Autumn in May?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

For anyone out there that thinks this whole global warming is a joke, should have been in Tokyo today.  The air for, for almost june, was downright chilly.  I had to pull the sweatshirt out again by the time I got back to my home.  I am not complaining.  I am glad that is a bit on the chilly side, because it sure beats it being on the hot and humid side.

It felt rather odd, to see some of the hydrangeas about to bloom and be zipped up in a windbreaker, trying to stay warm.  The flowers are there.  I have begun to spot some fruit starting to ripen on the trees and bushes.  All this in weather that I thought we left behind four weeks ago.  Enjoy it why you can.

…this psalm has been on my mind today…

55 verse 6 If I had the wings of a dove, I would fly away, and be at rest.

stay upfull world!

White Fragrant Porpeller

Red Bush Fence

The First Fruits of Summer

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

As the spring is slowly giving way to summer.  And along with the coming summer heat we are being treated to an early rainy season.  The rainy season to me is a lot like Miami weather.  It rains everyday for days on end.  At least the temperature stays a bit cooler.

As I was making my way to Mimomi station out in Chiba, I wandered upon a little frontside garden that had a few potted plants.  My eye quickly saw a bright red tiny strawberry.  The first fruits of summer.  Time to give pause and thanks for the fruits that are coming to fruition.

All the flowers on the trees and plants that I have been photographing are beginning to bear fruit.  Some of them will be edible like this deep red strawberry, seeds, of just giving way to the new ultra green leaves.

I strive to maintain my positive attitude. I am reminded daily by the earthquakes that there is much in my life that I have absolutely no control over.  I need to let those issues slide from my spirit so as not to weigh me down with doubt and negativity.

Enjoy the fruits of the season.  Even if those fruits this season will be a bit bitter sweet.

First Fruits:  Strawberry

Sekajipo and the Jungle: The Making of the Revolution of the Mind-State Album

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

In this post I will change the focus for a minute back to some images I took last spring in Miami.  These are from some studio sessions for Sekajipo and the Jungle’s debut album The Revolution of the Mind-State.  I was so grateful to meet the ultra talented and down to earth brother Sekajipo.  He is truly a Hip Hop force that is a summation of his experiences that manifest in tight banging lyrics, tinged with reggae chats, and one drop beats.  So without further introductions.  I’ll let Sekajipo introduce himself and the players that make up the Jungle.

Check the website

and you can check sekajipo on facebook

And now Sekajipo

My name is Sekajipo Genes of the Reggae Hop ensemble Sekajipo & The Jungle. These photos were taken at 19 ONE studios in Miami, Fl, during one of the final recording sessions of my debut album the RMS (Revolution of The Mind-State). The artists in these shots have all been leaders in a movement of conscious music, art, and humanitarian work not only in South Florida, but throughout the country and world. It was an honor to be counted as one amongst this collaboration and to be embraced as new comer to the local music scene in Miami, Fl. Much love, respect, and God’s blessings to you all. Keep it Revolutionary – Sekajipo Genes

Sekajipo on the MIC, Making of RMS Album 2010

Sekajipo “…If I die aint no need to write me an obituary just ray the music’ll resurrect me from the cemetery.”  When the Lions in the booth, the Jungle comes alive! Nuff Said! “This is a Revolution, We Are the Demonstration Welcome To The Movement, Here’s Your Invitation!”

LaGuardia, Making of RMS Album 2010

Welcome to LaGuardia World. Fellow Hip Hop Educator, rocked many shows with this brother, One of the dopiest emcees I know, from the stage to the booth. This brother took the energy to another level on the TMVMT track. The Street Fighter Line was classic!

Omayra La Gitana Writing Verses, Making of RMS Album 2010

Omayra La Gitana, a sistren full of spirit and excitement brought her gypsy reggae style vocals to the One World collab track.

Kavayah on the 5 String Bass, Making of RMS Album 2010

Kavayah came through adding some sick bass lines for the TMVMT (The Movement) track.

Kavayah, Making of RMS Album 2010

The “one man band” Kavayah again on acoustic guitar, laying down some solo cuts for One World.

Livin in Amerika, Making of RMS Album 2010

This is THE notebook containing all the RMS lyrics, surviving 5 years of wear and tear its now safely stored away as an accomplished work of art. Ran out of space inside so I started writing the chorus to reggae hop jam “Livin In Amerika” on the back. Every inch of free space counts!

Rhumba King, Making of RMS Album 2010

Urban Artist, Painter and Bboy, Junior aka The Rumba King, the man of many trades,  bringing live percussion to the TMVMT and One World Collaboration.

Vocal Power, Making of RMS Album 2010

Activist, Poet, Author, and good friend in heart, mind, and soul. Maeva the Artist was the inspiration behind One World, she was during her 1st sermon in church and all I could hear was Angels singing “One World, One Love”. Jammed out at a Starbucks, I took a chance singing the chorus and she did the same on her verse. The rest is history!

Soulflower, Making of RMS Album 2010

Sista Soulflower wrote her verse for TMVMT on the spot in the studio and Raize it UP!. 1 time for the female emcees, favorite line from her “Stay Strapped, Bus Back with L.O.V.E.”

Acoustic Drums II, Making of RMS Album 2010

Sean Delaine on drums doin damage to the set! met this brother at a screening on the PATH documentary in Ft. Lauderdale and had to bring him on for this project. Showing love to the future generation of musicians.

Last Minute with Sekajipo, Making of RMS Album 2010

Last minute adjustments to my verse for One World. Striving for perfection even until the last minute! “In this battle to see every last one of us unite, music is the one weapon that we bringing to the fight.”

Final Second with Headphones, Making of RMS Album 2010

Musician, Emcee, and Engineer Final Second in the booth puttin in work as co-producer and featured artist on TMVMT. “The Youth Is The Movement!” Final is also the talent behind the people’s anthem “Hard Times”, which was later chosen as the first single off the RMS album and used for my first ever music video, with an Original Cut and Haiti Re-Cut available on Youtube.

Sekajipo Acoustic Stylings, Making of RMS Album 2010

Me preparing to strum some rhythm guitar on the One World track. 2 years of teaching myself how to play the guitar, never thought it would get to this level. Never be afraid to try something new, you just may be a natural at it! “Im just a man with a guitar and 1 mic, strumming melodies and making the best out of 1 life”

Brimstone127, Making of RMS Album 2010

The man with the master plan DJ Brimstone127! My big brother, friend, mentor, and co producer of the TMVMT track takes on the mantle of engineer for this session as well as the majority of the RMS studio recordings. Couldnt have accomplished this project without you bro!

The Jungle, Making of RMS Album 2010

Soaking it all with some of the artists of The One World/TMVMT collboration at 19 ONE studios. Featuring (from right to left) the one man band Kavayah Amyn (on bass, acoustic guitar, percussion) LaGuardia (vocals) Empress of Hip Hop Soulflower Amyn (vocals) DJ Brimstone127 (engineering, vocals) MaevatheArtist (vocals) Love Revolutionary Sekajipo Genes (vocals), Drea Andrea Sylvester (chilling in the studio providing the irie vibes) and Omayra La Gintana Boriqua (vocals) All in the name of 1 Love.

Forecast is Rain, More Rain, and then a Typhoon

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Rain has been forecasted for the next several days, leading up to a typhoon that will come by Tokyo on Tuesday.  There is no rest for us.  I am thankful at least that it isn’t hot yet.  Sometimes it just seems that there is one disaster after another.  Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, severe thunderstorms, typhoons, hurricanes.  I wonder if it will ever end, or are these signs of the times?

Given all the turbulence in the world, I will spend my sabbath with family and being thankful for the end of another week.  It is a weekly reminder of what is important, and what is not.  It gives me the pause to let that which is not important to just slide off from my soul.

At lest there is a little purple sunshine on a rainy, mist filled afternoon.  I wish all my friends and family a restful and fulfilling sabbath.

Purple Rainy Sunshine

Purple and Yellow Under Gray

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The odd weather just continues.  The skies have slowly grayed over the course of the day. By the time I was making my way home the gray completely covered the Tokyo skies.

I found a little garden that a household owner had set up on the street across from their house.  The brilliant purple and yellow flows were just there and singing under the gray skies.  They without a doubt but a happy end to a long day.  I am so thankful for all the variety of colors, flowers in the Fathers kingdom.

Purple Yellow Kasai Butterfly Stylings

Bokeh in the Afternoon

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

After quite a number of small aftershocks last night, I was ready to have a peaceful day.  The weather was gorgeous at least.  I could rock a short sleeve shirt and be totally comfortable.

There was, as far as I could tell, only one smallish aftershock that happened between 9 and 10 a.m.  I was the only one who noticed that the ground was moving and the lights were swaying.  I guess my internal sense of balance is just ultra sensitive to the movement.  I don’t think I will ever get use to them, but I will, hopefully, learn to live with the aftershocks in some sort of harmony.

The walk back though my neighborhood was exceptionally pleasant today.  The air was cool and dry as the sun was quickly dropping to the horizon.  I could take pleasure in watching the light change its hues as it continued to race towards other worlds.  It was a great day, to look closely and let the bokeh (that beauty of having part of an image out of focus) come out and play.

False Yellow

Into the White Buds

Schizo Weather, But I Like It

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The weather really has been a bit manic depressive the past couple of days.  It is like the weather can’t make up it’s mind whether it should become summer or not.  Today was actually cold enough to warrant a scarf in the morning.  Eventually around 2 in the the afternoon the sun did make an appearance.

At least it isn’t blistering hot yet, and I am thankful for the days I can take the camera out for a stroll.

White Tile, White Flower

About to Unfurl

Sunday, Buttercup Day

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Buttercups are one of the few flowers I have memories attached to as a youth.  I remember picking them in Miami, and being amazed at the fact that they do kind of smell like butter.  Found this one on a Sunday afternoon as I was making my way around the neighborhood.  Such a little wonder, but it was holding it’s own against the wind blowing in off Tokyo Bay.

Buttercup Under the Breeze

Garden Homes, Greening of the Neighbohood

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Here in Japan even the suburbs are filled with concrete and lack of space.  There seems to be no end to the ribbons of concrete and asphalt that line the streets of this country.  Even when there are parks, and green spaces they never seem that removed from all the the manmade structures that surround them.

Houses, even like these, that are more in the countryside, suburbs than where I live there is still a lack of gardenable space; therefore, the proud home owners do everything in their power to use what little space they have to both surround themselves with the colors of nature.

Someday, I will be able to have an endless garden, filled with flours and fruits of the earth, until that time, I will enjoy what others have to offer.

Under Window Flower Box with Chain

Front Side Sitting Garden

Purple Entrance with Gate

Sunny Side of the Afternoon

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Each day seems to be a bit warmer than the last.  If you stand in the shade or aren’t in motion the air is still rather dry and cool.  However, as soon as you start to troop around you quickly realize that it isn’t that spring like anymore.

The early spring flowers that signal the coming spring, have faded, and those early summer buds are now blooming.  All of the fauna are richly green as they reach for the sun.

I have recently been feeling those phantom quakes.  I don’t know if they are real, or only in my head.  I suspect they are mainly in my head.  At least the day of rest is upon us.  It is time to take a pause, reflect, and be thankful for all things.

Orange by the Pole

Hanging in the Afternoon

Patches of Pink in Shin Urayasu

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

It has been a little over 2 months since the March 11th earthquake that turned Tohoku area upside down and disrupted the quiet life of the suburb across the river from me of Shin Urayasu.  Still everywhere I go I see signs of reconstruction.  New sidewalk bricks are being laid.  The gutters and sewers are being dredged, and today I noticed these seemingly random patches of pink flowers.  There were just there growing in the green median strips of land between the sidewalk and the streets.  Hundreds of little pink wonders, against the little dust devils that are swirling around in the air.

The truly made my heart smile.

Just a Small Buch of Blooms

Afternoon Sunshine

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

The sun came on strong today after the cloudy and rainy day on Tuesday.  On my afternoon walk at about 5 p.m. the light was just right.  The harshness of earlier in the day had faded, and that yellow-orange light of the summer to come was coming on strong.

The air was a bit drier, as I rolled up my sleeves on the way.  It is time to fully take advantage of this weather before it turn dreadfully hot and humid.

The flowers continue to speak to me.  They still beckon to me.  And I cannot refuse.  However, over the last couple days, I seem to be getting the Imaginary Earthquake Syndrome again.  I keep feeling shaking that is just not happening.

Double Bow

Pink Fillament Weed

A Lucid Communication with the Flowers

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Why am I exploring the world of flowers?  It is possible that it is a reaction to the fact that there is so much our shared lived that is out of our hands, and I find comfort in the colored petals.  I am definitely walking down an unexplored path with regards to making images of flowers and fauna.  And without trying to over intellectualizing the fact, I need to be in the moment and explore the flowers as a way of making peace with the natural world.

It doesn’t matter to me where I find the pieces of the natural world.  They can be in a potted plant sitting outside a little izakaya (pub)  in Ichikawa, or when I get the chance to really venture into nature.  The goal is to start a communication with the nature I encounter.  I feel like the conversation has only just begun.  We have a lot to learn from each other, and the only way we can go further down the road together is to continue this conversation.  This lucid communication with nature.

Long after the building all crumble into dust, the flowers, and trees will still be here.  Their roots will find their way between the cracks in the pavement and slowly tear down this civilization.

The jasmine will continue to bloom.  The trees will bud, and then shed their cherry blossoms.

I must in the meantime continue the discussion with the natural world.  I must add to the natural world around me.  I must breathe in deeply to smell those first droplets of rain.

Violet Against the Wall

Bubbly Tree Flower

Izakaya Night Jasmine

Down the Lilly Hole

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Then Yoko looked at her pocket watch.  And she could tell by the tick tick tick that it was time to head down the lilly hole.

Down the Lilly

Little Urban Details

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

A few shots of mixing up the urban and the flowers I so love these days.  I love how they just merge together.  Sometimes it is the intention of the homeowner’s attempt to beautify the unbeautiful and others its just seems so random.  Flowers…. air conditioners, a few of my favorite things.

Air Condition Mini Garden

Outside the Kindergarden

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