No know Noh fore shame

Seal script is an older style of Chinese writing, Early writing everywhere was probably made with a finger.   a stick or a bone  in sand or mud or scraping something onto or off a surface such as a hard stone on a soft boulder and  writing was  taking something away from a surface or adding something to it.

Brush by Janney


Many Chinese characters were created during stick or stone period and later the brush enabled more artistic variation. During this time there was also a geographical/political  consolidation of character meanings to create a common written language alongside different spoken languages.

The phonetic visual experience is more like a minimal artist’s preliminary sketch compared to the visual experience of the Chinese character being more like a painting containing more complex information but less specific detail than a phonetic sentence.  A reader must on their own interpret the contextual relationship meanings of the characters through the expression of the calligrapher.

Brush by Janney


 Most people think of science as a “bunch of facts about the universe that you memorize, and its such a pain that many would rather be dong something else. 


Instead think of science as A Way of Knowing, as opposed to a bunch of facts and what we call scientific knowledge, or facts, change through time because improvements in the way science knows things changes (improves?).


For hundreds of  thousands of years air was considered nothing, we called it air,  people looked across the land and saw a mountain and we could see it because there was nothing in between, and then it turns out there are a bunch of small particles the human eye cannot see;  science and technology developed  by science enabled us to “see” them , i.e. to “know” them. 


The one thing that separates scientific “knowing”  from all others is  every human being (almost) has the same natural sensual capabilites to experience  the universe through our five senses—seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting  and touching.


Scientific methodology is based on using the common  human  senses—human tools— for experiencing the universe, a common subject-object  relationship.


I see, touch, smell , taste and hear and you  see, touch, smell, taste and hear and that experience is similar enough for all humans to constitute a reality.


This is different than having a dream or a religious experience. While we all have faith and feelings and we all have dreams, those  experiences are unique to the individual while the sense experiences among humans are common.

By setting rules for methodological commonality science increases its own ability to experience the universe and remake itself while  faith and belief only  require the same  “commitment ” over and over,   through time, never growing, never learning,


Scientific methodology uses only information from empirical experiences which anyone can have. I tell you I see a red car and you look over and see a red car and even if  you do not look you will accept that I saw a red car.  It works.


I have a (sleeping) dream that a dog is going to bite me, You cannot have that dream. I may “believe” that a dog will bite me  but if you are driving us to work and my fear wants you to drive 30 minutes out of our way, you will not do it.  It would be a waste of  your time because you do not “know” i.e. do not  believe,  that a dream  is an acceptable method of knowing,  at least not good enough on which to waste 30 minutes of your  life.


Scientists agree that they will only use sensual data using the five senses and technological tools which are extensions of those senses.

Furthermore, they agree to accurately  and in enough detail to report the conditions under which the sensual experience occurred so that another scientist can duplicate the experience and see if they had the same experience or at least so another scientist can evaluate their methodology.


The scientific method is a common and specific set of behavioral standards as well as a commitment to a common and specific set of behavioral standards be used in “knowing.” And anyone using the scientific methodology can check anyone else.


The “How science knows” capabilities  are  increased by the“ what science knows” through developing  technological  innovations which increases the ability of science  to critic itself, to experience inmate detail and results n unending updating of scientific knowledge, When science “disproves” its own  knowledge  the result is increased knowledge, not destruction of knowledge.


Still many questions cannot be answered  by science, The future is unknown, there may be some people somewhere who “guess”  it correctly but science is the most practical and consistently correct  methodology for prediction.


Still somehow for many it does not seem to matter how accurately the future can be predicted, some just do not care what it is.


gate gate paragate
bodhi svaha

Zen, know weighting

He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them needs religion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The nice thing about starting with a famous quote rather  than an illustration is that, generally, in popular communication, words are more ambiguous, not as precise and definitive, as a photograph although I am the exception in that generally  I want my photographs to be visually ambiguous, though I am not sure that really makes any  difference, it just  makes me feel better, so selfish and willful of me.

painting by Janney


Generally people consider a photograph (also video or film) to be more visually factual than a painting, drawing or other forms of visual representation.

What’s real here? A young man more enthralled with his phone than seeing four beautiful girls? Or  “girl is wearing blue jeans, light blue hoodie, white slip-on shoes . . . ”

The latter is more visually accurate than the former but the former is more interesting.


A feeling of a single duck, then and again is a single duck really a feeing? I feel like a single duck . . . out of water. . .


Along Alameda Creek, There is a path above the wall, and a tall  fence   so to get theirs concrete roof you have to walk around  the side,  Teenagers like to be there in groups or by themselves. For awhile before the virus  a couple  of young men were sporadically pitching a tent on the right  bottom side.


“Now my mother just took the chickene and wrung it around in her hand like this (demonstrates) and cut it up in no time and got it ready, but I couldn’t do it. I had to step on the head and pull it off if my husband wasn’t there to kill it.”
Feeding Our Families     Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

In the area  I live people expect the vegetables they buy in the supermarket to be  washed, when I was young  it was SOP to buy vegetables with dirt on them, and it was common  to wash them yourself.

I have walked along Alameda Creek levee for many years meeting a lot of people.   Everyone has a life,  a story or two to tell—there is always a difference “’tween the doin’ and the tellin’.”


“The biggest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution that has to start with each one of us.”
Dorothy Day     Co-founder of Catholic Worker Movement

Is this what you do on a date? Or perhaps its mother and son, either one  . . .  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? What is it that is intrusive perhaps that you would be uncomfortable if someone —a stranger?  your spouse? a professional situation at photo shot?


“When I was a child, I remember butchering was quite a day. The neighbors were great to help people out and the women always came along.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers

The path takes a turn, a stem  or a stope  and follows the water to down a  ways,  then turns right, goes behind the buildings  you see at the corner of Alverado-Niles Road and Decoto—there’s a Shell station with car wash on the corner,  an Indian grocery store and I do not remember what else.

In much of the world people ride bikes for transportation and use them for transport of goods, in my neighborhood they ride them for exercise and enjoyment.


“We thought it was a great thing when we got far enough along that she would buy a butter mold. I remember ours had a carving  on the mold part, of a pineapple.  She would mold it and put it out on a plate, cover it up, and take it to the cellar until it was needed.”
Feeding Our Families    Memories of Hoosier Homemakers


A mother  with her baby in the rain making a selfie with the baby facing her so the photograph will not show the baby’s face. This is why people are so interesting.


When I was young I used to think, “Why do people do the things they do?”  Is there a cause,  some kind of a reason why?  Having done things in my life that I cannot understand why I did them, how can I be so presumptuous . . . to think I could understand things I know less about than my own experiences which I know more about and fail to understand . . .

painting by Janney


. . . or maybe I did not know more about my own experiences and that is why I failed to understand.

Around and behind the west side of Sensoji is a little store,  Does it make a difference whether you see it close . . .


or from a distance.  Do you think this photograph intrudes on someone’s personal space? Is there an “independent objective” standard for personal space? Is it how the other person feels?. . .

and how do you know how the other person feels?—because your “conscience”  is a common shared sense for empathy, compassion and remorse.

What happens when this “common sense” is abused?  Can it be abused for good as well as bad? or just for fun.

For me it was simply framing the woman’s face between the shelves through the front glass, nothing about who she is, how she feels or any wisdom she might have learned in her life.


I wonder what it would be like to live next to a railroad  track, at least when the trains are on time there is a schedule  to your disruptions but I would not like be planning  my behavour around the schedule of a train.


Houses amid hi-rises, wires, vending machines, and a temple  in Honjo, there are a lot of people Tokyo, land is valuable and expensive, What happens when temples or shrines need to sell their land to pay the bills?

Daily people walk by and walk through temples and shrines, daily they experience what it feels  to be Japanese. When many Japanese daily walk by a local temple they do not feel  the  differences  between the different “sects,”  its just being  Japanese.

 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

Houses in Tokyo.


 In the US religions are more focused on their differences and when there is a mix of religion and nationalism it is something used against other religions to further division. 

These things used to be more important in my life, or  I liked to pretend they were more important in my life, as you can see smoking was important my in life THEN,

It was probably shortly after this that I quit,


In that sense, without much sense,  or in sense  too often its only me, with my hands in my pockets and my camera in the shadows, standing on the side of the road  watching the parade go by.




Zen know shelter-do

The spring flower,
Dancing in the wind. Parting,
I remember, its beauty
Lasts the whole year.

painting by Janney


The shelter-at-home on your own terms is in force in Fremont, The first few days there were many families walking on the levee along Alameda  Creek, many who did not know I walk  there every day, like a tree along the way, and they ignored my hello.


Often in my photographs the viewer is not asked  to be concerned about identifying specific people or things . You do not have to know them, you do not even have to ask yourself the question Who  or what are they?

alamedaCreek6796_24%ppi100B800.jpgThere is no vicarious experience to have from these images, and perhaps no important information about some thing.


Once when I was young, a woman said to me,  “I would like to be with you when are taking photographs.” My images would never be in a travel publication, a marketing brochure for a traveler’s paradise, Architectural Digest or even on an advertising postcard for a real estate agent . . .


nor  the image, and probably not a desire-to-be-with-me prompted by seeing the image. People see my photographs differently than they see me, well after they get to no me anyway.


Maybe when you see the image you think its a waste of your time, a waste of my time, a waste of a camera that could be in hands of a good photographer.

Even if I figure out what it is there is nothing for me to no . . 


“The art of making pictorial statements in a precise and repeatable form is one we have long taken for granted in the West. But it is forgotten that without prints and blueprints, without maps and geometry, the world of modern sciences and technologies would hardly exist.”
 Understanding Media   Marshal McLuhan

We commonly use the word “graphic” to mean an image, and more so to the specific information in a specific image but actually the word means an image that can be reproduced  consistency in a media. The word means the process —silkscreen, woodblock, offset, digital print to computer screen and without regard to the information in the image.


The image is printed consistently enough that people see it the same . . .and according to McLuan that creates a qualitative difference in the structure of human relationships.


in the case of a brand graphic such as logo, people share the same visual meaning of the image—Company A— while their thinking and/or emotional experiences maybe different.


For McLuhan the importance is that the same image is consistently printed everywhere it is printed. Consider what happened to Penny’s when they changed their logo, it was an unprofessional job, for technical reasons it could not be printed consistently ——ads, website, mailers, plastic bags, badges, were not just dissimilar to the common eye, but the differences were visual technical difficulties in quality control when printing on various media resulting in a common visual experience of lack of control and general  sloppiness.  A logo must look and feel the same everywhere it is printed, no matter the capabilities or lack of capabilities of different printing process.


Along Alameda Creek, between 880  and Isherwood is not a wealthy, or a poor area,  yet for me, and many others, having immediate  access to this experience, funded by Regional Parks taxpayer fees as part of  county property taxes, is a greatly appreciated   valuable asset.


Somewhere in or around Skytree, could even be the MacDonald’s, it feels like spying on someone and yet you do not get any “valuable” personal information, as a photograph  its a “waste of time” so to speak,


Or could it be over responsive when seeing  photograph where instead of the eye feeling it, the mind classifies and categorizes until it has identified everything and given it a name— “knowing” the image becomes more a thinking experience than a visual one.

Yasukuni Jinja (Yasakuni Shrine), one rainy morning—shrines, jinja,  are Shinto, temples, ji,  are Buddhist.


A shrine built  to summon the souls of those who gave their lives fighting for Japan  in the Boshin War of 1868–1869 through the First Indochina War of 1946–1954.


Later I walked to  Zojoji or Zojo-ji—English translations include “Temple” but “ji” means temple, its redundant— where President Grant and Vice-President Bush planted trees on the grounds . . . It features one of the most serene Buddhas I have ever seen.

Perhaps the visual image many have of Buddha is a person sitting zazen, but don’t you think Buddhas do other things too. Certainly if Buddhas are as great as people say, then shouldn’t they  be able to multi-task, do mulitple things are one time? Should God allow  them to only do one thing?

Why not a statute of a Buddha eating? pissing? working at the post office? maybe you think Buddhas don’t work—Daruma said “Buddhas don’t do good, Buddhas don’t do bad.”


Buddhas do other things too and just how many hours can you sit zazen? Ummon said “Siting blankly in Zen practice is the condition of the devil.” Well, Daruma sat nine years wall-gazing.

The Heart Sutra says,
In emptiness there is no form,
no sensations, no perception, n mental patterns, and no consciousness;
no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, . . .

Behind  Zojoji  is Tokyo Tower. . .  a young Eve plucking the apple of knowledge!  
Cuidado! God does not like curious women . . .


Why do you think there are differences between men and women?  What does it mean for survival in a society ? Other than being able to  “find/produce food, shelter,” there must be some reason for the differences, or is it just a random event like everything else in the universe. Why do these atoms keep coming together to produce men and women?


Does defending  against other people who are trying to kill you and steal your food and shelter count as survival?

Perhaps not really, human survival is not dependent upon whether the good people or the bad people win, but rather do both or either one survive and nature could care less. which one. It does not matter whether its you, or me, or them, except to you or me or them.  World Peace. who could imagine it would be so difficult.


During this Covad-19 Corona virus crisis many people are going to their jobs to provide others, like me, with essentials we need to survive, we cannot make our own food, we cannot dispose of our garbage, working at food stores, in medical and elder care jobs  and many people at these jobs are there, placing their lives at greater risk, not out of the  goodness of their hearts, but because society defines their jobs as low paying (unessential??) jobs and they cannot afford not be there,

Maybe this needs to  be reconsidered .

Less zendemic

“Literate man naturally dreams of visual solutions to the problems of human differences.”

“Electronic man. by becoming ever more deeply involved in the actualities of the human condition, cannot accept the literate cultural strategy.”

Marshall McLuhan   The Gutenberg Galaxy 


Painting by Janney,

Under the willow,
the cat watches the birds,
the house watches the cat.
Flowers bloom.


One of the things about human beings is the practice of differentiating tings one from the other and giving them  a name, and then declaring doing this means you understand the “thing.*
Finding myself skulking around in the closet, sometimes what I do behind my back is more interesting . 


The concept of thing is pretty weird in itself.

No two things are exactly  alike, even if the only “thing” which differentiates them is their place in space, a descriptive fact  we do not know—we cannot measure  the position and the velocity of “thing” at the same time.


Of course that is science.

You may not “believe” in science and say its human will, not God’s will.


When you drive your car and approach a stop sign do  you and do you  put your foot on the brake or do you pray to God to stop the car?


Knowing requires noing,.


Science is not about what it knows, but how it knows what it knows.

They are equal things.


Science has the category of “thing” it calls facts, a discrete “thing” established through a  common method and meeting a formally accepted standard.


In science that standard is always challenged, and open to challenge. Reasons may include :

Regular human mistakes;

The process of  putting unknown things  in a group and when there are more we find differences among them and create new “things”;

Each new “scientific discovery” enables us to see the universe differently,  not just new “things,”  but we see the old “things” differently; and many other reasons.

I think its likely to go on forever.


Science is empirical, it means the process of knowing is sensual, through our senses— seeing, hearing, touching , smelling or hearing. Generally people have these abilities in a common range of capabilities and any  “scientific knowledge” can be tested again by any person who is willing and capable to  commit to the standards of science.


Science is a “democratic” methodology  of knowing as opposed to religion which is an “authoritarian” methodology of knowing.  In science you discover, enjoy and share knowing; in religion you are told what to know and to accept it on faith.

Still from a (western?) religious point of view discovering, enjoying  and sharing knowing  the universe is what got people into trouble  (with God) in the first place.


The “believing ” part of science is not about the knowledge but about the “process of knowing” or methodology. As an increase  in scientific knowledge  always increases  the capabilities of our sensual experiences, this methodology  means that scientific  knowledge  will always change.

This is different than S. Hawking says —I have  a cassette of lectures and some books—  regarding  knowing the universe, while philosophy was ahead of science, now science  is ahead of philosophy and would be until science knows  “every” “thing” about the universe and that end was foreseeable to Hawking,

I do not agree him, but then why should I bother my self with this issue, who is he compared to me . . .


I am just too busy looking at the world and finding myself.


Oh the awkwardness of it all, would you think I am invading someone’s privacy here   for a selfish reason such as to see myself?


I like to stand on the corners of Powell and California where pedestrians, bicycles, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and cable cars approach from all four sides approaching from steep  inclines or declines, and while there are traffic lights, they are blinking, no one who approaches  knows what to do, and are often frozen in place trying to figure it out . . . and the people behind them, who know or even don’t know  what is happening  but are about to find out, are frustrated.

And, there is a little building for an attendant who is there sometimes, some times not, and often when he was there—and I was there— he parked his blue BMW in a spot on the corner which interfered with the traffic flow often forcing two-lane traffic into one lane.


Do you think I look for something which I can never have? Or something I had and lost?  Maybe I was not capable of dealing with the situation?  allowed my feelings to control me?  or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Sometimes is just  enough to not confuse me with my self—someone once said “The ego is the id on horse back.”


My meal finished, one short nap,
then getup for two bowls of tea.
I raise my head, look at the sun,
already declining in the southwest.
|The happy man regrets the swiftness of the days,
the sad man hates the year for dragging,
But the man neither happy or sad
accepts the life given him, long or short.

Po Chu-I  ( March 3,  772- September 8, 846)
Burton Watson translation











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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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, 


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 . . .


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, 


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, 


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.


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.


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 


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.”


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.