer you something,
But in the Daruma Sect
We have nothing at all.

Ikkyu      R.H. Blyth translation

A fun painting by Janney.

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So,  many books on Zen?  Can people hear words, or read words, and their life is changed? Does it take a longer or a shorter time?

There was a constant rain when we walked along the Alameda Creek levee, you can find something special about walking in the rain;  I like the sounds of falling rain echoing off  the low clouds . . .

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There are so many books about all kinds things, you can find solutions for all of the personal or political problems in the world in books.

Here in Fremont it doesn’t rain much, mostly its north of San Francisco that gets the heavy rain—not likeNew England where it can rain all day, and maybe two or three days more— but it can be grey all day, or just as likely gray in the morning and then the  clouds burn off or move away, and it becomes sunny, even when its raining north of San Francisco. 

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What is raining? “Its” is raining? Is “its” the “weather”? For all of the things we “understand” sometimes words are used to express things even when we do not understand the basic assumptions surrounding the words; we know we do not understand  the basic assumptions surrounding the words;  and we know we do not understand  the basic assumptions surrounding the words we get into a discussion  about we do not understand the basic assumptions surrounding the words, it goes nowhere.

Lines, shapes  and colors of a small neighborhood business in Asakusa. Japan has many corporations but it also has many small businesses and a very competitive  small business and consumer market. 

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Its raining, what is the “its”, the sky? the clouds? the earth? . . . a process which we can describe in many different ways ranging from poetic to scientific and yet the basic  message is if we go outside we are going to get wet.

Telegraph Hill San Francisco

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The word “its” enables us to communicate important, or maybe not so important, spoken or written information without getting into a philosophical discussion. Implicit in words is the willingness people have to compromise, kind of an implied  contract, to get along with each other

Feeling alone in a group with a deeply held shared feeling? SDS Days of Rage, Chicago 1989. Most college students involved with SDS were not supporters of the Weathermen but outside of the war issue, were more concerned with increasing on-campus student participation in matters of their personal and academic lives.

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North Scituate Beach, maybe a mother and son relationship. Do you think this kid feels as lonely as the young man in the above image?

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Kids will be curiously serious when they are young,  as we grow older we fit into society, making what compromises we can make to get things we want ?

A summer bible school in a rural New England town, about 1970

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We become more concerned with our self  . . 

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With a photograph over time you can see changes, not in the photograph but in your own eyes, how you see the person and you say to yourself “I understand better, why could Not see it then, it was right in front of me” but photographs are  often too late.

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Central Square towards the river and Western Ave, maybe Green Street or the next block down, circa 1970. 

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San Francisco, maybe here I might pass Sam Spade walking in the opposite direction or maybe behind me. 

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Pottery may be like zen—or zen is like pottery — you see it, you like it, you buy it, you enjoy using it, you break it . . . and you get another one.

Hagi is special, its very porous and as you use it the color changes—it remembers an every little something from an every serving of tea.

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The six  old  “folk kilns” of Japan, “Nihon Rokkoyo,” includes bizen and shigaraki. Both use an ash glaze. “Folk” may be the translation, but in Japanese its different than how we think of folk craft in the US.

One difference is that “tradition” is important whereas in the US  “creativity”  and “personal expression” are important. You can see bizen, shigaraki, oribe, shino, made today and 300 years ago and feel the tradition. There is still individual expression, creativity, uniqueness of the potter, but without thinking you know its bizen, oribe, tamba etc.

 Feeling the rough texture of shigaraki ,
the rough smooth texture of bizen
 makes the sake taste better.

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Repeating an image of my shadow (which includes the camera) I made blanket  patterns . .  .

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They are like design exercises, making illusions

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Trying to understand why something wats to be something its not

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Can people actually learn from books? make ourselves better? enjoy ourselves?  make the world a better place? enjoy the world?  Find God? So many books on this earth, so many authors, and increasingly fewer book stores which were often just as fun, or even more fun, than the books.

Early morning in Maine

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I like to hold books in my hand, see the covers, feel the type, and remember what I read.

I only remembered seeing this place, the house and the barn were not quite inline,  years later I made a sketch.

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The mind of man is without a sound
Without odour;
He who answers when called
Is nothing but a thief.

Ikkyu      R.H. Blyth translation

The sound of zen calling in the early morning.bwermonttree005Det800

 

 

 

Zen buy me or go home

Long ago I lived in the country,
Knew only sheep and cows. . .
So we headed up the hils, leaping sags and gullies
(Climbing up and down made my muscles stronger),
Through one woods where mist wet my straw coat and hat . . .

But those days are gone—I see them only in a painting.
No one believes me when I say I regret
Not being a herdsman all my life.

Su Tung Po   11th Century    Burton Watson translator

I do not think you have to know what the Chinese characters mean to enjoy this painting  by Janney. Feel the conversation between the green stems reaching out to  the words,  and then the disinterest of the flower. Maybe its jealous, narcissistic or perhaps just looking at something more interesting.

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We watch TV,  see movies, talk about the the “Art” of popular visual media using such terms as ratings, box office sales, Oscars, Emmys,  non-commercial, what is the greatest film ever?? Tokyo Monogatori, Bicycle Thief, Pather Panchali, Citizen Kane, Spring in a Small Town, many would have a different list and argue through the night.

Movies and TV shows are written, edited, directed, rehearsed, performed  with actors all working to enable the scene to unfold as directed and then the film or video may again be edited.

People and dogs like to be together.

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Then we experience—films we experience vicariously as a changing emotional  experience, but photograph are are a single experience separated from what went before or will come next,

And as well, people like to be with people, doing something together gives them a chance to do be together.

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Movies like to think they are stories of real life, and often people talk about how their experience of the film is more or less like real life, critics often make judgements about how similar it is to or different from reality, and people are often unhappy when  the choice of actor does not fit with real life. Still what is being an actor outside of being someone you are not— “All the world’s a stage. . . ”

After school at  the bus stop.

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On TV or in a movie everything unfolds so “logically,” always in the right order, at the right moment, on  cue, so to speak, feeling an essence of the human drama.

We stopped for a moment, the lines of the tree jumped out to the foreground, thick lines with thin lines, could they be the know-leaves, something fore the future to tell?

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Compare to real people who at best stumble along with in compete sentences or uncommonmeanings   . . . while  when movie people interact  they speak  and act articulately with the appropriate camera angles and lighting  for gestures and facial expressions.

Farmhouse in Minnesota, about 1970

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One philosopher suggested people have a “real self” and an “ideal self.”  The “real self” is what we do and the “ideal self” is what we think we should have done—and mental stability is the ability to find a balance between them.

He thought, centuries ago,  the standard for the “ideal self” came from the ideas of the Church. Later another said it was not just the ideas of the Church but it was people created  ideas that contributed to the concept of  “real self.

Old house in Maine, circa 1970. When I see  a deserted house I wonder about the people who lived there, in this case I met a  man  whose mother grew up in this house.

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And as ideas change, even when we “improve our behaviour closer to the standard” the standard also moves, maintaining the spread by reverting to the mean. We are stuck in our “real self” but want to behave like our  “ideal self,”  generally never can and when we  do   its a  fleeting moment as the accomplishment just leads to a higher benchmark.

Generally the utopian belief is we can make the two into One or at least diffuse the differences while increasing toleration enough to live in peace.

The government paints the word “STOP” on the street, there are a small finite number of businesses which provide the stencil to meet specific standards, so these images share a common visual origin. Here is the “top of the “O” in STOP.“  Time is its own artist.

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But what happens when you are in a real life similar situation as you identity with in a movie, does it come off so smoothly? No,  It often does not unfold the same as the movie.  While the scene you are watching feels real, often the screens preceding and following  seem like chance.

Guinomi are “One-Gulp” containers for drinking sake. Perhaps that is Hotel and Daruma on the top corners . . . These are all Japanese made except for the blue translucent by Gary Holt of Berkeley 5th row, 4th column. bizen, ekaratsu, hagi, ki-seto, kuro oribe mashiko, oribe, setokuro,  shigaraki shino,  and one  ceder  with a couple of kyo-yaki.

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The whole thing is contrived, we all know that and we like the entertainment.

But still we are constantly exposed to TV and film— how does this experience contribute to our expectations of behaviors?

The Mies Davis album “Kind of Blue” is a classic, I never learned the titles of the songs, probably because there are no lyrics, but after decades,  upon hearing I immediately recognize any song from the album.

Indigo is found around the world and from ancient times has been used in textiles, row 4, column 3, is an old piece of kasuri (Japanese ikat) and row 6, column 3, is shibori  and  some blue porcelain and Levi.s

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Do we expect ourself or others to behave like people in films? Do we judge ourselves or others when we or they do, or do not?

Following are some images from an essay, circa 1970

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The photograph is different from film. In a film when we see a frame  we “know” what went on before and what happens after, but a photograph is just a moment in time, we do not even know what is going on outside of the image at the same moment as the photograph.

Two  young people  moved to a rural  setting, 

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I wonder if I like my photographs of people better than I like the people in them ?—That is a rhetorical question. Photographs do not require anything from me to get along with them, they do not say things that hurt me, but when I like the image . . .

I liked the wood background . . .

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they  make me feel good.

That seems very selfish of me or even creepy—making a photograph of people so so I can control the relationship to get the good part without having the bad parts— a photograph does not make relationship requirements on me to feel good . . .it does not feel anything all, its a one way relationship.

on the side of the house, 

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Or maybe its a sign of something very lacking in my character or in my life.And yet more and more pole around the world are making photographs.

encasing the window, 

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McLuhan wrote about two women who meet on a street, one pushing a carriage with her baby. They stop, one woman remarks “Your baby is beautiful !”and the mother responds “Oh but you should see the photograph!”

and reaching a resolution. visual art creates a tension and resolves it.

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When there was no popular electronic media people read printed novels and short stories most of which had no comprehensive visual image, the reader created it—any one can be the hero,  lover or the loved one, just for the price of being able to read.

During my life with my mother her name was Lynn, but to her school age friends she was  Rosie, short for there  more formal Rosamonde.  I never met her school age friends until I was an adult and it was an interesting feeling to experience these strangers being so intimate with my mother.

This is the side of a train track, Union Square, behind city hall in Somerville, circa 1970,  and Lynn could be a stop on the line or an attempt to communicate with someone.

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But with TV and film, in order for the story to be “convincing” the images are not the personal hopes and dreams of “any” reader as they are when words are read in the comfort of your home, but common idealized  visually expressed stereotypes.

The dog sits, a man plays and a woman walks by, an every day story 

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When we read the book we experience ourselves being the hero, but when we see the film  having the same feeling requires many people to deny who they are unreal life. Where the book experience  was an escape into, the movie experience is an escape out of.

Does the answer or the questions come first? Does it matter?  What if the monk asked “Mu!” and Joshu answered “A whole in the head.”

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What is the influence of electronic media in the socialization process? Do we hold ourselves to an artificial standard set by how we see  people behave  on TV and in movies?

I wish my life was non-stop Hollywood movie show
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die
“Celluloid Hero”    Kinks song     lyrics by Ray Davies

For years there was a shop on Grant Street, Market side of California, selling quality Chinese antiques and I used to take visitors there because the experience was more personal. This painting hung on the wall for many visits, They feel so cold.

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Am eye fore zen now

When you wake up in bed. sit up dangling your legs over the side off the edge of the bed, stand up, AND if you stood up on the floor and it were to give out, you—your body—without thinking, would respond.

Bidders at a farm auction, Maine circa 1970; are they thinking about a friend now past away, or perhaps gone bankrupt? 

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You would react automatically, without thinking, and hopefully, in protective manner. Thinking about it would come later, even if its a second later, the “what” we call thinking is post-response but the response is automatic; instinctual; natural; unconscious, reflexive; etc.

A woman,  a dog, a car seat  for a couch  and a shake house. about 1972.

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When light is reflected, it enters the eye, and the eye “edits the image to a language the brain understands” defining the experience. What the eye sees and what the brain sees are not necessarily the same things. But in a flash, the stimulus reaches the brain where it is categorized and defined, but always later.

The shapes and colors have their own right to be here, and not be forced to be some words in my mind 

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Metaphorically  speaking, design and color classes in art school teach seeing the image the eye sees and not the image the brain sees.

What is the most logical color for yesterday? What is the least common sound for tomorrow?

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Photoshop skills are for sale and I wonder Linwood Dunn what have you done?  now at the corner of Vine Street and Fountain Avenue in Hollywood.

A postcard handed to me at an “arts & craft festival,”  there was actually a booth  promoting this product, but why get a tattoo if you did not what people to see it? (Note: This original image is not mine and unless stated otherwise any images on this blog were created by me.)

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Artificial lines drawn in the dirt give you the right to kill other people?  When survival becomes difficult,  for over  400,000 years people have been migrating around the Earth searching forgather place tomake  survival—this is normal behavour, this is normative behavour, this is human behavour.

Standing on someone’s Art 

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Nation states, geo -political entities, with their lines drawn in the in the dirt ready to kill—scarce resources or failing  “leadership,” well its not really leadership if its failing.

War is mainly about killing innocent people and their families and destroying their homes. Before countries —Thirty Years War ?—kings did not have at their immediate disposal  tax payer funded armies legally required to do the  bidding of any demagogue that can get  devotees  excited about killing  . . .

(These images are visual metaphors and not political statements)  

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Geo-political entities, countries—not yet  400 years since the treaty of Westphalia —and lines in the dirt have come to mean being on one side of the line gives you the right to murder anyone who steps across from the other side.

It seems we are all here on this earth, we all have a right to a place in the sun and a responsibility to behave towards others respecting those rights, and there is no where to go to start anew.

I like books, Children of China, published 1937.  Its not whether the images may seem to express certain overtones, but its the shadow on the faces that interests me, printed on a very porous medium , cover hand painted photograph courtesy of  Mrs. Branson De Cou.

childChina001.pngCertainly that responsibility means do not enable demagogues with political power.

And yet there are always those with no integrity, no ethics, no principles who snake their way into the politic using what passes for democracy to unleash  the intolerance of hate for their personal agenda.

Or maybe its  simply in the color orange, San Francisco financial district 

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Begging for peace standing on the edge of the road to world war, maybe these demagogues think they can harness the expressions of their hate, keep the killing inside their national boundaries . . .

Slow talk  exposed on my wall 

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It will come spilling out.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.
Montesquieu

Whens zens pens ends and the world begins . . .

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Hope is not for the great, or the saviors, or the best and the brightest, its in the everyday life that goes on until its gone.

Everyday most people do things which makes the world a better place, its a center balance to those who use political power to pursue their own ends at the expense of human beings.

Madonna and child, they will be living after I am dead.

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Photographic images, which to an art director express a vicarious human feeling create in us stereo types defining  our desires for things missing in our lives.

 Shibuya  posters and graffiti  make a wall hiding  future construction . . .

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I would like to be the person in the photograph, and not the person I am, or  I was, or I  will become . . .

Pretty much through my life I shaved in the shower—Thanks to advertising, in high school I saw an ad on TV   which claimed their brand of shaving cream was almost as good as shaving int he shower so I tried it and never stopped — and I cut my own hair—not very stylish but being  stylish was something which was  only  in my dreams.

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but then today I have felt something new may come, its exciting and scary, I wonder whether it will destroy everything I have now, take me to a new place in my life or just another ride around in a circle . . .

Motionlessness in motion . . .

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I guess photographs have always provided something stable in my life . . .

This is a place I never got tired of seeing, a field hiding a sudden drop in the land  with a  two story building, trees and sky peering over the edge welcoming me home.

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Sariputra, the emptiness character of all dharmas,
neither arises nor ceases, is neither pure nor impure, and
neither increases nor decreases.
Heart Sutra

At most know one tires of the bard.

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