Sing, me back, ho, ummm drums

On top of Tokyo’s Asahi Beer building is a 300-ton stainless steel sculpture designed by French architect Philippe Stark. It was meant to look like foam rising from a beer mug. The Japanese have their own name for it, kin no unchi, Japanese for “Golden Turd. ”

Its within walking distance across the river from Sensoj, though I am not sure if the visual experience gets any better when you get closer but if you take a leisurely walk from Asakusa to Sky Tree, you will find it.

And in the window of the Sky Tree McDonald’s you might find enlightenment—McDonald’s uses a possessive apostrophe and “Finnegans Wake” does not— or wish you were not alone.

Earth is estimated to be 4.543 billion years old,
Life has been on Earth for about 3.5 billion years,
Homo sapiens about 300,000 years of that,
Automobiles been around since about 1900,
Personal computers since 1980s, and,
Smart phones (IBM’s Simon) since 1994.
Human beings have had a very minimal time on Earth.

Before humans this Earth was a “utopia,” a “Garden of Eden” one might say—oh, I guess someone already did. Humans with all their “intelligence” & “Superiority” are in the process of destroying their own “Garden of Eden.” And not just destroying it, but intentionally and knowingly destroying it.

Humans are the only species which knowingly, intentionally and enthusiastically, with an idealogy of justification—its now a political position— attempt to change their situation by changing their environment that gave birth to them—the Earth.

Basically other life forms are satisfied adjusting to the requirements of their existence while accepting their “natural” limitations and the slow adjustments and adaptions of evolution. They do not wax philosophically on race, or income inequalities or complain about not having things others have.

But humans have used their capabilities to carve tis earth apart, subjugate and destroy other life forms as well as the natural environment. Think about how much of this earth has been moved from one place to another —all these cars. trains, airplanes used to be bits of Earth in the ground. We get oil from the earth, burn it for energy, and release what is left into the air moving it from the under the ground into the atmosphere. We mine minerals from one place and use them to build concentrations of tall buildings in another.

Plastic is an example of some things which had a natural process on this earth being converted into to something unnatural, something much less bio-degradable which will not integrate as a part of Earth’s natural process for a very long time and its poisonous to many other life forms.

With all of this going on has the mass of the Earth changed or just the where the stuff is located. How about the distribution of that mass on the earth? while look at us??? Obesity, high blood pressure, war, hate, poverty, mental illness, some live in splendor while others starve, Oh!! The see me tree of it all.

Not an uncommon sight in Tokyo, authoritarian nationalists with their sound truck.

and just as common, people pay little attention to them.

Tokyo police just down the street from a sound truck but no heavy artillery, no riot gear, no guns and no large bellies hanging over the front of pants,

Japan has capitalism, a free market, democracy and a helluva lot less Japanese are murdered.

Waiting for Godot, a factory girl, enlightenment or a green light, not much different difference.

Or advertising makes you want to buy stuff you don’t want to help you communicate to others who you want them to think you are.

I would settle for a warm welcome from Plastic Man

It could be worse, you could find your loneliness on a windy prairie or . . .

in a two dimensional world where the sky is blue all day

and its still an EmptyPage—the page of no page.

Alameda Creek

Alameda Creek never goes away,

I have watched people progress through dementia along this creek, break the law, not pickup their dog’s poop, was present at the death of a friend’s dog,

Its a place to spend the pandemic . . .

with friends.

And its a place to raise your kids . . .

while you let others take care of it . . .

while the cycle of life goes round and round while one day each us find ourselves on it, and later, off it, to never know again.

“To Judy who made me live with a broken heart”

When I lived in the Boston area I would go to Fort Hill, this image was made when the Lyman family had a presence there.
The section title-quote is from the dedication of Mel Lyman’s book Mirror at the End of the Road which I read, one afternoon while standing for about an hour at a bookstore sidewalk cut out bin—it was a moving book, and I couldn’t move until I I finished it. I like Mel’s harmonica, especially his cover of Will Shade’s Jugband Waltz.

Later I met a man who workedat the type house in the building where I rented my design office whose wife had been a part of the Lyman Family, lived at the house in Fort Hill, and raised he daughter there, who gave me a couple copies of Mel’s family music audio tape made in the 1960s— one was a collection of blues songs, and the other was a children”s tape ,both were outstanding music collections.

On a clear day you could see Boston without hearing it feel the wind blow on oyur face— a peaceful easy feeling. Once when mother visited I tookher up there for an afternoon, we sat and drank a class of wine and talked.

Now the second tallest building in San Francisco, it looks like an interesting challenge for a skateboarder.

At a farm auction it might be a bankrupt fellow farmer , or perhaps its after a death of a friend , and you watch the process, one by one, of someone’s life be publicly bargained off so the wife can have a retirement off her husbands efforts and the generosity of neighbors who may well find themselves in the same situation one day.

This Krishna image uses shape, repetition and a limited palette of flat colors, even though nothing in the painting resembles reality, you instantly visually understand the painting. Its not the same as if it were a photograph of two people, trees, flowers, fruit, leaves and birds. It has beauty to it, its feels good to look at.

You have a limited amount of time in your life and you take some of that time to look at this image. is it because you have nothing better to do? or do you choose to spend an amount of your limited time on this painting for a another reason? Note in the piece of cloth that runs from the tip of the head to the bottom where the little white crosses give a feeling of cloth.

Oh Yes, the feeling of happiness when you are with Krishna.

My hands off policy keeps my hands clean as well as keeps m from going insane, like a drop of paper on a sheet of water.

Excerpt from Heart Sutra brushed in Seal Script by Janney.

On the Wings of Chun

The Sales Force Building, San Francisco.

Over the Civic Center Bart Station, San Francisco

Typical San Francisco.
One thing about public political organizations such as city, town, state, country, is constant change,. Those responsible for dealing with the change have their jobs because of the way things are and many actually work to keep thingst he way are.

Wonder what its like in the morning when the residents on this street get in their cars and drive to work.

Between Berkeley and San Fransisco, on the San Francisco side is the Maritime building and between the TransAmerica Building and the Martime building is a garden setting and a comedy venue, Below it is a parking lot.

Boston also has windows like this.

易經: I Ching or Yi Jing—More or Less about the The Book of Changes

Eight trigrams can be paired to make 64 different hexagrams. The trigrams are made of yin or yang lines. Throw three coins eight times, once for each line, tails =2, heads =3, each throw makes one line—6 or 7=a yin weak broken line and 8 or 9 = a solid strong yang line. Count from the bottom, the trigram (on the left) I threw was 7, 7, 8, 8, 6, 6, named Hsiao Kuo, its meaning is Preponderance of the Small.

The I Ching is about “changes.” The classicial Chinese perspective is the universe is made of yin and yang and changes are about the interaction between them. A 7 or 8 is a stationary line, and a 6 or a 9 is a moving line. In Hsiao Kuo the fifth and sixth line are moving to change the hexagram to Tun, Retreat.

If the 7s were 6s and the 6s were 7s then my hexagram Hsiao Kuo would be changing to a different hexagram.

For Hsiao Kuo:
Six in the fifth means:
Dense clouds,
No rain from our western territory.
The prince shoots and hits him who is in the cave.

Six at the top means:
He passes him by, not meeting him.
The flying bird leaves him.
This means bad luck and injury

The I Ching Wilhelm/Baynes edition

San Francisco

In Hsiao Kan the yang strong lines enclosed by the yin weak lines become twice as strong in Tun because they are now supported by the yin weaker lines.

Honjo City, this may be a residence or a business, but it makes money with a vending machine.

Something I have not done for a long time. Newspapers are a different experience than new online, they are read once in the morning with coffee or in the evening after dinner in an overstuffed chair while online you read whenever you want and while the newspaper you get in the morning says the same thing all day, online is continuously updated.

Alameda Creek where I’s and no’s wander unbounded

What hills, what hills are those, my love
That rise so fair and high?
Those are the hills of heaven, my love
But not for you and I . . .

. . . And what hills, what hills are those, my love
Those hills so dark and low?
Those are the hills of hell, my love
Where you and I must go
. . . .

One time around spun our gallant ship
Two times around spun she
Three times around spun our gallant ship
And sank to the bottom of the sea

from The House Carpenter Traditional English song

And it’s good old country comfort in my bones
Just the sweetest sound my ears have ever known
Just an old-fashioned feeling fully-grown
Country comfort’s any truck that’s going home.

Contury Comfort Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Sometimes my only friend is loneliness but at least it never lies to me and I will never have any hopes things will get better. . .

If I knew the way I would take you home.
Ripple Grateful Dead.

Why do your war ships ride on my waters? 
Why do your bombs fall down from my skies? 
Why do you burn my farms and my towns down? 
I’ve got to know, friend, I’ve got to know!

I’ve got to know Woody Guthrie

Krishna playing flute and Gopas, “frolicking” in the fields. This probably illustrates Krishna raising Mount Govardhana to protect the inhabitants of Vraja from Indra’s terrorism.

You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye,
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye,
I say hello

Beatles song

Sometime I see myself everywhere and it looks like know where.

So, in emptiness, no form,
No feeling, thought, or choice,
Nor is there consciousness.
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; No colour, sound, smell, taste, touch,
Or what the mind takes hold of,
Nor even act of sensing. . . .
Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha 

Heart Sutra

Zen of knowzen

In the West the word “Zen” has become a common everyday word yet I am often confused as to what people mean when they use the word especially as a headline, in a marketing slogan or as a DIY book title. The implication is the content or product enables one to get down to the very basics of something without the “unnecessary fluff.” The“ zen of this,” or “the zen of that” promises to expose you to “only the very basic truths of something.”

Basically Buddhism is a way to “know” (awaken) the Buddha inside yourself.
Sakyamuni saw the Morningstar and was enlightened, and he said , “I and the great earth and beings, simultaneously achieve the Way.”
Keizan Francis Cook translation

In this story below from Mumonkan this knowing or awakening is transmitted directly from Gautama Buddha to Mahakasyapa.

Once when the World-Honoured One, in ancient times, was upon Mount Grdhrakuta, he held up a flower before the congregation of monks. At this time all were silent, but the Venerable Kasyapa only smiled. The World-Honoured One said, “I have the Eye of the True Law, the Secret Essence of NIrvana, the Formless Form, the Mysterious Law-Gate. Without relying upon words and letters, beyond all teaching as a special transmission, I pass this all on to Mahakasyapa.
Mumonkan (Japanese) 無門關   Wu-wen kuan (Chinese)    Case VI   The Buddha’s Flower compiled and written by Wumen Huikai  (無門慧開; Japanese: Mumon Ekai; 1183–1260). I have used the Blyth translation.

This is a special transmission, “Without relying upon words and letters, beyond all teaching as a special transmission, . . .”

The stories of the history of this “special transmission” from Patriarch to Patriarch passed on through 28 India patriarchs in India to Bodhidharma (Daruma) and with more names in China and Japan, is told in the Denkoroku ((伝光録, Record of the Transmission of the Light) written and/or compiled by Keizan Jokin Zenji in 1300.
This special transmission of the Buddha mind is Zen.

The silk road brought Buddhism to China centuries earlier and monks like Xuanzang (玄奘; 602 – 664) who traveled through Central Asia and India returning with “about a cargo container of Buddhist documents and art” (estimated by Laszlo Montgomery of The China Podcast) and was the basis for Journey to the West, a 16th century book and like Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels.

After Bodhidharma, aka Daruma, became the 28th patriarch of India he migrated to China where he became the First Patriarch of Chan, and settled at Shaolin. Often at more “serious” kung fu schools hanging somewhere is a brush drawing of Bodhidharma.

Buddhism was popular when Daruma arrived in China. Daruma is said to have stayed at Shaolin, famous for martial arts where he taught zen enlightenment through meditation and perhaps had something to do with the marital art known as Wing Chun.

The rise of Wing Chun, the destruction of Shaolin by the Qing dynasty in 1723, the escape of five masters, one of whom was a woman, its association with Zen and the transmission of the Wing Chun style to Ip Man who taught it to Bruce Lee makes this story very dramatic and exciting.

Another event in Zen was the story of the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng, six in line from Daruma and the last of the formal category Patriarch expressing the lineage of the Special Transmission.
Young Hui-neng was a poor illiterate wood cutter. One day he heard the Diamond Sutra, was instantly enlightened and became part of the kitchen help at the Eastern Meditation Monastery under the 5th Patriarch who in his old age was concerned that none of the monks showed ability to take his place. A poetry writing contest was scheduled.

NOTE: in China poetry writing skills includes both the ability to compose words & sounds as well as brush words was highly respected and considered a basic part of an upper class Chinese gentleman’s education, and essential for military officers.

The top student monk wrote this poem on the wall at the monastery (in green below). Hui-neng, who was illiterate asked his friend to read it to him, he then recited a poem and asked his friend to write it on the wall (in dark blue).

If you can understand the difference between the two poems then you have an “intellectual” understanding of zen enlightenment. If this seems a little strange consider Red Pine translates a writing said to be from Daruma: “Buddhas don’t do good, Buddhas don’t do bad . . .”

or remember Without relying upon words and letters, beyond all teaching as a special transmission, . . .”

DISCLAIMER: An intellectual understanding of Zen is not enlightenment nor is it necessary.

Though many other later names are included in Denkoruku, generally Hui-neng is regarded as a crossroads of the divergence of a northern and southern school, and the practice of sudden enlightenment or a slower meditation process.

Maybe the Heart Sutra makes a little more sense now.
“. . .form does not differ from emptiness,
emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness form.”

Heart Sutra brushed by Janney

The suffering of Buddhism is not about the suffering of others, its not about being poor or hungry, or homeless, it is that being human is suffering, a suffering everyone shares.

The four Noble Truths of Buddhism are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. When you awaken the Buddha inside of you will no longer have suffering.
How similar is this to the idea that the God of Abraham expelled Adam and Eve from Eden to “a life” and life is suffering. Your enlightenment is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be rewarded into Heaven after your death.

 The Dies Committee investigation was presented to the 77th Congress, and alleged that certain cultural traits – Japanese loyalty to the Emperor, the number of Japanese fishermen in the US, and the Buddhist faith – were evidence for Japanese espionage.

Both of these are based on the idea that there was some previous existence for people which did not include suffering and now people are separated or alienated from it.

You can compare this to christians who believe that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior regardless of whatever evil things you have done on Earth is all it takes to ensure your place in heaven and what they call “compassion for others ” is their witnessing christianity to others.

Both have their own “exclusions— In Mahayana, the Bodhisattva is an individual who could become a Buddha but is delaying it to help others in this world, and during the last 1000 years some Christians embracing the idea that doing good deeds on Earth will carry some weight with their God but why bother doing good deeds when all you have to do is proclaim faith.

Where the accepted approach in photojournalism up to that time had been for a photographer to put himself in the reader’s place Smith had found a way to put himself in his subject’s place. It is a crucial distinction, and a key to finding one’s way through the deeper layers of meanings in the photographic essays Smith would concentrate on for the remainder of his working life.
Jim Hughes, introduction to W. Eugene Smith, Aperature Masters of Photography

Krishna defeating the mighty serpent Kaliya who caused great hardships and harm to local people. Krishna danced on top of Kaliya’s hoods rendering him helpless while Kaliya’s wives appealed for his life and Krishna instead of killing Kaliya sent him into exile.

Most everyday since the covad virus I have fast walked four miles along Alameda Creek. Its the same place, a little different everyday.

For many people photographs are about the content. What is it? and often when people show their snapshots they get excited as the image stokes their memory and when the friend is not similarly moved they say “Well you had to be there.“ Generally the snap shot photographer let the excitement of the moment determine when they clicked the shutter. To get the image right you need to let the excitement of the moment move you to make the photograph but use your technical ability to decide when to click the shutter.

He wanted to spare her, not because he minded a killing but because his employers might prefer him not to exceed his instructions.
Graham Greene This Gun For Hire

If you turn this picture upside down, it looks like a Chinese junk going down the Yangtze River or something. Its better upside down! In fact, one of my collectors has painting he always hangs upside down. Told me, “Hope you don’t mind, but it looks better that way.” Its all right; I don’t care.
Andrew Wyeth from Andrew Wyeth Autobiography

Many people walk along the creek, on passing I usually speak a greeting, most people respond and sometimes I get to know the individuals. Others, even after passing countless times just ignore me

A low voice whispered an appeal quite distinctly through the door, Raven picked up the automatic again. Who would’ve imagined an old woman could be so tough? It touched his nerve a little in the same way as the bell had done, as if a ghost were interfering with a man’s job. He opened the study door—he had to push it against the weight of her body. She looked dead enough, but he had to make sure with his automatic almost touching her eyes.
Graham Greene, This Gun For Hire

Of course he could go the bank and let let the police get him. It seemed probable that the wold then be hanged. But the idea of hanging for a crime he hadn’t committed still had power to anger him: if he killed himself it would be for a crime of which he was guilty. He was haunted by a primitive idea of Justice, He wanted to conform; he always wanted to conform.
Graham Greene The Ministry of Fear

Some live along the creek and I see them regularly, watching them age, seeing myself in them

A tokyo style house on a very expensive piece of land.

This is probably not a residence, but a storage place for a business in Honjo, Tokyo, or the garage for the house on the right.

. . . I may have complained about my new environment but I know it will be difficult to adapt myself to the new surroundings right away. I am sure everything will brighten up soon and in a few weeks I will begin to love this place almost as much as my home inS an Diego. When I stop to think how the pilgrims started their life, similar to ours, it makes me feel grand for it gives me the feeling of being a full-blooded American.
Most sincerely,
Louise Ogawa

Dear Miss Breed Letters of incarcerated Japanese American middle and high school children written to Miss Clara Breed, compiled by Joanne Oppenheim

Often people say that Japanese are group minded, and unlike Americans they “overly” conform or submit to the group while many Americans view their self expressions as being sancrosanct, justifying their right to use political power to impose their petty beliefs on others even at the infringement of the rights of others.

It didn’t seem to him as if there would be any harm in their meeting as long as he didn’t take his credentials with him, even in his socks. On the other hand, his room might be searched again. It certainly was a problem.
Graham Greene The Confidential Agent

People do like to be with people, when I was young I used to hitch-hike sometimes I did trips that took days and slept outside. One time I hitchhiked home from college, and on the last leg the driver who lived in the same city, offered to drop me at my house, but before he did we stopped at his house, it was on the way and considerably more modest that my parents house. I thought at the time it was unlikely that his kids had attended college and still he went out of his way to help me, a stranger, who I would never see again.

Once along the East Coast immid 1960s I hitched a long ride with an African-American semi truck driver, and we stopped twice for food at places a little off the highway with all African-American clientele.

People have their own lives, still we kneed knot no them.

When you see a homeless person dressed in dirty clothes begging, do you ever think it might be a Buddhist monk following the path of Shaka Buddha seeking enlightenment?

And maybe others are just glad to be paying the bills.

My mother was in memory care for over three years, and my wife and I saw her daily. Monthly I would make a photographic poster of experiences with mom for my sister in Japan. She like to go to McDonald’s and eat french fries.

We took her out every Sunday for lunch, generally at one of three restaurants that she liked, Each Sunday she would very seriously examine the menu, put it down, smile, explain that this was her first time at this restaurant and ask that I order for her.

Sometimes it seems that my photographs are nothing more than a conversation with myself, and my difficulty is that I do not communicate well to myself. When the photograph reminds me of something that brings back good memories, often its something that I lost long ago, may never have again and the good feeling turns to a sadness for what was lost. Would I rather have the photograph of the lost memory or no photograph and the good times still with me. That is why I call them Light Converswayshuns with my celph.

winzen is lostcost

At a Japanese temple or shrine people can purchase an ema—write on it and hang it, or take it home and, I guess, hang it.

In Tokyo and perhaps through much of Japan, temples and shrines are ubiquitous, some small, some large, and in Tokyo they are distributed everywhere. Many of them are older than the surrounding buildings, they were there first and new construction was built around them. They fit in the neighborhood.

Neighbors interact with temples and shrines as they go about their daily lives, and there is an integrated exposure and most of the experiences of neighbors is with the physical temple. This is different than how Americans interact with their churches, in the US the church is a focus, the interactive behavior among the people is around the church with things outside the church being excluded, not a part of it or the lives of the people. In Japan the temples and shrines are just other part of the daily lives of Japanese.

Some of the older and simpler ema are interesting.

Experiences with the temple priest are generally specific and personal, or on holidays such has New Years and Obon, temple priests may may be chanting and people can listen and join. Public events are held at temples and shrines and people visit them as individuals, representing themselves.

Anyone can make their own images, a flying eyeball or aliens from outer space, plenty to imagine here.

For most Japanese the temple and Shrine, Buddhism and Shinto are an integrated part of their lives, its what it means to be Japanese. For most Americans “the church” and their christianity is separate from their outside lives, when they are are “being Christian” they are generally in conflict with society, different from others, and too often self righteous about the whole thing. It functions to give them an identity which tells them they are separate and better than others.

One of my emas with Dancing Darumas,

These were at the Great Kanto Earthquake (September 1,1923) Memorial Museum, Yokoamicho Park.

In Tokyo and perhaps through much of Japan, temples and shrines are ubiquitous, some small, some large, here in a narrow space between a produce field and a residential area is a shrine where neighbors walk by and through everyday, the shrine was there before the housing.

The idea of “human alienation”, the notion that individual human problems are because each of us is separated from our “Real Self,” i.e. we are separated from something that is part of our nature and we need to become “whole again.”

The logo of the temple on its lanterns.

Buddhism says we are alienated from our natural state of enlightenment and each of us needs to awaken the Buddha inside each of us to realize it.

The Judeo-Christian tradition has “Paradise”and the expulsion of Adam and Eve. Painters such as Gauguin and Rousseau expressed a feeling that we are separated from something more natural.

A few centuries ago western philosophers wondered was it the “nature” or “structure” of “modern society” which alienated individuals from their “natural state of being.” For those who believed that the natural state of being was harmony this separation was seen as negative for the individual

For those who believed that society is conflict&competition, and “winning&losing,” this is the “natural state” of being and its as good as it ever gets. The “good” and “bad” of society is measured by the best and the worst of the individuals in the society and society is never more than the sum of its parts. The “winners” see themselves as more deserving than others.

I like the gestures , I do not need to know too much about the person, I am sure they do not want that either.

From this perspective living in a society is never better than living by oneself but it can be worse because human nature means there are bad and good people and when you live in society, the bad people are always around you somewhere.

For others it is the alienation which prevents us from finding our real self.

Certainly faith as an act of the whole personality has strong emotional elements with in it., Emotion always expresses the involvement of the whole personality in an act of life or spirit. Faith is definite in its direction and concrete in its content.
Paul Tillich Dynamics of Faith

tokyo street

Photographs are different than drawings, even when we are busy trying to figure out what the drawing is a drawing of, the eye brain connection is softened up a little so we can relax and enjoy the process of “figuring it out, ” i.e. enjoy the lines and colors and shapes while are bus figuring it out—all happening instantly or perhaps like Finnegans wake and Mona Lisa which happen perpetually.

Wonder if the square hole was part of the original design, maybe it’s also just another photograph pasted in place,? it does seem kind of odd, a place where you insert money and out comes the hand and face of a woman. Maybe some people come by every day looking for some human interaction. It might hard to imagine being that lonely for you.

For Nietzsche it was enough, or maybe beyond his ability, to understand the cause, perhaps the existential human quest was to find your own answer, but Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and many others were to propose alienation from one’s true self was a property, changeable or unchangeable, fixable or not fixable, of modern society. Marx said to Feuerbach “Its not enough to know it!!!”
 “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

There was “something” about the changes individuals made from being a natural baby to a grownup adult so society could function which was the source of this alienation— sociologically the term “socialization” describes this. People are social and living in a society is necessary for the survival of the species but it has negative result on individuals as it makes them repress their self interest behavour.

Minnesota is both flat and cold.

Many perceived these behavior changes during the process of socialization which made society possible as self imposed repression of basic human urges preventing individuals from becoming who they could be, their real self.

Minnesota is both cold and flat.

It begins to all sound the same, we are not the person we could be because we have been separated from our true natural self.

You can get lost in the forest of words where words themselves are just abstractions of reality,

Others might say its like yin and yang, there is some good and bad mixed in together and that is the human dilemma, you need to learn to live with it and make the best of it. Y

Closed down in 1992 the town name, Amiret, the name adopted in 1879 for Amiretta Sykes, the wife of local a railroad official. Wonder how this post office would handle millions of mail-in votes.

Even today christians believe they will go to heaven—their return to the place from which they were separated —by accepting Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. That will take away all of their sins. And if you are Catholic you can have choice of attrition, or perfect or imperfect contrition.

I am reminded of Brideshead Revisited;

“I believe that everyone in his (or her) life has the moment when he is open to Divine Grace. It’s there, of course, for the asking all the time, but human lives are so planned that usually there’s a particular time – sometimes, like Hubert, on his deathbed – when all resistance is down and grace can come flooding in.
Evelyin Waugh from a personal letter.

The end was not for me. As you can imagine my heart was in my mouth all through the deathbed scene, hoping against hope that the old man would not give way, that is, take the course he eventually did.
novelist Henry Green in a personal letter to Waugh.

I remember when I read the book I felt the same way.

For Socrates Man has become separated from the “real”light of truth, the transcendent realm of the Gods. Platonic philosophy promises that after a series of reincarnations such a state of unity might be attained.
Christopher Want and Andrzej Klimowski Introducing Kant

But I like walking in the rain, most of the time when I am walking in the rain, I am walking alone, even when someone is walking next to me.

Sometimes I feel like Basho who used to travel around Japan and write haiku about famous places he visited. Sora wrote if a temple was famous for the sunrise and it was raining, Basho would write a haiku as if he saw the sunrise.

Often the images I make using the photographic process is not REALLY the visual experience of being there when I was there but what I wanted the experience to be or maybe I just imagined it for fun and did not really care about i and when I finished I forgot all about it.

But this is pretty much what walking along Alameda Creek looked like late morning during the past two weeks, with the smoke from the fires over 100 miles away. I wore two masks while “speed walking” the four miles.

A couple of photographs by James Keller. James has wonderful rapport with people, he can meet them, interact with them , get them to show something about themselves and manage to get the camera in focus, the exposure correct and click the shutter all at the same time.

This one would be about 1975 or ’76, I started art school and soon lost my apartment on Putnam Ave in Cambridge —the landlord, retired from a life of military service wanted to “renovate” the building and had big dreams to get rich. It was seven rooms, three guys lived there, cost me $35 a month and I was right up the street from Central Square and the subway to art school.
One Saturday I woke up to a banging and while I was still in bed there appeared in my room the landlord with a handgun pointed at me telling me to get out now. Fortunately James extended the hospitality of his apartment in Jamaica Plain to my dog and my me until we could find a new place back in Central Square just a couple of blocks away from the old one. This was in the kitchen in Jamica Plain.

Maybe I would rather just be fishing on this side of the shore.

Gate Gate,
Bohdhi Svaha

War in the drawer

August and the anniversary of the only global event using nuclear bombs in war and a visit to Yasukuni Jinja 靖國神社.

Yasukuni Jinja was established to commemorate and show appreciation and respect to those who gave their lives in defense of their mother country, Japan, while serving the Emperor of Japan from wars in 1867-1951.
The torii at the entrance is impressively dominating.

Some of the veterans inshrined at Yasukuni were designated as war criminals and China, South Korea and North Korea view visits by politicians to the shrine as grossly inappropriate nationalistic behavour for war crimes committed against their peoples in WWII.

For many in Japan Yasukuni Jinja is honoring those who died for their country. While control of the shrine is in the hands of Shinto priests, not the government, it is not unusual for more conservative politicians to visit the shrine for a photo op.

Shinto is the indigenous story of who the Japanese are. When Buddhism came to Japan in 525 CE Shinto was critical of its “peaceful aspects,” but each seems to have found their own place in Japanese society. Some temples were famous for their “warrior priests.”

How many Americans reflect that this country was founded by a bunch of white europeans whose God told them get in a boat, go across the water to the Promised Land, while there may be people living there they are not Christians and you can kill them and steal their land—they killed 85 % of them and stole most of their land and continue to do so—and natural resources. And to continue the founding of this country, those white europeans created chattel slavery.

‘In Japan Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are a physically integrated part of everyday life. People walk by them everyday, it may be in a small corner overwhelmed by large buildings or occupy a large amount of land and neighbors regularly cut through them when out and about.

Each person can have their own relationship with a shrine or temple when they choose. There are also community events.

An Ikebana display at Yasakuni, flowers are a symbol of peace, politicians politicize war while family members of those who answered their country’s call and never returned remember them as brave, responsible heroes in their family stories.

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in a Sraevo street, an act that set off WWI. But what that makes him in Bosnia depends on which lesson you learn.
“A hero and a poet,” says a textbook handed to high school students in the Serb-controlled region of this divided country. An “assassin trained and instructed by the Serbs to commit this act of terrorism,” says a text written for Croatian students. “A nationalist whose deed sparked anti-Serbian rioting that was only stopped by the police from all three ethnic groups,” reads the Muslim version of the event.

Chris Hedges War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

‘Nationalism means people see their own country’s history as different than others see it, even when they are in the same country.

In Shibuya Station 10 foot wide screens were flush mounted on walls about eight feet high and sometimes one image was displayed across all of them.

While other very large cities have great things, one thing that makes Tokyo unique is that you are free to wander all over the city to see the all the great things and not be worried about crime.

I regularly get my exercise by fast walking along the Alameda Creek levee, as so do many others. I do not know all of the people I see which is a good thing, knowing people always seems to get me in trouble. I had that conversation with someone other than myself about 1968.

The response was that other people thought knowing me got them into trouble, kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy so this way I can like the color, the gesture, the line and not have to be troubled by the detail of a relationship.

There are things we expect from a photograph and when we get them it feels like a photograph. When we do not get them, it feels like something is not right. When its a photograph of something that is not right, sometimes that is what we expect of a photograph such as a news photograph audit feels fine,

A photograph always feels the question “What is It?” while a painting, a drawing, a silk screen avoid those limitations, Knowing what something is, is often just having a name for it, I know what a horse is when I see one, I can say That is a horse,” but it does not mean I understand about horses. You do not need to expect anything from my photographs, there is no truth or nontruth to be experienced.

I cannot imagine riding a bike with rubber flip flops , whenI was young I rode a bike in my bare feet and scraped the tops of toes as they rounded over the front of the pedal on the concrete, just looking at this image makes my toes shudder and wince at the possible pain.

Either way and anyway makes as little sense or at least ends up at the same place, or I end up at the same place, alone and wondering where I am, and at least its not so confuisng.