Seams never two fit, plus what causes zen

I never had a “tailor made” article of clothing, the closest being  was the “free tailoring with the purchase of a new suit,” a very conservative glen plaid three button with vest in 1981 which over the past 38 years has  not been  worn it over more than ten occasions.

I never liked suits,  and ties a lot less and moving to Silicon Valley benefited me with causal business attire such as herringbone tweed jackets and khaki pants. While store bought clothes never fit me, it never mattered.

As you enter Sensoji passing through the first gate the Nakamise shopping street is about 250 meters leading up tot he second gate and the temple.


In Tokyo  there are many jobs which are done by people. Temples and shrines are common, people walk by them and through them every day. As they walk by the front they may bow. Temples and shrines provide a personal ongoing connection with a common history,


A photograph of a photograph in the Great Earthquake Museum in Yokoamicho Park in Ryogoku, Tokyo, of Nakamise about 90 years ago.


Kannon Bosatsu, Bodhisattva of Compassion, is associated with?, or  worshipped?, with Sensoji . . .


and good “made on site” senbei.


My sister lives in Chofu, I walked around one afternoon . . .


being looked at or ignored . . .


What is is like to be in your 50’s while washing your clothes in a laundermat? Someone in a similar place told me when you are born too quickly is where zen comes from.


Of course you  can also choose to believe the story of the bearded barbarian who came across the water.


which why, for me at the  least,  there is nishin soba at Jindaiji.


On the way back I got off the Metro at Nihombashi, wandered into a store promoting  products of  Shigaraki with a sake bar serving four tastings for ¥1000, all junmai quality.


I had room for one more bottle in my suitcase and bought the second from the left, the guinomi and tokkuri, from my personal collection, were created by shigaraki potters.

I cannot end this post without telling you the cause of zen—its having too much stuff left over after you put your nothing away.


Found in transmisalation

Walking back from Kappabashi Street to Asakusa  I met this wall and then two young photographers wandered in . . . Does this image tell you about them, about me or about how you see?

Any years ago I watched a short documentary film of A.Wyeth in which he discussed  his painting of the Kuerners, the one where he is holding the rifle, and they are standing in front of the white wall.  Wyeth discusses  his concern with the white wall and how  he redid it multiple times until was right.


Light is what a photograph is, but so is Lens.

Lens is how about your personal feelings with the content of the image.

I am an adjustable kind of person so I have a zoom lens. Actually I am old, its easier to carry around one lens than multiple cameras.

I do not know anything about these two people, just two photographers on a street in Tokyo between Asakusa and Kappabashi Street.  I was admiring the reflections on the wall and they were admiring other things,


For me, the highest Art level of photography is photojournalism. For people photographs aways are about reality, no matter how abstract is a photograph people unconsciously   ask “ But what is it?” They need to have that answered before they can visually experience line, texture, shape, color, etc. My sister and I on our way to learn our  mother  had a stroke, lost her memory  and was never to know who we were again.


Second is the is snapshot, people love to take photographs  and snapshots are about the experience of taking the photograph or being photographed,  and not the photograph itself.


There is always the “realisim” of a photograph—is it evidence incur or insurance claims, proof of infidelity or a family history of a great grand parent.


Photograph is using light to Mae an image, The visual experience  is in the interaction between  the light and the eye , but the human experience is between the eye and the  human mental process,  and these are different.


The eye is happy with line, shape, color,texture but the human mental process  is not satisfied  with  those things,  it wants words, categories  to classifiy the experience and that is what “understanding“ means a photograph means to people.

But it was not always this  way,  this is what McCluhan is writing about how print so radically changed  the meaning being human.


Japan is both so modern and yet so many of the modern  inventions do not quite fit into the Japanese world bandits fine that they stay outside, its alright to keep the invaders out.


The old shows its age and new just walks by . . .


Japanese may not care about the meaning, the color, the experience of the the shape, the color, the line is enough. Who nos where the shadow goes?


Sometimes you do not need to speak the language ,just drinking sake and eating edamame with people you meet passing through  Ueno is enough.







Mind hiding fore matter

Almost everyday I fast walk four miles along Alameda Creek between Beard Road  Staging  Area and Isherwood. I don’t mind it.


At home with my evening meal  I like to drink sake using “japanese folk pottery”—Nihon Rokkoyo.

A Bizen  tokkuri and a Mashiko guinomi are a fun combination.


As is Bizen and Kuo-Oribe. Bizen uses ash glaze, the tokkuri below is the father,  the one above is the son.  While using a tokkuri from one  kiln and a guinomi from another makes an interesting visual experience, its the tactile experience that is sought after. Bizen feels rough and with oribe  everytime you pick it up you  experience something new about the shape


Oribe tokkuri and a Setoguro  guinomi. I prefer “functional pottery.”   Functional  pottery and more so high fire pottery was a major human creation that enable people to survive and grow. Functional pottery used everyday as basic tools of survival and thankfully great potters who made the everyday experience more meaningful  than just another tool. I do not see how something that sits in a museum where the “potter” calls himself (or herself ) an “artist because they made  something meant to not be used but to be looked and admired?”just misses the point.


But then again fake news is knowhere and you have to respond for yourself.


Hui-neng (惠能) was the Sixth Patriarch of Chan, he could not read or write, maybe he was not educated  into thinking he actually knew something.

Imagine before printing, a book  was written—first draft, editing , second draft, layout and design, all done at once, any editing was done in the second printing and  as they were hand printed”  the first one and the second were not the same. After printing every edition was the same, until after it was read  when it was “personalized” not by the author or published, but by the reader.  Yesterday inHalf Price Bookstore clearance section for $2 I got a copy of Frankenstein: Or The Modern  Prometheus. There was no new layout or typesetting, rather the pages of a previous early printing was photocopied. Its been many years since I read it,

“I learned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellow creatures were, high and unsullied descent united with riches. A man might be respected with only one of these advantages; but without either, he was considered , except in very rare instances ,as a vagabond and a slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profits of the chosen few! ”


After awhile or a while after, or perhaps  it was actually before, Hui-neng was lucky he was not asked to cut off his arm like Huike (大祖慧可), maybe he was not educated to mind..


For my celph , I just  try   to keep my feet on the ground


And blind my mind to line my ways


We all may start out the same but too much exposure makes each of us an individual. These are images of something we see everyday—the top of the letter “S” (in one case the bottom) in the word “STOP” painted on the street. Laws of Entropy? or nature just cannot control itself.


Enso, knowsow, meansew

I would be easy if everyone in the world would do just as I tell them to do. Or perhaps you would say it would be easy if every one in the world would do just as you tell them to do. Being human means it does not work that way, while people like to tell others what to do, people do not like to be told what to do. An enso in Buddhism is a circle (traditionally drawn by a hand and brush).


While the world goes round, round things seeking their own life . . .the concept of round must have change donce humans developed the ability to actually make things (almost) perfectly round. π, longer than human life, or human life shorter than pie.


Enso is a zen circle, the mu of the Buddha mind. My father quit Case to go to war, came back, entered again, quit again to help out when his father lost his job and later returned to graduate, or something like that, just not in the exact order.  At some time during that period my mother worked at the Aluminum Company of America.


And now I am left to finding my own circle of enlightenment


Fear, the favored tool of  human bullies and other incompetents,  the deer who is  50 yards away is afraid of me and not afraid of the egret five feet away. The egret is afraid of me when I am 50 feet or less on the same side of the bank, but across the water, even 10 feet  it does not give a damn.


I could say I am glad to have feet, still its a given, I was born this way,


and two are  enough, Would more be a greater pleasure for me? or for you?


Hagi guinomi by Hatano Zenzo and shigaraki tokkuri  by Takahashi Kozo (Takahashi Rakusai V).


Bizen guinomi and tokkuri by Nakamura Makoto. The Makoto family is well known for shuki. Maybe I drank too much sake in my life, but when you use these you need pour some  sake into the guinomi, then wet your  finger  with sake and spread it around the lip area from where you will drink.


What is looking that makes a life seen so far away?


Or maybe just better not to look, or not to imagine what will happen yesterday or even what happened tomorrow.


Al Capone pizza about 1970 on a  lonely  early Sunday morning, big slices, I think  it was $0.35 a slice then, the other place was through the tunnel and find a place to park near Santarpio’s.

Al Capone Pizza, Haymarket, CA 1970

Some conversations I have had at Half Price Bookstore,


This gentleman was  very thoughtful,  willing and able to express himself articulately with comments on things I said which added to my understanding of things I thought.


Vjay is often correcting me concerning Krishna, Indian philosophy, Mahabarata and something in which we have a common interest,  dahl.  Weekends  I often meet him at  TJs or the book store. You may never know when you meet Buddha or like me, if  I ever did.


Maybe I am just getting to old to have a normal relationship, I do not think my photograph has ever been in a  newspaper or a history book,  or on a record album cover, its fun to have an anonymous interaction like hitch hiking when I was young, when I may never meet the person again and I can pretend to be someone I am not, or more to my liking, to  pretend to be someone I never want to be, except for a short time to have the experience,—here was a discussion on history and methodology.


Still its easy for me  to get lost without letters defining  me where I am.


And everyday I still try to do four miles along the levee . . .


and see people who, like myself . . .


whatever that means,


it all must mean something or in the process just reverts to the mean, I meant well, but it did not seem to make any difference.










Inspyte of the hugeluge

New Year’s Day, sake, food—shiokara,  nanohana nishin, wakasagi tsukudani, and pottery—ekaratsu and shigaroki —and  a couple of Japanese movies.


Sinking? Sales? Force? Tower?, its a big building for a company  that does not pay a dividend to its stockholders.


What is holding it up?




Always find  something  for me, a small circle on the outside


brings me back to reality, or the one in which  I like to live  . . .feet0955_24%ppi100d700

One mid morning view from the UN Plaza, San Francisco


And down the street  suggestively and  enticingly,  pie-in-the- blue-sky ideal in black and white . . . well,  read,  I get anyway . . .


Globalization?  compared to what,  living in caves?


G3—three generations responding to the alluring, addicting  electronical  packets…


How long does a person to fall asleep on Market  street in the sun with people walking by, why not sleep on a less traveled path, much quieter—one would have to be very, very, very tired.


Fort Hill in Roxbury MA (circa 1970),  at some point in  Boston in history  it was one days ride with luggage  from Beacon Hill so  some people built summer homes.  It had a Revolutionary War  monument,  by 1970s it was greatly changed.  The Lyman Family bought and fixed up  a house, you  could rent a five room apartment for about $45/month and then somewhere along the way to today it  became gentrified. I have not been there since mid  1970s