musings

God Bless the World, 10 Years after September 11th, 2001

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

God Bless the World at Ground Zero, New York 2001

The day is here.  The day that seemed so far away from me.  It has now been 10 years since the September 11th attacks.  A day that forever change my life along with countless others in America and the world.  I remember thinking during my visit to New York City in November, 2001, and again on September 11th in 2002 that I wanted to be in New York City on the 10 year anniversary.  Ten years is a good whole number.  It is a decade.  It seemed to be a fitting time frame to come to some conclusions on what happened that day and the events that have happened since September 11th.  As things have happened I was not able to make a physical appearance in New York; therefore, I will have to explore these concepts in absentia.

In my trip to New York in 2001 the city was gripped in fear and many were clinging to nationalism as a means to escape the pain.  The collapsed twin towers fell upon the hearts and shoulders of my fellow Americans.  I wandered the city in a daze.  I really did not have time to react with my consciousness.  I was just able to point my camera and push the shutter.  Everywhere I turned my lens I saw the red white and blue of the American flag.  Around every concrete corner I stepped there were reminders of the city had been changed.  The twin towers stood no more.  What does that mean to me?  What does that mean to my fellow Americans?  How would this event change myself as an artist?  More importantly how will it change my view as a member of the human race?

I have never been overly patriotic.  I truly believe in the relishing of  cultural differences make a people stronger.  I do not want to single out people who are not like me and label them as other.  It allows too much room for hate.  If we relate to each other as “other” it becomes an escape to having to interact with people who may be very different from ourselves.  As I walked the streets of NYC, I saw the fear in peoples’ eyes.  I saw the middle eastern men in their kebab carts displaying the flag as readily as the old immigrants.  I thought to myself when will America grow up and accept all immigrants as Americans.

All Americans, except for the Native Americans, have come from the farthest reaches of the world.  We all came in order to have a better life in the United States.  I am amazed at how quickly my fellow Americans have forgotten that at one point in their family’s history that they too were the outsider.  They were oppressed.  They were not allowed to seek certain employment opportunities. The Private clubs were closed to them as well.  The were despised by the Americans who had immigrated at an early time.

Now we fast forward to 2011.  There is an African American in the oval office.  Something in my short life I thought that I would never see.  Yet, still people question his loyalty to his country.  The fact is that America’s racial and cultural composition has drastically been altered by immigration patterns over the last 50 years.  The day is fast approaching where white skinned Americans will be the minority and dark skinned Americans will be the majority.  Unfortunately instead of embracing our various cultural identities some of my fellow Americans are running scared from what the coming future.

When will Americans, regardless of cultural, release their hate from their lives and fill that void with love?  To love one another.  To seek truth over lies and deceit.  To venture forth and find real change.  Not the fleeting change that comes from politics, but the real change that lifts up humans hearts as we grow closer to one another through the Creator.  Like the hand written piece of fabric left at St. Paul’s Chapel that read, “God Bless the World.”  The world needs to be blessed by the Creator.  Not hate, but to allow love to flourish.

This 10 year anniversary should be a time to reflect as a people where have we journeyed over the past years.  For I, as an artist, the experience of September 11th has forever changed how I communicate to the world.  Our time here on earth is so limited.  I do not want to fill what little time I have been allotted with hate.  I want to go out to the world with an open heart with camera, brush, or word to bring more light into the world.  September 11th taught me to embrace by voice.  To go out into the world and use expression as my weapon to reveal slices of my soul.  It taught me not to be afraid of the unknown.  I am able to step with confidence out into a troubled world with the knowledge of love in my heart, and righteousness in my works.

Take the time this September 11th to take stock in yourself.  How do you want to spend the valuable life force we have been granted.  Let us take these energies to seek out good, justice, and beauty.  Do not let the hate and fear control your life.  Life is short to be filled with negative emotions.  Go out and livicate yourselves to each other.  Make the conscious choice to live in the light.

 

Flowers Crying Blood at Ground Zero, New York 2001

Firefighter American Flag Closed, New York 2001

below follow some previously published images from 2001 and 2002 in New York City

ny alarm

america is not for sale

talibanamerica, 2001 NYC

page01

the other side, NYC 2001

no more hate

33 to 1 by John Walford

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

John Walford blessed me with another poem inspired by one of my images.  A big shout out to john for taking the time to use his senses and see anew.

Thirty-three little blue faces turn
To catch the rays of the unseen sun.
One grey dish it’s face too does turn
Towards unseen beams, airwaves
Bearing from afar sights and sounds
That in turn make our heads turn.
And your head, your eyes, which way
Will you turn, and what will you absorb?
–JW, for Jacob Schere, October 24, 2010.

Flower Satellite Wall

Flower Satellite Wall

please take the time to visit Johns blog here, originally published on Nowonlyconnect Blog.

Nine Years on The Confrontation Continues

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

There has been a distance of nine years since the Twin Towers in New York City came crashing to the ground, splitting the the American soul in two.  I journeyed to New York city in November of 2001 to attend the unveiling of my grandmothers headstone.  With camera in hand, I wandered the street, shooting, taking in the red white and the horror.  I saw the best and the worst of America on the island of Manhattan.

As the distance between the actual event and the memory of the event grow farther apart, how will America and the world remember it?  WIll it be one of hate and fear, or one of tolerance and compassion.  My fellow brothers and sisters of different faiths and cultures think about this day I pray that people choose to see what connects humanity together rather than what separates us.

Take this time to reflect on how we all must fit into this world.

Therefore, In my open letter to the city that calls me one of her own, don’t close your doors and your hearts.

Don't Close, 2001 New York

CLOSED, 2001 NYC

Lonely Crane of Nippori Station

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

After making it all the way to Nippori station from wandering from Minowa I found this little origami crane tucked into an iron girder at the station.  It reminded me of the stillness that I often seek out in my life.  As the rushing madness of the city swirls by here a quiet crane sat amongst the dust and peeling paint.

Reflect

Think

Explore

Stillness

Nippori Eki Crane

The Tussle between Nature & Culture: From John Walford’s Blog

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I am honored to have had one of my images critiqued by the art historian John Walford.  He wrote an interesting critique of my image Window Squared Garden Door.  I will repost the the text and the image below.  Be sure to go and take a wander though his writing and his flick image stream.

Window Squared Garden Door

Window Squared Garden Door

“The Tussle between Nature & Culture”

What man makes is straight and sheer,
Submits to measure, 3-3-1, lines full clear.
Manu-facture now means machines,
That press, and cut – it’s all so Schere.

A Creator-God does differently:
All lines have curve, none quite the same,
Species more than man can name,
In orange, purple, blue, and red.

Held up on stems, all twisty, bend;
Throw out sun-panels to catch
The rays and rains send down. -
But time and frost, He too does send.

From birth to grave, there is this dance,
Like plants that twine around man’s struts.
Interdependent, they lunge and lance,
As Jacob, with the angel, bends and butts.

–John Walford, for Jacob Schere/twisty331, July 8, 2010,
a salute for your scrupulous eye.

Originally published on Only Connect Blog, by John Walford

July 8, 2010

Bring for the First Sheaths of the Harvest

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I have been thinking about this a lot these days.  That in ancient times the first fruits of the harvest were given over to the priest of the the temple to be offered.  We have lost touch with our roots and connection to the land.  When do we plant, when do we harvest has all been lost to those that live in the metropolises of today.

I struggle to find those connections being a city dweller myself.  I maintain a simple patio garden filled with fruit and spice plants.  I have re committed myself to tending my plants more closely this year as a way to keep some connection with the biorhythms of the earth.

Keep on finding that connection.  Take care of your garden.  You are the master of the fields if you choose to be.

The First Sheaths of Grain

Half and Half

Tile by Tile they Built

Lost Braid in a Square Circle

World Cup Dreams circa 2002

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

As the World Cup kicked off yesterday, my thoughts went back to an essay I had written for the 2002 World cup that was held in Japan and Korea.  To put the thoughts below into a mind frame context I had written the essay about seven months after the events of September 11.  Because this was written before I had a blog iI sent this out as an email blast to friends, family and colleagues.

Again my thoughts return to the countries coming together on the pitch.  A place where the poorest most backwards country can play their hearts out against the Goliaths of the world on a level pitch.  I am no way a spots fanatic.  However, since there is the World Series in America, in which only America and Canada get to play in, I have got to give some big time respect to the countries of the world playing in the cup, including America.

The original story from 2002 is below.

Soccer Ball of What Never Was, World Cup Dreams

Written in 2002 by Jacob Schere

I’m definitely not what you would call a sportsman.  I never grew up watching or playing sports.  When I am asked “what sports  do you like?” my answer is “NONE.”  However, this is changing due to the success of the American World Cup team.  As most of you know I’m often very critical of America and its ways. Lets just say that it’s a love hate relationship that we have.  I have especially been harsh surrounding the September 11 events.

I’ll will always be the first to point out some political injustice, however I have always supported the underdog on the pitch.   Now I feel this underdog spirit in the form of pride coming from a point which I thought didn’t exist in my body.  America has finally been able to compete in the world of football. [ only here in Japan and America is it called Soccer ]  The critics of the American game said they wouldn’t make it out of the first round, but they did.  Other armchair coaches said the Americans would never beat Mexico and the score was 2-0.   The team fought a well organized match against Germany; however, the score was 1-0 in Germany’s favor.   The world is looking at American soccer differently now.  As the world is looking differently at American soccer I am also looking at America a little differently.

Today I feel a little better about being an American.  Not so much because America won some tough matches at the World Cup, but because of the spirit and great team play of the players on the team.  A team that I can take pride in because of its diversity.  The names on the team reflect the nature of America itself. Names like Donovan,  Friedel, the captain Reyna, Cherundolo, Jones are out on the Pitch and in essence truly represent the make up of the country.  All shades, different backgrounds, however, one team on the pitch.  I know that I’ll continue to have my love hate relationship with the motherland, but deep inside my spirit I’ll have the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup that helped me to come a little closer to understanding some of the better things about America.

Experiencing this World Cup in Japan has helped to see that the world is a beautiful place.  We can’t only think about the evil that is being done in the world. There are glimmers, and diamonds of goodness.    All one has to do is to open their eyes and see things clearly for the first time.  Now if only we can get the nations of the world to settle their differences on the pitch instead of with guns.

please feel free to write me back with any questions, or comments.

lots of respect from Japan

Jacob

Lucid Communication

m2c

Zig Zag Crash on Through

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

This can be a motto of my life.  I always seem to be zigging and zagging on though it.  There is never that clearly defined path.  So, I tend to just make my own way.  Stumbling falling down, but every so often there is the right push, and that zigging and zagging creates a break though.  A way to see beyond the next avoidance.  Do not be afraid of those unexpected failures, those crashes that leave the ego bruised and battered.  Get up, look around, and discover how you can crash on though.

These were the thoughts that occupied my mind as i wandered back to my home this afternoon.  Trying to make everyday the day that I crash and break on though simultaneously.

I try not to fret.

I try to my troubles.

I let what is to be, be.

and I create those spectacular crashes ALL by myself.

Live Up ! ! ! ! !

I Zigged, Then Zagged, and Busted on Through

Hair Flow Intertwine

Red Squared Bump

IN the Mix

Up the Danchi, Climb

Fragmented into it’s Elements, or Not?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

All of life we seem to separate and fragment into their individual elements.  We try so hard to distinguish between, life, work, and our spiritual pursuits.

The way I see the world though my lens, is that the elements are fragmented, but only because we choose not to see the way in which they are all interconnected with everything else in our life, and the world that surrounds us.

All the fragments merge together to create the collage that we all assemble as individuals called life.  These bits and fragments form the synapses of our being.  As we step though the world new ones are created while some decay into forgotten memories.

fragmented, divided, or collaged?

We must choose how we will view the world.

Can't Stop Art, Version III

Urbanized Tree

Red Ku

Smiling at the Concrete

Slash Slashing Slashed

Pouring Out from the Heart

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

After 36 plus hours of cool weather and rain the the sun was allowed to shine down upon all of us in the Kanto region today.  We were able to open up and soak up those wonderful rays.  My plants on my patio were blessed with yellow rays of light to make them shoot up tall and strong.

This lovely weather caused me to take stock.  No matter the season, we need to find that beauty that is out there.  Open up our hearts and let all the goodness pour in, and let love flow out.  Let there be a bounce in our steps as we trod though the city.  The sky is blue, the concrete is so gray, yet this combination enlightens me.  This contrast of nature and the things that man has built only strengthens my heart and gives me the energy needed to overcome all odds.

The merging of seeming impossible elements.  They all blur and pixelate in my camera until what bursts fourth is love.  At least this is my intention.  It is what I am trying to accomplish with my art.  I do not know if I will ever achieve it, but I know it is the direction that I must travel.

one love.

Look to the heavens.  Do not try to build there, for only the spirt can truly reach the heavens.

Miami Reminder

357 Slice of Our Sky (San Go Nana)

Another Reality of Our Shared Skies

Can't Build Your Way to the Heavens

Intertwined: Urban and Nature of the Pink Cherry Blossom Madness

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I have been struggling to understand the Japanese obsession with the coming of the cherry blossoms for years.  People stare in amazement at the lovely pink and white blossoms that fill the heavens in late March to early April.

Some celebrate the coming of the blossoms to express their joy in Bacchus self abandonment.  Drinking themselves until they lay motionless under the trees they came out to enjoy.  Families gather for yearly portraits under the flowers.

Today as I was riding my bicycle thought the falling pink petals I was puzzled trying to come to a realization of why there is so much commotion of with the pink madness.  I remembered what I had asked my wife if she had ever seen cherry blossom trees out in the wild and she answered NO.  Therefore her and many others experience of the blossoms has been though the lens of an urban landscape.  I think this is the key to my satori.

That the cherry blossoms are a way for people to connect with their earthen roots.  Their roots that go back to when Japanese society was a purely agricultural society before they industrialized.  By standing in awe of the natural beauty of the flowers they can touch part of their spirit that has faded as Japan has stepped into the industrial age.

So, now I can stare up and see the urban concrete jungle of daily Tokyo intertwined with the branches cherry blossoms.  All merging into a beauty that only comes around for a couple of weeks each year.

It's Complicated

Bridged

Locke, Blossom, Canal

No Separation, Intertwined

Starring out At the World

Horie 6-31 and Plastic Cherry Blossoms

Unknown Future, Present and Past

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Sometimes if feels that I am standing on the edge of a mist that shrouds everything in mystery.  I do not know where to step, and where that step will lead me.  However, this is no reason to fret.  Take a deep breath and let the spirit wind of the most high enter into your consciousness.  Do not be afraid.  Your lost roots can be rediscovered.  The present is where you stand at any given point in time, and the future, no one knows.

step, Step, STEP

trod, Trod, TROD

soon come

Unknown Present, Future, and Past

Are Pixels Just Silver Halide with Ones and Zeros?

Monday, February 8th, 2010

After hearing the news that Fuji Film will cut quite a bit of its 120 product soon has caused me to think a lot about the digital age of photography that we all find ourselves in these days.  Even the simple notion of a digital photograph, can it still be called a photograph?  Does it really matter in the end, if the artist is happy with the image that he/she has created is that all that is of artistic concern?

Photography in its early days really has a science more than an art.  The photographer needed knowledge of chemistry and the physical properties of light in order to create images. Nowadays, that knowledge has slowly been eroded to the point that it no longer really matters.

You just press the button and, BING, you get an image.

Im old school, but I do love my new school digital tools.  I want to be free, to pick and choose the tools that are best for that moment of expression. Many argue and talk about analog vs digital.  I don’t see it that way.  I see that the digital and the analog both compliment each other.  In the hands of an artist they can allow creations of new work that have yet to be expressed.

I will tweak away to my hearts content, for that struggle to find out more about myself, and the world within we all dwell.

Pixel-Silver-Halide

Corner Sliver, Out to the Sea

Void it is Not

I Dreamed I Awoke in my First House

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Wandering the streets is just something that I need to do.  I also need to wander though the memory and synapses of my mind to be able to share some of myself with those that are also thirsty to see.  Wandering the backstreets of Ichikawa, can be a physical manifestation of the labyrinth of my soul.  I wander the streets, intentionally trying to loose my way.  To turn a corner to find that mystery at the end of a long left turn.  Sometimes there is a dead end, and the mind, and camera must turn around and become lost in the maze of asphalt again.

So, wander, get lost in yourself and find those dark places that need to be discovered in order to keep balance in your life and my life.

I Dreamed I Awoke in my First House When I was a Child

There Are Men and Women in This World

Concrete Reflected Flower

Veselka, 2nd Avenue and 9th Street

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Veselka is in the news, again.  When I am in NYC I try to have breakfast at Veselka everyday.  It is also good for those late night cravings.  I have fond memories of having a slice of carrot cake.  Was it late night or early morning?  Does it really matter?  Anyways, those of you out there in NYC are fortunate to have such a fabulous place to eat, drink and be with friends.

check out the New York Times article on Veselka

more info about http://www.veselka.com/ from their website.

Veselka's Coffee Mug

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere