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.

Dharma drama doubts fore fewer miszens

If everyone was enlightened, there would be no common or garden human beings. All would be Buddhas or bodhisattvas. Strictly speaking, the impossibility  of this is due to the incompetence of the Zen masters. The customer is never wrong.
R. H. Blyth     Zen and Zen Classics    Volume Two

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Sometimes it feels like the information is incorrect.

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“Bacon’s allusion to scientific discovery as a children’s game brings us close to another of his basic notions, that as man lost his Eden through pride he must regain it by humility: . . .”
Marshall McLuhan,  The Gutenberg Galaxy

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No matter how much I searched the idea still did not make any cents. what is yo expect from a photograph? Gratitude?  Self punishment? Sex? or maybe some praise and self confidence.

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An independent  standard for knowing based on the common human senses creates the opportunity for anyone to know whose standard for their own behaviour follows scientific procedure. No longer are “secret insight,” “God told me,” “my gut feeling,” etc. acceptable for knowing.

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Then, from some unexpected place something we love pulls us off our way.

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Daily I walk along Alameda Creek, I enter at Beard Road Staging, and walk four miles—not necessarily the same four miles—if I am by myself, do not stop  take a photo or talk to someone, it takes about hour now—in 2007 it used to be 52 minutes.

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Many people in this neighborhood are staying  at  home everyday now and daily traffic along the trail has become like weekend traffic.

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I walk everyday, and already since the start of staying home  have had a few first level encounters. Not everyone shares the same set of rules for behavior  along the trail  and many think their rules are the ones others should follow.

Ah, People!! Can’t live with them and can’t live without them

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Moreever, it is constructed in such a way, with large empty jars underneath to become a resonant sounding board; thus, by stamping his feet, the actor can produce a hollow thud which, at  climatic moments, it becomes a dramatic effect.
Describing the Noh performance floor     Japanese Theatre in Highlight     Francis Haar

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Can you tell what people are like from seeing their front door?

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Sometimes its even more difficult to judge the accuracy of the information …than it was tomorrow.

 

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Other times its clear when know one wants to hear.

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I think the more complete line, “I’m leavin’ this town runnin’ ‘cause walkin’s mos’ too slow” was  commonly used in early 20th century blues songs. Maybe there weren’t so many copyright and ownership laws then, songs were less individualistic, more of a group effort, with a more commonly shared creative process..

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Individualists use the magic of words and music to bond vicariously convincing their experience,—which you cannot have—is better than your experience —which you do have—and you can live their experience through them, or at least by buying their song or attending their performances . . .

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Only later to find out their experiences were actually worse than ours,  we feel sorry for them and, again,  later, their pain was all a PR campaign.

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Any “understanding of human behavour” suggests that each and every human being has an uncontrollable force that makes them all behave the same way in the same situation—Its Human Nature!! or Where are we all the same.

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What is it that keeps people together? individually . . . or socially . . .

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Why is the word made of To, Get, and Her .

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What is it that keeps them alone . . .

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There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone.. . .

If I knew the way I would take you home

Ripple
   Jerome J. Garcia  and  Robert C. Hunter

Solely my opinion, best commercial pop song is “Imagine”, the right song for the right time for the world,” but the second would be “Ripple” —“Its a hand me down” for so elegantly reminding us of what poets have been saying through human history.

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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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Unbounded fore empty heart

Form is emptiness; Emptiness is form.
Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhisvaha
from The Heart Sutra

It seems a “natural instinct’ that when many people see a photograph they miss the “visual experience” because the brain has already thought, defined the experience and classified it into a word.

A tree, a house, some high school kids, rocks, fence, sky, windows, blinds, slate roof, a path, —Now I know what this photograph is!!

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Ready or knot? it happens anyway—everything we experience is experienced through our body and whatever our body cannot experience we cannot experience it, i.e. we cannot know it.  Probably we can never know if there are things we cannot experience  even if we do experience all the things of The Universe, we probably cannot know we are there.

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When people see a photograph do they say “I like the way the line gets thicker and then thinner as it moves  upward” or do they say “That’s a house” or “What is it?”

Still, when you see a photograph, recognize what it is or not,  it has a specific and consistent  “feel” to it, it has a common shared unique character which is not shared by other graphic techniques.

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The painter or drawer or other graphic artist is responsible for every aspect  of the information in their work, in a photograph there is always something out of the photographer’s control.

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Still things out of control can be experienced as something real.

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When the Heart Sutra says:
All dharma have the nature of emptiness:
They are  not born or destroyed,
not impure  or pure,
not complete or incomplete.
One could think:
The Universe has the nature of emptiness:
It is not born or destroyed,
It is not impure  or pure,
It is not complete or incomplete.

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The Universe is stuff, actually it is all of the stuff,  yet this specific arrangement of electrons and atoms and molecules that sits in a chair typing this computer wonders if there  is stuff that is not the Universe?

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By definition the word Universe means everything, i.e.  that means by definition there is not. People made up words, words are abstract, definitive while being ambiguous symbols people use to communicate with each other and to make records.

 

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OK!!! The word God is not God but then just because there is a word for God does not mean there is a God.

So how did this specific group  of atoms come together to be me?
Or you?
Or him or her?
Or them?

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. . . in emptiness there is no form,
no sensation, no  perception, no mental patterns, and no consciousness;
no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, and no mind;
no form,  no sound, no smell, no taste, no feeling, and no thought;
no element of eye,
up to no element of mind-consciousness;

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. . . no ignorance,
no end  to ingnorance,
up to no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death; 
no suffering, no cause, no stopping, and no path;
no wisdom and attainment.

And so on, I am sure you get the idea, as The Great Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra tells us.

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I can chant those words of The Heart Sutra— Are those words  more real than any other words I—this set of atoms differentiated from all the other atoms in the universe— might sound from my mouth ?

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What gives this set of atoms, or perhaps this class of atoms—human beings on earth— any right to differentiate themselves from all of the other atoms of the universe, . . .

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and then how bizarre for this set of atoms to categorize and classify all the other atoms  in The Universe and “Our Experience Is The Truth?” But that is what people do, right or wrong, good or bad, even if there is no right or wrong or good or bad. They just do it.

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1st, it is not Truth. Whatever the Truth of The Universe is, human beings are both it and not it. 2nd . . .

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this is what human beings are, this is what they—we—do and this is what enabled their—our— survival—differentiate real from fake.

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Words both enlighten and confuse . . .

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and people do good and do bad while Buddhas do not do good and do not do bad —maybe the Buddha Mind is whenever atoms do not come together to form a sentient being,  but that would be discrimination—I will go unbounded just to tell you something you already know.

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Know foe tow too, day

As a child in the 1950s  my family visited Mackinac Island, there was no bridge then , you tooth ferry from the mainland to the island, We drove up there, camped out, woke up at 3AM to get in an automobile line to get on the ferry. Sometime this line of cars on the road could be very long, no cars were  allowed on the island but I cannot remember where cars were parked or why they would even on be the ferry. Maybe there was a parking lot where people left their cars  and then got on the ferry.

People would start lining their cars up about 3AM, often with thermoses of coffee and  maybe something to eat, there might even be people with  the ability to cook—there were not enough motels for the tourist season, it was not an urban area and there were campgrounds—tourist time would be summer, and in the hours between sun rise and opening of the ferry service, people would put their car in line, turn off the ignition, get out  of the car with coffee, maybe a donut or something home cooked and stand around and talk to each other. As the ferry opening time approached while  talking with others they would be increasingly  sneaking glances watching for some tell tale movement in the line—having conversations where  the story you tell cannot be too long as it might not be finished.

But this image was in Cambridge, MA, 1971

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Someone made pottery  with their hands and fired it, some one attached it to the wall, straight, somewhere SOMA in San Francisco

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Memorial Day Parade, 1970, Marshall MN. When I was young there would a parade, usually local  groups involved in community affairs and/or representing some local interest  would have a contingent  walking in the parade. At the end  would be kids with their bikes decorated with  colored crepe paper.

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Cambridge Wall circa 1972, probably somewhere between Harvard  and Central  Squares

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James 1970, Haymarket, one afternoon

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James before or after beard,

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James 2015

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James in San Francisco, 2015

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Myles, 1973,  photograph by James. I have had this image for many years . . . to me  it feels like the 1960, or maybe what they could have been or graciously were not.  it usually hangs on a wall somewhere in my house, though not now—when we installed a new floo, everything got packed into boxes and moved to the garage, stuff had been accumulating for 20+ years and it is coming back in slowly, sparingly and cautiously.

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Brooklyn,  photograph by James. He walked around, met people and made a photograph. jamed002_800

Last week  on national news there was a crime event reported which occurred in  Strong, or Farmington ME and  also mentioned Franklin County,   I forgot, nor could I find it on one google search,  but its the same time of the year as this image, County Fair,  circa 1970.

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The busy street, late afternoon shadows from tall buildings,  and people strangers to each other but sharing a reason  to be in the same area at the same time—here no one is attacking or abusing  an other person.

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They were discussing money outside her place of employment, or maybe she owned it, there was not enough time  to assess the situation and while it probably  was none of my business they were speaking loud enough to make it my business  . . .

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The new Sales Force building attracts  people,  three young women and a baby  but if you are walking around, and listen, you ar  just as likely to hear three women walking and talking about business  strategies . . .

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One afternoon, the end of my day walk , somewhere down on Market street near a BART station entrance  this man was texting himself, or thats what he told me, I did not look at the screens . . .   the arrows point up, the sign says “from above” but he is  not seeking something from above.

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“A potter should start with an intuitive concept—he/she  thinks of a combination of shape, pattern, and color which will answer a given need futility and beauty at one and the same time.”

 Beyond East & West   Bernard Leach

Maybe it applies to whatever you do, including making mannequins for store window displays. Personally  I  prefer A Potter’s Handbook  to his memoirs.

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Mom lived in a memory care facility  for a few years,  after lunch we would sometimes retire to her room, sit and talk . . . the wall hanging is from South Africa, the design uses simple contrasts to express  the visual experience— 7 sheep, three trees,  four houses with one house bigger and lighter contrast to 3 smaller, but the same shape and color, and the mountains contrast pointy and round.

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