See! King refuge

Fort Hill, Roxbury MA, 1971

When I lived in Somerville, later JP and then while attending art school, in Cambridge—Central Square off River Street near the river—I used to visit Fort Hill. On a sunny afternoon to the northeast you can over look Boston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill—I left in 1979, plenty of changes since then— the patterns of the in-between roofs and the silently moving city traffic. Four young men, none of us really knew each other well enough for an early morning shared moment like this, but I made this image anyway. On Fort Hill rent was very cheap, the Lyman family found a home and I found my own personal refuge. Now as I understand, the whole area has been gentrified and the park is probably full of playing kids everyday.

Fremont, ball games on Sunday afternoon, pizza and TV for the players and parents. In the 1960s when I lived in Boston we would eat at Durgin-Park with long tables, where you just came in and took an available seat, huge helpings, Indian pudding, and gigantic strawberry shortcake. The Fremont Pieology is a little different, everything is self throw away except the pizza.

A house over a garage in Tokyo, no sidewalk. In Tokyo land is very valuable, some who work in the city but cannot afford to live there may travel three hours a day to commute—13 million and change daily use the Tokyo public transportation system

Alameda Creek

There are many different kinds of photographs, people usually don’t spend time sitting around thinking about how many different kinds of photographs are there and listing them all, but when we see an image its usually very easy to feel the correct category of “kind of photograph.”

We can “feel” these categories and if we are lucky the different relationships of the things is fun. A photograph also has visual artistic qualities such as texture, color, line, shape, gesture, . . .

A photograph has a “certain and unique feel” to it. Technically it makes an image from reflected light, just like the human eye. Its what we see, and what else would it be?

There are many different kinds of photographs; Fine Art, advertising, portraits, snap shots, selfies, catalog, passport, scientific, NationalGeographic, and more— we can feel these different kinds and when there is not a fit.

Sometimes the wrong place is the right place, such as in comedy, satire or irony.

The photograph appears to u be very similar to that which we see with our eyes— more similar to what we see with our eyes than any other kind of graphic process—we feel a “woodblock” or an “etching.” we may like it, but it is not a detailed visual record like a photograph.

The photographic reproduction process produces an image, whether on a medium such as paper or an electronic screen, has specific common qualities which are unique and our biological and psychological nature gives us the ability to separate those “technical qualities” from the content of the photographic image, define that visual experience as a photograph and store it, to use as a tool later to measure , by feeling, i.e.knowing, things we see.

This is a “tool” we use unconsciously, if every time we saw a thing we had to start the process of differentiation and definition of every “thing” it would take too long. Feeling does it instantly.

Our “sensations data bank”, functions like a server. A person visually experiences, a behavior which they doing all the time. They have a feeling which says “This is a photograph” without ever thinking about it, enabling the viewer to smoothly move on. The feeling sets the stage for the meaning of the visual experience.

No matter what kind of photograph, when the human sees it, without thinking, the feeling classifies it as a photograph. When the content or meaning of the image is not compatible with the appropriate content/meaning of a photograph.the unconscious feeling gives a warning —“Something is not right here! Find out why.” A visual question is unanswered and visual tension is created. If there is no resolution in the visual image itself the contradiction of the image is unresolved, the viewer is left wondering why, misses the meaning experience of the image and is left not with an unanswered question resulting in no satisfaction from the experience.

Sometimes we are wrong, not usually, but sometimes, and without thinking, we find consciously, without thinking, that the question appears in our mind — is it really a photograph? We feel uncomfortable and seek an answer to that discomfort—What is going on!

We search for the answer— its a joke; its been photoshopped; whatever, we ask without thinking. Its that quality which a good photograph will find some way to use to increase communication of the content or meaning of the image.

Photographers can use that “knowing of the viewer” to put questions in the image, i.e. create a visual tension while the photograph as a whole resolves it.

Instantly defining it as a photograph, and what kind of photograph at the feeling level enables the viewer to quickly define the image and measure the value of the visual experience.

For many the photograph answers a question —What is it? Oh I know its a cloud in the sky. For me, it answers the question, What is it? Oh I know, its a cloud in the sky.


In Buddhist tradition the first chief disciple, Śāriputra, sat to the right side of Buddha and the second chief disciple, Maudgalyāyana, sat to the left. Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin, China; Kannon, Japan) spoke The Heart Sutra to Śāriputra. When I included stuff about Buddhism, or Krishna, or any religion

The Heart Sutra in Chinese, calligraphy by Janney.

A reproduction of The Heart Sutra scribed in Siddham (Sanskrit script) from Sacred Calligraphy of the East by John Stevens. This is a very interesting book for artists, as well as anyone interested in in the relationship between scribe and printing as graphic processes of reproduction.

If that relationship interests you , THE VISIBLE TEXT, Textual Production and Reproduction from Beowulf to Maus by Thomas Bredehoft, explores the visual relationship between scribe and printing press in the west. He argues that scribed books of the same title were often seen as different original productions in and of themselves. Writing and printing have enabled humans to communicate with other humans, even long after they have past away.

Disclaimer: On this blog over the years I have published religious related images and words because I find them interesting. There is no intention for this to be a religious forum or to promote one religion over another, or perhaps even the idea of prompting religion itself. If a religion is mentioned it is not because I support it, if it is not mentioned it is not because I am against it.

Master Hua has been around northern California for a long time, I have met people who “follow him” and I have found his self published books in second hand book stores. On this cover is an illustration of Guanyin who as Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit) will appear as a man and as Guanyin (China) or Kannon (Japan) will appear as a woman. (See The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 25.)

Ko low, knealism and now, I’m a grey shun

Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt to us once they have withdrawn from our territories.”
“The wealth of the imperialist nations is also our wealth. Europe is literally the creation of the third world.”

Frantz Fanon 1962 Author of The Wretched of the Earth

Last week the New York Times had an article about European colonialism and reparations , After my morning walk I often make a salad and watch tv, usually NHK, DW or France24. The last few years both European stations have focused on news and cultural interests from the ex-colonies. NHK has programs about how Japanese high-tech is creating new products to make an affordable positive impact in the “emerging world” as well as presenting the beauty of their own cultural craftsmanship.These three tv networks view the world as their audience/

I read this book in 1960s, its a reflection on European colonization.

Much of the history of human beings is about survival—war, killing, stealing and various forms of evolving political institutions. Many not here left us no message.What is the “social solidarity necessary for survival” which can only be measured by whether the society survives. Here we are homo sapiens , 300,000 later, with all of our “baggage” some good, some bad and in the near past we let another last individual of a last society die without communicating with him. The rest of his society had been murdered decades ago by business interests seeking to cut down the trees of their home for financial profits. Their home was not their property, it belonged to a nation state with its sovereign rights and the right to deny any sovereign rights of a last society and a last man regardless of how long they had lived there —we did not bother to find out.

He died alone and afraid, afraid of the civilized people, and as it seems, quite rightly so.

What we have lost can never be brought back again This seems a very dark day for human beings and the whole world could be reflect on this treatment of another human being all alone and afraid while the “civilized people.were busy being the “exceptional people reaping the benefits of their special status as the god appointed stewards of Earth.

No chance to accept Jesus r as his Lord and Savior and get to heave,; no chance to awaken the sleeping buddha inside of him and end his cycle of suffering.

Alameda Creek

What is necessary for a society to survive? By society I mean a group of people who interact only with each other. Not real,!! Doesn’t exist—the whole globe is really a bunch of larger and smaller societies, intermingled with each other in may different and various ways and levels.

Its just an idea, think about at the beginnings of human beings there were no individuals—beginning families, clans which have evolved 300,000 years to cities and countries—at some point there were very small basic and much more independent societies.

How can there ever be a time when a human being was his or her own society? When one is a last individual of a last society, the end of that human society on Earth.

We learn about European colonialism in school, lessons which for the most runs off the backs of many like water off a duck, we don’t understand how inhuman it was. nor how it lead to the great wealth of the European society and we call “proof of our exceptionalism.”

We have survived, individuals surviving as a society . What we (human beings) did `enabled people to survive, to have social solidarity. to reach this duration.

Surviving of societies means individual people doing things must have some order —Value: when something works to find food, the individual does it over and over, just by definition it takes time out of your life. Doing over and over it becomes a common behavior pattern. Other people may copy you, and it becomes how people behave in the society.

Successful behavior is repeated regularly, it becomes normal in the society—Just being normal means it takes up time in a life, time that other behavior will not happen. It makes a common structure of behavior which is necessary and normal for the social solidarity of a society.

It also has to be sustainable. Normal is not relative, it is directly related to other specific things, i.e. meeting the necessary needs of the the environmental experience of the individuals making up the society.

Imagine early life with small separated societies living in various places all over Earth. Even if there was a common “human Nature,” we know Earth is different in different places resulting in different experiences and different behaviors, each society creating a unique structure of behavior.

Some societies grew larger and more intertwined, with these unique behaviors undergoing varying degrees of assimilation, integration, conquest and political domination.

For many many years, probably 99% of the duration of homo sapiens ,—i.e. for about 279,000 years— when things were bad an individual or a family could move and find another place to live—migration was normal, not illegal. For most of that time, life was simple enough, often simple enough that people could start over somewhere anew.

Now all real estate on Earth has been claimed by nation-states and their geo-political boundaries. There is no place people can migrate for a new life without being threatened by the violence of the nation state, and last week civilization has chased a last individual of a last society away to his death, a society and an individual and a society which had no “legal”right to the property which had been their home, for how many years? oh, we did not take the time or did not have the ability to find out.


A shrine squeezed in among city building, daily you can pause for a moment on your way to work to appreciate the spirit of the shrine and feel yourJapanese.

Sometimes people like being in public places. Japanese like to read .They also have a great respect for others in public places which makes Japan a nice place to visit. Oh,and safe.

On Sunday afternoons people may be dancing in the street, others like to watch and listen. Cultural things which are imported from other countries are massaged until they find a fit into Japanese life. They call oknomiyaki a “Japanese pancake” but the name really means “as you like it.”

People and architecture have a Japanese feel to their fit, its a comfortable and righteous feeling.

A residential street in Tokyo—being drunk and backing your car into the garage on a street like this can be challenging. Sometimes it a better choice to sleep it off on your host’s floor.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate BodhiSvaha

Heart Sutra and birthday mooncake

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.


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

With-in or with-out

Stays between days

High rises, rows of crops.and residential and behind the photographer and less than a football field is a lumber yard literally around the corner. In Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo, high rises, residential homes, businesses and farms live side by side in the same immediate neighborhood as my sister’s residence..

Walking by a window corner looking into someone’s life. Was there a secret revealed and I missed it?

I was never sure if it was coming or going,

Land in Tokyo is very expensive and zoning is different than in the USA.

There will be apartments mixed with residential mixed with businesses, both office and factories.—a first floor store or warehouse with the owner and family living upstairs.

There are always spaces which call the eye .. . .why did he sit in that spot?

What are the qualities of being human? Does the general speak louder than the particular?

How do we know know when we are human beings or an individual?

Alameda Creek

Everyday its a combination of some different, and, some same, things

The shapes of the people contrast to the shapes of the trees and land

Most people I see along the Alameda Creek Trail are there by choice AND for the same reason— to get some exercise .

Its nice to do it outside in Nature where there is no, or at least reduced, levels of pollution.

Alameda Creek

Sheep scratching themselves on a fallen tree trunk. How does an animal learn it can scratch itself on a tree? C

Certainly not from its mother. , the mother could know she had an itch and she could scratch it on a tree, the lamb could know it had an itch and could see the mother scratching on a tree, but language needs to be there for the mother to connect the scratch with the itch which the lamb cannot see but only feel.

A wooley drop

Most of the homes here are tract houses from different developers at different times.

Still, in market terms, they are worth too much money.

But its having the Alameda Creek Trail near that is the best value.


On Sundays we go to have to a local pizza place, its a one size fits all, most customers seem to eat the whole pie but we split the margherita pizza.

I made images of my shadow, often including a shadow of the camera and put them together to make a pattern as in a Middle Eastern rug or a Pueblo blanket.

Each basic image is a 4 same photographs of my shadow, flopped and reversed, then put together,

Its the human eye that puts things together, but its the mind that tells you what it is. You can also learn to to just see,

Mom was living in a memory care facility, we used to take her out for lunch on Sundays. A memory care residential facility is for people who no longer can take care of themselves but are not in the process of immediate death. Mom had insurance, I was self employed working out of the house, bring her into our house would have put an increased stressful situation. At a residence there were trained people to take care of her. She would have different people to interact with —to make sure the “intereractive behaviour” would be different, but caregiver or fellow resident, its still human interaction. We saw her at least once a day, usually lunch time and then time afterwards. Then there is taking her to places—doctors, dentist, walks, Sunday restaurant, shopping. emergency room, etc. Most of the time we spent the time we spent with her was as good “quality time” as it could get.The regularity also gave her anticipation. Often I was sure she did not know I was her son, but usually she did recognize me as a “regular” in her life.

On the one hand my photographs are more about myself and less about the “things” in the photographs. On the other hand there was a visual communication going on between these people. Were all three men sharing feelings? and thoughts? They look somewhat bored.

Mist beginnings fore gotten futures

Centuries ago seen from today, Gothic temples seem like phallic symbols, each new one going higher and higher competing to connect (or re-connect‚ people and God. .Our modern temples, built not for worship of God, but for secular business.

Morning reflection in the windows of the Maritime Building

Blue sky, looking up the building appears to be a pier thrusting into the ocean. or even a walkway to God.

In different places around the neighborhood the building shows itself.

A bit of this or a but of that

From up around where Monk used to touch the stop sign in the opening credits scene.

Afternoon a couple of blocks above Stockton Street.

I sometimes wonder if all this moving parts of the Earth —raw materials— from there to here, and concentrating buildings in a few geographical places does not effect a rebalance, or even an imbalance, of the earth.

Alameda Creek

That we see is profound enough, eyes get a “work-out” walking daily along Alameda Creek . . . well actually walking around anywhere., Seeing is fun.

We see light when it reflects off a “thing,” . . .

What is a “thing?” is an interesting question to ponder, seeing a “thing” is light.
If there was no light would things not exist?

It reflects light? But not all “things” reflect light—Ideas, concepts, and “generality” words which can represent many “particulars.” . . .

Ideas are often represented in writing on a medium which is made by people to reflect light and the marks on the surface— An the paper we make we can see the writing (or printing), read the letters and know the meaning.

We can also think the concept, hold it in our mind, remember it tomorrow, and we do not need light to see it nor a place to store it.

Photographs are about “things ”which reflect light. and don’t reflect light, things we can see as well as dthings we cannot see.

Often people have a common feeling about a photograph, its not just a list of the things in it but how the things fit together to express concepts such as compassion; curiosity; love; disgust; commitment..

The whole is more than the sum of the parts..

All of these images are just things that have been, or could have been or may be, seen here or somewhere else in the Universe.


‘After her stroke, Mom could not read, I don’t know what the little graphic marks of letter forms meant to her. Western letter forms are not like kanji or hanzi. embedded in their pre historical visual clues.

Mom’s was very bright, with a large sophisticated vocabulary—she knew a lot of words as well as grammar. Yet it seemed she would look at letters knowing they were supposed to mean something but no matter how long or how hard she looked at them, meaning never came to her—her mind could not make a connection with the letters.

Its very different than how people “normally ” look at lines of strange little marks —that is what writing is to the uninitiated , the ones who cannot read.

I imagine its a little like looking at a foreign language but still one knows it has meaning..Still, there were times I chose to try to communicate with letters.

We see these unfamiliar marks on paper, not only do we not know what they mean—how to read them —but when we see the marks we cannot but help notice the visual qualities of shape, texture, color, etc. —the human braind, always trying to differentiate and define sensory input.

After we can read a language when we look at the little marks we know what they mean and no longer find the shapes of the marks interesting We read for the meaning of the words and not the visual experience of seeing the little marks on the paper.. Its the meaning .

Mom was in the “rehab” facility for eight weeks , after a few weeks she was up and around a little and was allowed to sit —with seat belt on —in a wheelchair She could move with her legs which was good exercise and she explored the facility.

When we read, usually the “meaning” defines the visual experience of seeing the little marks in rows and columns. Those non-meaning visual experiences are still there to be had, but many people in modern society with its emphasis on “meaning” have become less sensitive to the sensual experience.

There is no Heart Sutra for horses, or dogs, or cats, or for any other living things. Maybe God thought only people needed it.

Child asked, “Does a horse have Buddha-Nature?
Joshu, still, said, “Mu.”

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate ,Bodhi svaha