Know bridge over ripples

Nihonbashi 日本橋

Nihon means Japan, Bashi means bridge.. Edo (now Tokyo) was, and Tokyo is, a city of rivers with roads connecting bridges over those rivers. Each bridge has a story to tell, a story often told on a plaque posted somewhere. Nihon means Japan and bashi means bridge—Japan bridge.

What does that mean?? Chinese characters do not use many parts of grammar used in phonetic languages, parts which are often used for more detailed information. That information is communicated in other ways.

If you have a Chinese or Japanese friend . . . and if you like poetry, . . . and if you have a book of Chinese or Japanese poetry with translation, ask your friend to sit with you and translate the poem—haiku works well because it is short—without looking at the book translation and then compare the two. My personal for Chinese poet would be Su Tung Po (1037–1101).

The differences and sames which will teach you about the poem, about the language and, most interesting, you will learn some insights into english words.

Do other people share a similar view of who I am? Am I different to different people? The former might be boring, the latter two faced.

Be diplomatic to initiate such an event, your friend might think you are “testing them” and be reluctant, but if can find a friend to do it, its a valuable experience. It has nothing to do with their English ability, its not about their proficiency with English, but the words that they select from their English vocabulary to fill in the details will give you insight into the English language.

Think of our paths, each uniquely winding around Earth, and how at the different places of intersections we look back at them and think —That’s not the real me!

Alameda Creek

Who am I to myself and compared to how others see me.

Its not really possible, there is no right or wrong answer. We cannot read the minds of others, and knowing our own mind is a difficult job in its own right.

I imagine that people who are successful in popular medium, especially as“personalities” have a disciplined approach to how they present themselves to others. Doing behavior “A” gets response “B” from others.

If a behavior “A” which always gets a behavior “B” from most others, and it fits a behavior used by popular media, some can become very popular.

On the other hand when you look at all the different people out there, popularity in popular media is not just about communicating with others, but with a lot of others, you need to find lowest common denominators, KISS—Keep it simple stupid.

Others are more concerned with their personal expression. The point is not to do any “some thing” to get popular but to do some “thing” which meets a standard —a professional standard, a skilled craft standard, the Scientific Method— basically a respected independent standard.

Can we do something which makes the world a better place and others do not appreciate it?

Or we do something which makes the world a worse place and become very popular . . .

The photograph is the unchanging gateway between the constantly changing past and future—the “reality” of the image is in the past but the hard copy image is in the present.


I can play this guitar, I can sing a few notes,
I’m old enough now in this country to vote
So I wrote me a song ’bout the white winged dove
And a toy gun for Christmas in place of love.

White Winged Dove Mark Spoelstra

In a public park, Maine about 1973, the grandson gets out the car and starts shooting his toy gun at people in the park.

Cynics would have us believe that altruism is rare. It seems possible, however, that the best of intentions are not nearly so rare as the wisdom that is necessary to implement them.

H.G. Creel Chinese Thought From Confucius to Mao-Tse-tung pub.1954

I picked my way over corpse after corpse in the gloom, until I heard one voice raised above the gentle undulating moaning. I found girl, she was a living skeleton, impossible to gauge her age for she had practically no hair left, and he face on a yellow parchment sheet with two holes in it for eyes . . . And beyond her down the passage and in the hut there were the convulsive movements of dying people too weak to raise themselves from the floor.

Richard Dimbleby, BBC reporter describing entering Belson concentration camp April 1945 THE EYE OF WAR Words and photographs from the Front Line

Feel, feel for your heart
Is it still beating
Or has it died
Dead in its shell
And is your blood wine
. . .
Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Poster, Cambridge, MA , 1971

Drink, drink you war mongers,
Cut with your cold blade of fear.
But your power is dyin’
So let it be told.
Your blood and your bones

Will age with decay
and rot in your soul.

Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Alone in the temple, trying to hide from the Heart Sutra:

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha


He was taking shower 
and when done 
he got to fly freely
with good dreams in the sky


poem and duck photos by Janney

In the classes I teach there is always a student who announces that photographs lie. “They do ?” I ask., “When was the last time one lied to you?” The answer always turns out to be that the caption was wrong or an advertising slogan was not to be believed or the scene recorded ran counter to the viewer’s expectations.  No one has yet remembered a photograph lying on its own, but I remember the last time I was lied to by a human  who looked me in the eye and told me something we both knew was not true. I remember it vividly. I remember my reaction. 
John Loengard     Pictures Under Discussion 

We walked in Coyote Hills, Janney is an artist, with an artistic eye

I on the other hand am, or was, a designer will little or no concern fore the responsibilities of photography, or art.

Janney gets a right moment,

I’m not proud, I will do anything I want to an image, mostly because often what I see is something I feel and not something I see in the camera.

When I see a Hopper painting with people I enjoy wondering what the people are feeling and thinking, but when I see an A. Wyeth painting with people in it I usually feel I know what they are feeling and thinking but I know I do not know. Disclaimer: I like both Wyeth and Hopper and have traveled distances to see their work.

Barns are interesting places, farmers regularly remodel the insides to work with changes in their farming, practice. Wesley would have cows for a few years, horses, and sometimes needed more storage or bought a new machine and each time remodel the inside of his barn.

This ad came up when I was clicking too fast and/or the browser was working too slow—501® Original Shrink-to-fit Levis, only 59.50 . I am 75, wearing 501s all of my life, or at least since I was in the 7th grade and given a monthly clothes allowance which meant I had to learn to budget in the summer for the winter. In the 7th grade 501s cost $3.05/pair where I lived, only shrink-to-fit was available with no returns after washing.

In Ameyoko Plaza, Ueno, Levis 501s range from $125.74 to $275.28, with 10% off. (Today’s prices, photo from November 2018)

Once a work is completed it must always become the possession of others, not of the creator, This holds true for both scholars and artists. If people were truly adverse to this they would keep their most beloved creations to themselves, locked away in their minds and studios, and this would only be fitting and right. Deciding whether there is such a concealed work  is one of the key points to determining whether there is creativity or not. 
Issey Miyake Bodyworks    Shōzō Tsurumoto, editor

Just about everyday since Spring 2007—when I moved my office home—I fast walk along Alameda Creek. I get on at Beard Rd Staging , about 75 yards from my house and I can go about 7 miles either way—west to Coyote Hills or east past Niles.

Since the Covad19 the levee has become very different with more people I do not know, more people I do not recognize and as I get older it takes more time to do the four miles . . .

I listen to podcasts, for many years I listened to The Archers (BBC) and Bloomberg Surveillance, Coved19 changed the interactive format of The Archers and while Bloomberg Surveillance was good investment information by the time the market opens its generally outdated information. This year is Water Margin, and working on Three Kingdoms.

The more fine, true wool, the better the fleece. The more kemp, the coarser the yarn, since a large medulla means a coarse and brittle fiber. Furthermore, the fineness of the short wool fibers, expressed by the average diameter of the strands, and the amounf of crimp  or curd are also important. Tight, curly wool is more difficult to handspin than long straight fibers.
Old Navajo Rugs Marian E, Rodee

Every year for the past four years sheep and goats, separately of course, are hired to graze along the Alameda Creek trail. the sheep get along with each other, but the goats will pick fights.

Last week this turkey vulture discovered a dead turtle —turkey vultures do not kill prey , they lack the claws to do it . . .

. . . but they have no problem harrassing and stealing from each other .

A young man walking his dog, over the past 12 years I have met a lot of different people, he is very proud of his dog.

They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty steps within the somber depths of the forest and then cooked some bacon in the frying pan for supper and used up half of the corn “pone” stock they had brought. It seemed glorious sport to be feasting in the wild free way in the virgin forest of an unexlplred and uninhabitated island, far from the haunts of men and they said they never would return to civilization . . .

. . . “Its just the life for me ” said Tom.  “You don’t have to get up mornings  and you don’t have to go to school and wash and all that blame foolishness.”
Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  © 1920 Mark Twain Company. Grosset & Dunlap  Publishers by arrangement with Harper & Brothers —my copy, eat your heart out, its letterpress and deckled edges.

San Francicso along Market Street, maybe ten years ago, and I think all my life no matter how much I stretched I could never sit like that
, no , actually just kidding, I wonder what he is doing now. Every time I see my photos of kids I remember the moment and I think how old is the image and I say a prayer of hope for their lives.

A Japanese gardener in my neighbor, he used to be my neighbor until he moved but he still works around the neighborhood. We bought a pine tree, a Japanese maple and a Japanese plum tree from him. He told me when he moved I could have all the “Japanese small stones ” I could carry from his driveway for the path in our Japanese garden. He has a lot of patience, he worked on this little pine for over an hour, I think he knows every needle.

When I see someone like this, I am thankful they are doing this job, she directed me to the bathroom . . .

. . .you could say I no what I am looking fore, but it took me until 12 years after I graduated from high school, another three years of design school, one year at a Boston printer to learn about ink being placed on paper, then 35 years as Steve Naegele Design. Often when I was on press check looking for small little things like broken type, is the screen mix tint the same across the flat and other things to make the page more perfect, earning more in one hour than many people on this earth made in month . . . and for some in a year.

. . . or we could just hope to hear someone say:

Gate Gate,

Discontent and its civilizations

Rice dumplings are given as gifts during The Dragon Boat Festival, in memory of the suicide of man who was a respected poet and government minister.
Gifts for The Dragon Boat Festival (端午节) by Janney

Its pretty amazing that human beings take time away from killing each other, from stealing from each other, from fighting each other, and etc., to spend enough time in some “social order” to produce the basic things necessary for survival, not just for themselves but for a civilization to exist — procreation, food, shelter—the basic things necessary for survival of a civilization.

Or you could say while most people are good, people “naturally live in order,” but it’s too bad that some people are bad and we need to protect ourselves from those few bad people.

And then others say people are naturally bad and to achieve order an authoritarian structure of enforcement is necessary.

How to protect the good people from the bad people so everything runs smoothly, so the basic stuff gets done. i.e what is “social order.” How to together it and how to maintain it?

Laws are the legitimate rules which are enforced, “if or when necessary” by any means necessary. What happens when the laws are bad, or maybe just not good, and enforcing the law becomes worse than the crimes of which the subjects are accused.

Imagine how different it was for a “traditional society” with few family members, all clearly and definitely stratified by their age and family differences, a place where everyone knew how to be, as compared to a modern society where individuals are in multiple overlapping groups, taking different roles in different groups and sometimes called upon to personally invent new roles.

After 400,000 years humans have have created and destroyed gazillions of different groups, all increasingly more diverse and more complicated. The thing that is “social order” is culture —where there are human beings behaving together there develops, like a field—like a gravitional field from which emerges a constantly changing structure of astronomical behaviour — a constantly changing structure of human behaviour.

Most people “know how to behave,” much of that “knowledge”we never even think about, or sometimes we think about it too much (worry), but mostly we do it naturally as if its human nature . . .?? but what is “human nature” . . .

Does human nature need to be consistent over 400,000 years? Even over my 75 years I have witnessed radical social behavior changes, changes which occurred fast enough that most people do not know there has been a change, it just ay things are , mostly we think our feelings, and responses are the same as people before us. In our everyday life we sort out the “natural” from the “changeable” but sometimes in different ways.

There are different levels to see it, no one 1500 years ago felt excited “riding a motorcycle” but use a more comprehensive abstract term and say “a thrill, ” and categorize it as a “basic human nature” even though it is expressed differently empirically right in front of our eyes—and you are fitting a higher level categorical abstraction to express a basic human nature.

One part of a person adapts to society, another part does not, its not the exact same part from person to person, but there is enough commonality to establish a set of standards to enable a social order —where each individual, in varying degrees and in a varying balance, is a divided self.
It was 18th century German philosophers/social scientists who saw modern society and suggested that culture, the force that enabled human survival by generating commonness in behaviour, also separated and repressed the individual from his/her real self—alienation.

Ki-seto shuki (guinomi and tokkuri) by father and son Kagami Shukai and Kagami Masakane. In Japan there is Kyoto style pottery and “folk” pottery, both have their respected space. Seto is an old city known for its history of pottery, sometimes pottery will be referred to as seto-yaki—Seto fired thing. Seto is known for many styles of pottery, such as Oribe, Shino, Ki-seto, seto-guro, and sometimes just referred to as Seto style. Mino, an area next to Seto developed the same styles of pottery about the same time, people will also use the term Mino-yaki, I find myself often using the term Seto/Mino.

A Dragon Boat for the Dragon Festival, which is on the gift day of the fifth month (Chinese calendar), Dragon boat painting by Janney.

With one tiny stick
To arrange the air over the eating shed
And the evil part of the earth around it
So that at last
Not even the stick is left.

poem by Kenneth Patchen

Found in transmisalation

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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







Ill lose shun or just another rejected remedy

Its a photograph!!,


an image created by passing light through a lens.  Its process like silk screen or etching.


A moment in time, a visual record that I can see over and over again


I was told this  young man died in a car accident in NYC  shortly after this photo was taken in Western Massachusetts  about 1972.



Almost everyday I walk along Alameda Creek trail, twelve years ago when I started I used to do four miles in about 50 minutes, now its about 70 minutes


Its still as real as it was then, but its a photograph . . .


of something, a photograph of a house is also a photograph of the sky, of trees, but people will generally, when they say its a photograph of _______ they say  its a photograph of the most complete, comprehensive  thing in the image,


Perhaps they say it that way because  people commonly assume a photograph is an image of something , its really a thing.


What is a thing?? We all know what a thing is, daily we use the word  even when we do not know what it means, or even when we do not share a common meaning..


Think of all the nouns we have in our language, and that languages all over the world have nouns.


Sky, clouds, and feet




People, usually  hired by the government,  put paint  on the streets and as time goes by it wears expressing something different than its original purpose


There can be all kinds of things make up one  thing — pottery


Loneliness is a thing,


A chance interaction?; a professional relationship?;  neighbors meeting in the park?


There should have been  moments when I took my self  seriously when  I could not connect future and present and was hiding from past.


The camera is a window to see into yourself or  its just a joke or a sutra or Gutei’s finger.


It was said of Gutei:

Gutei cheapens the teaching of Tenryū,
Emancipating the boy with a knife.
Compared to the Chinese god who pushed aside a mountain with one hand
Old Gutei is a poor imitator.