Know shuns are dones

News thoughts on the way down

Searching boxes in my garage, I came across some of my old clippings from newspaper. How sad this one .from September 1985—Japanese dancer Yoshiyuki Takada falling to his death during a performance . He fell five or six stories depending on the reporting, What was consistent in reporting was that he held this position the whole way down.
This would have been the last photograph of him alive.

For me this image immediately came to mind:

Along about springtime (1963), the monks began to hint that they were going to pull off something spectacular by way of protest ...
The monks were telephoning the foreign correspondents in Saigon to warn them that something big was going to happen. Most of the correspondents were kind of bored with that threat after a while and tended to ignore it. I felt that they were certainly going to do something, that they were not just bluffing, so it came to be that I was really the only Western correspondent that covered the fatal day.””

If anything this image is a reminder that sometimes just showing up is enough.

photo by Malcolm Browne Vietnam 1963 Malcom Browne/AP

Elizabeth Cotton 01/05 /1893 – 06-29 871987)
lI the 1960s, finger picking “freight Train” as she created it was common for hopeful folk guitar players, She was a living legend. I experienced her in Newport Folk Festival, 1984 or 1985, both on stage and in a workshop.“

She learned music as a young child, but did not begin her professional career until in her 60s—to the fortune of folk music and the bewnefit of the US in general—when she was employed in the musical family of the Seeger household where the children called her “Libba.”

Sometime in the mid 1980s, a rock concert, what is the point of these images?—Do you think this guy is a model hired by the reporter or a “real kid gamester? Every photograph represent some side of being human. This young man is , or was, some mother’s son, maybe someone’s brother, and maybe someone’s killer— Perhaps he was all three things at one time.

Alameda Creek

All of the photographs on Earth, are each a frozen moment of time permanently connecting the past to a future.

We see the printed photographic image because our “eyes can see” the light reflected off the image of the print (the medium). It gives us meaning because our mind finds meaning in the image. On l seeing a photograph, unconsciously the mind will ask “What is it?” and unconsciously seek an answer.

Daibai asked Baso, “What is the Buddha?”
Baso answered, “The mind is the Buddha.

Mumonkan Case XXX Blyth translation

The photograph is made possible because the light reflects off material things, such as a rock, a tree, a person and carries the reflected image to the eye where we “see it” AND the camera capture the same image, a latent image which can be printed at will anytime, and it looks the same. The camera records the light, on a range of “on or off” to many shades and colors and a print can made on a medium, such as paper or a computer screen, a print on which most people agree about the contends. We can all see it and agree that is what it looks like, its really that thing.

Imagine a photographic print on a wall where light comes in the window, reflects off the photographmaking a latent image, and is redirected back out a window down the tree lined street, out of the atmosphere to maybe travel across the universe unhindered for millions of light years. Will it find another “eye” to communicate its message ?

Perhaps there are light images all around us, we just need the “right medium” to translate the experience compatible with our human senses. We do that already with different kinds of light such as x-ray and infra-red. And, the images of stars and galaxies from space are us providing a medium—which humans can see— to capture these images as they go by carrying themselves beyond us to who knows where.

Imagine gadzillions of exposed but not-printed-to-a-medium images traveling around the universe at the speed of light . . .

Maybe its more like a video than a photograph , as long as there was light reflecting off something there will be a latent image traveling around. and our photograph of a far away star is just as snatching a frame of the video as it travels by at the speed of light.

What happens when the traveling light image meets another traveling light image ?Does it mix with it ? or bounce off it? Does it add to the original image, do they combine until it gets too dark see detail ?

Once the photograph has been printed on the paper light can bounce off the paper to be sensed by the eye . A computer screen is different. The image is the light itself, may be it makes on image on the screen, then the light keeps on going , some to my eyes and other parts of it go right out the window, down the street, up into the sky and on the way to the stars.

Can you really destroy a photograph just by ripping it up into small pieces or burning it up? Once the latent image is embedded in the light its just keeps traveling around —what happens when it reaches the end of t3he Universe?

A dress or a blanket? Each has their own purpose, which is better for making a photograph, which is better for sleeping rough?


The last tram in Tokyo, the Sakura Line runs through old neighborhoods, mostly carrying locals and tourists who can get a day pass to get on and off when and where ever they desire.

You also get to see a lot of those train-pedestrian crossings like you see in Japanese tv shows and movies.

It runs right through people’s backyards.

Little shops .it seems like a lot of work everyday getting produce, putting it out, sitting down, an at the end of the day putting it all away at night.

End of the workday day at the Sakura Tram in Minowa,

After school treats , who makes the next move?

End means and less sons

“Its deplorable that they died this way, simply because their lord held them dear. This is an old custom, but there’s no reason to adhere to convention if it causes them harm.”

Emperor Suinin (fourth century Japan) in response to the custom of burying the attendants alive along with the deceased.on the death of someone from the emperor’s family. After listening to them weep and moan for several days until their death at his brothers funeral he began the custom of using Haniwa, pottery sculptures created to represent the loyal attendants to be buried with the family member in the place of real attendants..

The east entrance to Yasukuni Jinja with its aggressive and dominating stone torii sets the feeling for a visit.

For 3 1/2 years I was involved with care for my mother who suffered a stroke, memory loss and expressive aphasia., while she lived through memory care, an operation with two months of rehab and another memory care facility.

I would visit her in the evenings and after dinner maybe walk around outside or visit in her room. It `was interesting to experience this kind of a relationship with my mother. I wonder how much can we know somebody?

Think of how you view yourself, and think how others view you and compare.—The1 latter is a measure of objective you can be.

I was there during physical therapy.

At first she was fed in bed, later moved to an eating room for people who needed or may need help of any sort. She did not know, and usually did not care, where she was., I tried to understand what her mind was like when I was there.
She never gave up.

That is one reason we chose a memory care facility—so mom would have an opportunity to develop new relationships with other people. .I think it worked, even though the relationships with fellow residents and professional caregivers might seem a little strange, it gave her challenging things to do.

She was called Lynn , or Rosamonde, depending on your relationship with her. and Rosy by her high school classmates.
This was in Union Square, Somerville, about 1972. Lynn is a city up the tracks by train from Somerville.

Alameda Creek

I don’t make much difference between the people and the wall, the house and trees, its all color, lines, shape, gestures, textures, values . . .

A mother and son, they ride everyday. Over the years I have seen him grow up on his bike rides.

People find meanings when they see a photograph, a meaning related to their experiences.

In general people think and feel that a photograph is an image made using ligh compatible to the human eye . A photograph is an acceptable form of legal identification . . . That is what it REALly looks like.

The photographic print itself has a certain unique characteristic feel to it . . a feel consistent from any photograph to another . ..

A person sees a photograph, they immediately and unconsciously, feel and define it is a photograph, and unconsciously, give it the category and qualities of a photograph— one of which is this is what it really looks like.

Like a wood block print or an etching. the photographic print has a unique look and feel all its own.These photographs look different than “reality’ and still feel like a photograph.

The term “graphic arts” traditionally refers to a process which produces multiple identical images, which are printed

A photograph is an image made from capturing reflected light and that“ captured light”, whether on film or digital can be used to make multiple identical images

In this computer era, to most people “graphic” means a visual image and it may be original, one of kind art. Someone may say “Look at the “cute graphic“ to refer to a visual image printed or to a cute drawing hanging on the wall.

In a marketing meeting, someone suggests “some kind of graphic” would be good for the package. or on the ad. Another may say “Can we do this graphically” meaning not an image which will be used to reproduce a same identical image but a visual to communicate something.

This may seem like a minor difference,—in its traditional use graphic refers to a process which is used to create multiple identical images; in the other its the image itself that is called the graphic , even if its one of kind and not printed.

Humans will see an image and give it properties as defined by their mind. This is how learning a language gives people a common unity by giving them a common set of words with shared meanings —it would be a mess if each individual had to create their own language and then every time they “talked” to others had to learn a different language in order to communicate. Humans are social, they do not and cannot exist as individuals and it it is this quality of “socialness” of humans that separates them other living things.

A photograph is a real image of something— “see a photograph, what is “it.” It is the mind that tells you what you see and it is this process of mindful interpretation that unites human language,

That is why my photographs are not concerned with a common reality. Rather than a visual record of a specific moment between the past and present, these images emphasize implied visual information such as textures, patterns, lines, color—the photograph is separate from a common reality, maybe searching for what cannot be seen in the common reality.

Its still an image made from recording light and even though it still feels like a photograph, there is no reason to wonder “What is it? . . . there is know more than what you see.


For some years I wondered about this boy, now a man, sitting on the sidewalk along Market Street, smoking a cigarette, wearing a red hoodie and has his own plastic lighter. When I look at some of my images, they feel intrusive of someone’s personal privacy, maybe so, Where many people view a photograph as a visual record of a moment in time for me they seem to be stories of myself.

When I see what people do, how they behave, who they are—I see a reflection of myself —

We are the other people
We are the other people.
You are the other people too.
Got to get through to you.

Lyrics by Frank Zappa

A breakfast burrito on the street at the intersection of Montgomery and Marke

I make images of myself because I am a convenient model, available whenever I feel like it, and free.

Speaking lightly, who am I? teasingly confronted visually,

Once I make the original light image I can manipulate it to seek out who I am or seek sides of myself not available in a mirror,

That’s when I ask, “Is this my life?, and even when I am outside and alone looking in, I can breath “Mu!!.” Where is my original face.

Is there more to life than arranging the fruit correctly?

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Know weigh you seigh

Older than now

For about 3 1/2 years my mother lived near me in a memory care residence, two different places actually, with eight weeks sandwiched in at a nursing facility while recovering from a hip operation while receiving occupational therapy to learn to walk again. .

She suffered a stroke with serious memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. At the first place, I got her a phone, she could talk, thoughI am not sure she knew who she was talking with, I think most of the time she did not know who I was, much less someone on the phone My sister would call from Japan—thank you Skype — whether or not mom knew it was her. they used to talk, and later mom would let me know she was happy because she got a phone call

I took her to appointments, mostly medical related, when it was a new location I would make a trial run by myself to assess the logistics and have a strategy— How was the parking? How many steps? What were check-in procedures,? etc.

Nursing home rehab facility

In the beginning they fed her in the bed and then one day, no warning, she was to eat in the dining room—I did not even know where it was. One woman would, very loudly, say, over and over and over, “I want to die! and other similar stuff. One day she was seated at our table, started her monologue and mom started yelling at her to “stop feeling sorry for yourself!” Mom was yelling and she was chanting, not missing a beat. It was a little weird but was resolved quickly.

After a hip operation physical therapy was used to get her back to walking again. I tried to be there but sometimes they would change the time with no warning. Here are two people with professional medical training employed to spend 30mins? 40 mins? with an old woman helping her learn how to walk again. And they have to fill out documents and reports., on which others will make judgements about mom’s care.

After lunch she would come back, sit on the bed, we have some talk, then she would lay down and go to sleep. i was never sure if, or when, or why, sometimes she seemed to know I was her son. But she knew I was there. And, I think if I wasn’t there there were many times she knew I was coming.

Some days we would walk, she liked to walk, It can be stressful to visit people in this condition but there is no other option except not to see them, and that option may soon be gone.

Alameda Creek

When you look at these photos, obviously you are not seeing a “visual record of a moment in time.” or at least an “accurate” record relative to the “normal” human visual experience.

A photograph is a place where the past and the future once met, and even though the photograph itself, print or digital, when seen in the present actually happened in the past, the image itself which while being visually experienced in the present may, for people with a connection to it, bring additional meanings because the mind will interpret the “personal meaning” of the image,

A photograph is never the whole or comprehensive experience, It is a piece of a light reflection through what was in the lens of the camera.

What human eyes experience and what meaning that experience has when it is “defined” by the mind are not the same thing.

People will have a visual experience and the mind will put words to it.—Always with a photograph is the question “What is it?” which is communicated to, or understood by, the viewer’s feelings

Those personal feelings are individual. Some things we learn as part of a group—such as culture — while some are personal and individual.

We know “Its a photograph” because we visually feel the “thing” that we commonly define as a “photograph,” but . . .

We also have individual experiences our mind uses to ask “What is it?”

“Human nature?” Human beings differentiate “things” one from another and define them, give them names. That seems kind of obvious?? Can we only know the “things” in the Universe which we can sense?

A spoken language is a bunch of sounds with commonly hold meanings. We can make sounds and communicate with other people . . . there are common meanings. Even if we speak different languages, when we experience a photograph we share a common feeling of “This is a photograph” that measurement of assess the “thing being viewed ” as a photograph. The medium and the content are different and equally iportant.

Assassin bugs

As individuals we all have had our unique experiences . The content, or image of the photograph may effect, more or less, the mind’s interpretation i.e the individual’s meaning of the image.

Its a memory , Some viewers might be confused, and then another (usually the photographer who “shot the snapshot”) says “Well you needed to be there to get it.” As professional photographers show, its not the being there that matters , but the skill and care of the photographer.

Its amazing the same photograph can have different meanings for different people but its as amazing that the thing called “a photograph can be measured by human feeling.—We don’t even think about it—I, without thinking, know its a photograph when I see it.

Computers and photoshop have made the “feeling judgement’ more complex, Many people enjoy the digital manipulation in film and tv and others use it to spread misinformation.

For the photographer and some select others, some part of the “meaning” of the visual image —the memory or how the brain interprets it— is not about the present, but about the moment of the image. Not the moment we are in when looking at a print of the image, but the moment we were in when the image was made.

For others it may be about their own personal experiences. A photographic news story about a grisly murder scene with a well known landmark in the background may awake a feeling of a wonderful visit in some faraway viewer

The photograph has, as its own right, a common feeling which marks out its own “thing in and of itself.” Still, too often its a photograph of some thing or things —a bird, plants, water, a reflection, some air.

End Pages

Street photography

Street photography

a handful of love

lunch at high noon, Albuquerque NM

In Chofu, a suburb of Tokyo there are homes, apartment complexes and farms. This one has an auto-mat to purchase freshly picked farm produce.

“In everything no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable ”
Tsurezuregusa (Japanese Philosophical text)

Bizen is a Japanese folk kiln—(one of the 六古窯 Rokkoyō) traditionally fired around the village of Imbe, in Bizen Provence. The clay comes from this area, and perhaps because when fired the clay undergoes more shrinkage than other clays, Bizen is not glazed.and fired in wood ash resulting in a symphony of beautiful wood tones in the surface.

However innumerable the sentient beings, I vow to save them all,
However inexhaustible the passions, I vow to to extinguish them all.,
However immeasurable the dharmas I vow to master them all,
However incomparable the truth of the Buddha I vow to attain it.

Vow of Bodhisattva

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhisvaha

Stoped in mined

Design of Six

A hanging poster greeting arrivals at Haneda —roku means six. a nice piece of Japanese design incorporating the kanji with the shelf, Ikebana, and product—Japan design greets visitors to its endless discovery.

Two shado images using colorized photographs of my shadow put together as a thing.

The below pattern was made using the above shado image of two colorized photographs of my shadow. Orange (red and yellow) and green (blue and yellow) both share yellow which is the complement of red and blue mixed , i.e. violet or purple—they feel comfortable together. [it does feel disturbingly hard.]

The shadow of my head; left.on an Acoma bowl, and right, on a balloon. In both the mouth is open and appears to be yelling at the corner.

A couple of patterns in Navajo Blanket motif using images of a shado self portrait holding the camera. The lines of the right image feel out of square —could be a design class project.

;Shadow is the absence of light?, why is not light the absence of shadow, Light is one way humans visually experience the universe. The general feeling of the shapes of the leaves—At the top of the leaves there is a feeling of action by smaller pointy things suddenly slowing down as the shapes of the leaves get bigger approaching the viewer. This was fall afternoon in Belmont, Mass, about 1972

Alameda Creek

Photography is about light, light is a human tool for “knowing.” Each of us —most of us, but not everyone—have the ability to visually sense differences in reflected light and (automatically) send it to the brain,“ This is a process of individual knowing.

Does the photograph see like .the eye—as opposed to seeing like a person? Do we think of the eye just being a mechanism whose job is to just send the image to the brain which will “tell us” what it is “seeing”—but Ig et confused, just who is the us in this chain?

Both the eye and the camera, with lens, actually it is the lens that does the seeing, the camera is a container to mount the lens in a position which light, without being disturbed, can pass without being disturbed to something which can record the “light information” which captures a visual image, which can be printed out to a medium

Generally photography is about capturing an image which is visually common in the society, i.e. keep the viewer interested by making mages of things we commonly know, such as things (words) in a language— One of the worst things you can say about a photograph is “What is it?

Commonly people see a photograph as a “Best Practices” image—it looks like it! Its a standard and for most everyday things is the best standard. No one would make a “legal positive ID” of someone from my images.

The camera has buttons to push and dials to turn to get the right adjustments on the camera to accommodate the control of light to capture an image .

lIf the setting are not “correct” the camera sees, but not like the human eye sees. The camera can see and record things the human eye cannot. Maybe the camera does not really see them, but it creates them, its the first time they exist.

The photograph is that “little piece” of the universe connecting the past and the future? While the material “little piece” is constantly changing, the “human meaning” of the photograph is not, and its a record of “a piece which connects the past and the future.” . . .

well maybe not exactly the same, some added or subtracted embellishments of whatever sorts.

While the photograph is now in our present, the image we “see” is our mind or memory here.

Photographs are things we used to put in albums, now we send them around by internet—flying electricity so to speak—around the Earth instantly..


Sitting in the physical therapy waiting room across there is a reception office , as I look through the transparent ribbed partition I see things in the office, its three receptionists long , office space, end of building window through which to see the next building.

Nakamise-dōri is a shopping street along the way to the temple, Its famous for senbei. and other treats for visitors to eat there or take home as presents.

Avalokiteshvara aka kannon aka Guanyin

Japanese have a different relationship with their temples and shrines than Americans do with their churches. Temples and shrines are embedded with the physical daily life of people living inTokyo..An old large temple like Sensoji is daily packed with visitors, rain or shine, while local people walking to and fro — take a short cut through the temple or shrine grounds. A small alley between large buildings holds a tiny one person temple or shrine People interact with them on their own terms, different from an American church.

A statute of Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) was found in the Sumida River  by two brothers  in 628,,while they made efforts to get rid of it, it always returned, and .Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon.

It is one of the most popular “religious” sites to visit in the world.

How to get here from there? there-here= t. or There -here=T

Que duo? Company

Often I see photographs in the news media and images from movies, television and other forms of streaming visual information showing “people in the news,”.

Of course that is what they are, by definition,.

I like more simple moments,

A moment not intempted to be special . . .

No script, no director, no rehearsals, no make-up crew . .
siblings selling lemonade on lower Magazine Street about 1970.

when I see it —two people together on their road,—its “no simple highway.…”

And its for “your steps alone.”

lyrics (in quotes} from Ripple, Grateful Dead

Alameda Creek

The meaning of Shaka Buddha is an end to human suffering.

When Guatama Buddha was born to a family of wealth and military power., a sage told his father that he would be a leader who united India or a religious leader . His father rejected the latter, and for 29 years Siddartha lived in a (over) protective environment ..

One day being driven around the outside in his horse drawn carriage he encountered the four signs and learned human suffering, old age;, .sickness, and death, and last, a wandering religious beggar dressed in simple yellow clothes, was peaceful and calm with an inward joy. It is said that the horse who was reborn as a god.

Guatama left home to seek an end to human suffering.

So for some time I have wondered what is this human suffering that Shaka Buddha sought to end.?

I thought about the human expressions of human suffering I have experienced, whether myself or expressed to me by others .

Common, perhaps call it natural, condition of human suffering is one thing—everyone is suffering from the same thing—but many individual expressions, including my own, were often differing personal instances of feelings of unhappiness.

Dying of sickness or old age, these are not feelings, but “real,”

What is the human suffering Buddha worked so hard to end—is it just the cycle of life? Would not the end of the cycle of life and death simply be no more life? The end of the reincarnation cycle ?

But maybe Shaka Buddha meant just what he said.

At that time in India belief in reincarnation was popular . Reincarnation means a cycle of non ending birth&death and birth& death and birth& death. How to end the cycle of human suffering. I don’t know if Buddha was also referring to the more common personal expressions of human emotional suffering, maybe, maybe knot.

In spite of the really lonely times of suffering I .have had .in my life, I would do it again just for those few feeling good times . . .

“I’d give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday
Holding Bobby’s body next to mine”

Lyrics from Me and Bobby McGee Kris Kristofferson


The beginning of the Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger, marked by a Welcome Painting . . .

Painting by Janney

and oranges and incense at the temple.

Walking up Telegraph Hill from Columbus Ave.

Afternoon shadows in San Francisco

Afternoon sun from Telegraph Hill, I guess that would be Russian Hill in the background. .

Looking west from somewhere along Polk Street ..

Gate Gate paragate ,parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha