Pitstops on the Riverside

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I have committed myself to cycling as often as I can.  Lets just say it is about time for me to be more active as the years roll by. I been cycling pretty hard and fast with no time to take pictures, but today on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I grabbed my Ricoh as I headed out the door.

The river emptying into Tokyo Bay looked like chocolate milk after yesterdays downpour.  I stopped a few times for some clicks, but I didn’t take that much.  Hopefully more time will come up in August as I get the chance to roam around Tokyo a click away to my hearts content.

Bowing Dandelion

Violet Floats on Sea of Green

The Simple Pleasure of Dropping off a Roll of Film

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

There really is quite no other feeling like dropping off a roll of film to be developed.  The only thing better would be to do the processing yourself.

In this digital age we are all living in, analog has been freed from the masses, and the artist can indulge in film however they like.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love my digital work.  To be able to process the work so quickly is fantastic too.  But that method of popping a roll in the back of a camera, being selective in what you shoot, then to finally walk down the street to the processing store is a great feeling.

The roll I dropped off today, has pictures going back to last August of last summer to a few pics I snapped Monday night this week.  I only selected two images to share today and both are from last summer when Tomo and I went out to Narita Temple in Chiba, for a day of shooting.  Other images include some of my work with the Hip Hop scene in Miami.

as usual more to come…

so go out and shoot a roll or film, you’ll thank yourself for it.

AC WIndow and Wild Side Garden

Narita Temple Garden 2010

Wild Wet Rose, and Nuclear Fuel Rods

Friday, July 29th, 2011

These items are what sandwiched my day today.  I woke up to news that the Chubu Nuclear power plant in Shizouka, Japan, has been unable to remove a melted nuclear rod for over 17 years since an accident occurred at the plant.  For 17 years, the power plant hid the truth that they have been completely unable to remove it for reprocessing.

It is so sad and utterly frustrating, to see the situation here develop, and at times worsen, and they only response is an “Oh, well.”  As an artist I feel really torn.  At times I want to make protest art, but at others, I want to celebrate the beauty and in some ways use art as a soul searching escapism.  I do feel that protest art is an important for artist to become involved in.  It never has been something that I have felt comfortable with; however, I will support artist that choose to protest.  Go ahead!  Please make some noise.  It is unfortunate that here in Japan, the arts are so marginalized that protest music and art gets pretty much zero attention from the press.  I guess my neighbors, much rather watch baseball, or another AKB 48 special.  UGHHHH.

Then there was the other side of my day.  This lovely water droplet covered rose in someone’s garden.  It was so beautiful, it did make me forget the terrible news I read in the paper this morning.  I could loose myself in the twirling petals, and watch the droplets slowly roll down the thorns.

All in one day.  Just another day in Japan post March 11th.  Not sure when it’ll ever end.  Rise up! Celebrate life in all its shapes and forms.  And to all those artist out there that see fit to raise a voice, slap a poster, or paint out your anger!  I salute you!

The Wild Wet Rose of Mimomi

We are Cats without Deadlines

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I spotted these two cats just chilling on a breezy and a bit cooler than usual July afternoon.  They were just there being in the moment.  That means they were just being themselves.  You know, just being cats.

It made me think back on Natsume Soseki’s novel “I am a cat.” Then there were these two cats who just said the same thing to me, but in plural. We are cats!  Yes, just cats.  They have no deadlines to meet.  Other than trying to get some food off some humans, but hey that can be done at any time.  They have no exact time to get up, or go to bed.  They just do either whenever they just feel like it.  They don’t have to take a vacation to relax, for as far as I can tell after spending time with my cats, cats are always on vacation.

As the pressure of living in this post earthquake comes and goes, much like the aftershocks, I look forward to leading a simple life.  I don’t want to make things complicated.  I just want to stay focused, indulge myself with art.  I want to spend time with my family and friends.  And if I can pull it off, just to lounge in the shade, under a gate, just like these to cats.

take care my feline friends.

We Are Cats, Chiba Japan

Hectic Week, Strong Yellow, Introspective Time

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

This week has been extremely hectic.  There is just too much going on with so many deadlines approaching at the same time. I miss blogging over the past few days, as I now try to play catch up with my artful emotions.

But that is one of the keys, isn’t it?  That the pathway to the artistic salvation is though the action of doing one’s art.  It should be a daily meditation that takes many forms, writing, painting, and for me photographing.

It is not only the act of photographing that is important.  As any good photographer will tell you, editing, is as important or even more important that the act of making a photograph.  It is through that act that the process begins, but the selection of what the artist chooses to reveal to the world, forever reflects on the artist.  I have heard the stories of Salvador Dali burning his early work, because he did not want his carefully constructed image to be disrupted.

I am of another school of thought.  I want to be able to see the various work I have created over the years.  It is only through reexamining my work am I able to understand where I have been, where I am now, and some choices of where I want to go.

I am thankful for the sabbath,and to keep it holy yes. It is also my time to become introspective to come to some understanding of the previous week.  As I sit here typing this on an early Saturday evening, after editing a few pictures, I am relieved and pleased to be alive.  All the tribulation, and troubles melt away in a sea of yellow color sound.  My energies refreshed, ready to take on what I have to take on the following week.

One is All it Takes, with Shadow

Wall Tree Rose Window

Orange in the Spotlight

Monday, July 18th, 2011

First of all I would like to congratulate Japan’s National Women’s Team for winning the Women’s World Cup.  I am well aware of my American roots, and I usually would support my home team of America.  However, considering all that Japan has been though over the last four months I am pleased that Japan won.  It gives Japan a bit of good news when we all have been just keeping our heads above water in bad news.

Orange is one of those colors that I usually overlook. The hot sensation that orange gives me is one that I usually avoid.  However, these two, were just singing in the sun.  They speak color sound of summer time.  The speak of the heat, that shines from the closeness of the summer sun.






Six Point Orange Beauty

Orange in the Spotlight

Got to do some Gardening

Friday, July 15th, 2011

I was wandering my way back to the station today, taking a route I had never taken before.  This is something that I really like to do.  The chance to just stumble upon something I have never seen before, and challenge myself by finding that opportunity to make art happen.

The sun was really blazing today.  The temperature must have been about 33 (93) out in the sun.  Beads of sweat rolled down the back of my shirt as I set off between the narrow roads that meander in this small town in Chiba.  I came across a small plot of land that had been sowed with some corn.  A beautiful row of corn whose silk was glistening in the scorching sun.  In front of the row of corn was a tuber vegetable of some kind.

It made think about how connected all humans used to be to the land.  The land was were our sustenance  came from.  Our ancient, and not so ancient, ancestors tilled the earth in order to feed their families.  I have my little patio garden filled with fruit trees that are more like giant bonsai plants than trees, and assorted herbs that I use in the kitchen, but nothing like a plot of land that can be tilled and the reap the harvest to serve up on a beautiful sabbath dinner.

It is something that is being added to a list of changes that must occur.  Some land to grow some vegetables, or at least convert part of my patio garden into a vegetable garden.  All I have to figure out is how to keep my kitties from using the vege garden for recreational purposes.

Shabbat Shalom Everyone!!

Corn pon Wall

VIne in Sync with Wall

22-31 Daisy Bush Wall

To Shine or Shy

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

We have all been there at some point in time.  We are faced with the choice to shine or to shy away.  I think we all want to shine, but sometimes our doubts get the best of us, and we shy away from the challenge.  We listen to the self doubt, rather than to have the confidence in our ability to shine in our gifts.

All the gifts we have been given, are from above; however, this will only get you so far.  You need, we need, to reach deep with in our soul to find the energies to push ourselves to the places that we want to be.  If we shy away, and ignore them, we will never be able to be satisfied with ourselves.

I can only get there though heavy soul searching and becoming introspective.  I have to look at where I have been to understand where I am now, and where I want to go.  I understand why many out there in the world, never take the time to know the soul that reflects to themselves in the mirror.  It is a difficult task. For many out there is easier to bury your head in the sand, and just ignore it all.  I, myself, can never do that.  The pain that I would feel from ignoring my place in the world, would be to much to bear; therefore, I have got to be who I am, and that journey is never finished.

The wind may blow and push us around, but we must be both flexible so as not to break, and strongly rooted in the earth, to now be blown away.

The choice is yours, to shine, or to shy.

Shining and Shying

Got Cats, Get a Nekko Jelasi

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

They are here.  And they are everywhere.  They are growing up in between cracks on the side of the pavement.  They are sprouting all over the empty lots in my neighborhood.  In Japanese they are called Nekko Jellasi.

A great natural cat toy.  Pick a fresh one and drive your kitty wild.  When the kitties are through with them they can just be tossed into your compost pile.

Play with your kitties today.

Double Neko Jellasi

Pom Pom in the Heat

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The temperature is getting higher and higher day by day.  And with all the energy saving measures in place, businesses have been asked to cut 15% off their energy usage.  I agree with the need to cut energy in order to pitch in and help out, but at the same time it can be just about as hot indoors as it is outside.  The temp hit about 32 (90) the past couple days.  The businesses are all setting the A/C to 28 (83).  It helps a bit, but when you got a room packed with people the temp can be pretty bad.  One room I was in the other day, the indoor thermometer read 32 (90) with the A/C set to 28 (83).

By the time I get home in the early evening, I am thankful for the sun going down, and for a bit cooler air after cooking indoors.

Time to get your pom poms out and shake them around a little.  Get those colors flowing in this heat.  Something to get our mind off all the heat under our feet, and over our heads.

Pom Pom pon Fence

Earth Trembles, Flowers Still Bloom

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

At a little past 10 this morning we were all reminded that the earth has not settled.  The shaking was not that intense, but it shook our home for a good 30 plus seconds.  The shockwaves were of the 7.1 aftershock were felt all over Japan.

These aftershocks are always disturbing.  Just when it seems there is a bit of normalcy another large shaking jolts myself into the reality that one just never knows what will happen.  I have to have faith that I will be protected in that I hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

While the earth is still unsettled the flowers still keep on blooming.  The world keeps on spinning on it’s axis.

Have faith in your travels.

Be safe my fellow wanderers.

Marigolds. Ladybugs Friend

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

The rains seem to come and go these days.  We are suppose to be having a rainy season now, but it looks like mostly the southern islands of Japan have been getting most of the rain.  We have had some, but nothing like it should be.  However, one of the upsides of the rain, are the proliferation of little mushrooms that just sprout up over night .  I am always amazed at how quickly nature works.  One day there is nothing, the next there is one that is just shrooming in the morning sun.

Shrooming in the Morning Sun

Oh, That Tree is Full of Stars

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

And there it was.  A tree that was completely covered in this little white star, that had had their edges dipped in a light shade of lavender.  All blooming, or about to bloom.  Signaling to me the hot summer that is to come, and the micro universe that lies right in front of our senses.

Violet White Star

More First Fruits on the Vine

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The vineyard is a time old tradition going back thousands of years.  Growing the grapes that will become wine.  Wine used in celebrations and rituals around the world.  The vineyard holds a special place in my heart. I am not exactly sure why.  When living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I used to love to drive about an hour north into the Napa and Sonoma Wine Valleys.  The golden tinged dusty hills were alive with row upon row of vines.  It was always a great get away from the hustle of the Bay Area.

I really know nothing about the wine making process, other than the fact that the final product I like.  I can never remember the varietals, vintages or vineyard’s wine that I like.  Only that when I open a bottle, either I like it or I don’t.

It was a friendly little reminder to come a across a tiny urban grapevine growing up and over a door in an urban setting.  To see the purple hues of the grapes as they start to produce those desired sugars.  Made me think back to my life before Japan.  My life when I could jump in the car and in less than an hour I was riding among the vines.  Or I could turn east, and drive up into the Sierra Nevadas.  California really does have it all.

A big shout out to all my peeps still in Cali.  Genie! JJC!!  Shay!!  Dubfly!!

Grape Vine pon Wall

Before the Wine

Hydrangeas on a Hot Day

Monday, July 4th, 2011

I actually spent almost the entire day locked up in my home working on some writing.  Unfortunately, it is not some writing that I want to do, it is more of a case of writing that I need to do.  My only two excursions outside the comfort of my house was to the supermarket to pick up some things to cook up some lunch, then in the late afternoon I went for a jog/walk around my neighborhood.

Today marks the first week of attempting to get my exercising life back into shape.  I have never been very good at running, which is why part of the reason I have chosen it as a way to get back into shape.  To prove to myself that I can do it. And to top it all off, if I can run in this heat, then I can run in pretty much any weather.

As I sit on my patio as the wind whips through the open door I am fortunate to have made it through another day.  The treat of some cool breezy air in the evening is a reason to be immensely thankful.

Keep cool out there where ever you may be.  The summer is here, and it will be relentless; therefore, embrace those moments of cool like the breeze hugging my torso.

Hydrangea Poking Over Wall

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