Two Color Fields in Mimomi

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

So, as the earth continues to remind us that it hasn’t settled yet, I will continue to seek refuge among the colors of the flora and fauna.  My heart and soul seek them first, then I find them with my lens.

I walked into a quiet field of unkept grass in Mimomi on Friday.  The field was just full of white and purple flowering weeds.  None of them were much higher than a foot off the ground.  So much color in this micro world.  I am often amazed at the biodiversity that can be found in the most nondescript locale.

Mimomi Field in White

Mimomi Field in Purple

Clouding Sunning in the Bokeh

Friday, May 13th, 2011

After the last two days of constant, persistent rain the sun finally made an appearance.  The humidity pushed near 100% this morning.  I suspect nature is giving us all a hint of what the summer will be like.

Even though I was born and raised in Miami, I have become fore accustomed to less humid and hot weather, because I haven’t lived in Miami for over 20 years now.  So what I am getting at that I will be baking once that mercury hits 35 (95).

Therefore as the clouds played hide and seek with the sun, I chose to get lost in the bokeh.  The blur that is created by having a shallow depth of field.  The rich colors, blur into the near distance.  The little speckles of life that come alive in miniature.

Loose yourself in color.  Stay aware of the goings on in the world, but don’t forget to touch those colors.




Burgundy Potential

Last of the Poppies

Sometimes it is Just a Struggle

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Today was one of those days.  It poured rain all day, and it is predicted to keep on raining all day tomorrow.  There was one aftershock early this morning that woke me from a deep sleep at around 4 or 5 a.m.  It wasn’t that terrible.  It was just a reminder that the earth here hasn’t settled yet.

The streets of Shin Urayasu are just becoming puddles that fill up with the black sludge that percolated up through the earth in the liquefaction.

I took this image of a flower near the station on my way home, and it just seems to sum up the day.  All wet, struggling to stay upright.  I struggled to get it in focus, but failed.  So in the end sometimes it is just a struggle.

Struggle in the Rain

Overcast, Humid with some Explosive Colors

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

I made my way back to the station in a light drizzle.  I was lucky because as soon as I got to the station the rain just started coming down.  The one amazing thing about rainy, or overcast days as a photographer is the the way the colors come out so saturated.  I guess I should get used to this more because rainy season is just around the corner.

It also seems like the aftershocks have been calming down in the last  two weeks or so.  The was one last night right before going to bed at about 11 p.m.  I’m still worried about the prospect for a large earthquake that could hit much closer to Tokyo, but in the scheme of things I haven’t been loosing sleep over that.

I will continue to take comfort in the flowers that surround my daily comings and goings, and keep my faith that the big one won’t come.  And if it does come, then so be it.  I will be spiritually, mentally, and physically prepared the best I can.

Pachi Pachi Pachi with Wire

18-5 Wall Flowers

Another Sunday Among the Blossoms

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Sunday was a little taste of the summer to come.  The weather was very warm with a little of a cool breeze.  It felt good to be out and about with only a short sleeved t-shirt.

I love just to wander around my neighborhood on bicycle.  Even though I may have been down some of the same roads before, there is always something interesting to see.  There is always something I have never quite come across before.

A street side garden that flows out onto the asphalt.  A tiny flower growing between the edge of a wall and a chain link fence and a bunch of flowers jutting out from the side of a wall.  All there in plain sight.  Sometimes they seem like they are just waiting to be noticed by me.




Low Lying Purple Sunshine

Peeking Out Wall

Frontside Garden in the Sun

Only a Puff of Wind

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

It has been a bit of an emotional week.  From feelings of complete numbness to the loss of family that just tugged at my soul.

For over a month now I have been photographing, almost exclusively, flora and fauna.  I am just transfixed by their ability to thrive, while I and my neighbors have to deal with the everyday stress of just being.  I am thankful for their constant reminder of the beauty and the determination of nature.

Dandelions, a simple beautiful flower to some and just a weed to others.  They are edible and can be eaten as a salad.  After the flowers come and the petals fall all that is left is a little fluff of seeds.  The seeds just wait for a puff of wind to send the seeds out to the world.  To find some crack, soil, or potted plant to grow into next seasons dandelions.  Such a simple mechanism to maintain the dandelions.

I am hopeful that fore seeds of faith, and love will spread out into the world.  The seeds can take root in some of the most obscure places.  Will these thoughts and images of mine find some where to take root.  Will people see the seeds, and make the choice to give them some nutrients and help them grow?

I can only hope so.

Speed those seeds.

From Bud to Just a Puff

Purple Requiem

Friday, May 6th, 2011

This week brought the world wide news of the death of an infamous human, which I felt completely numb to the news.  There was no feeling of relief.  There was no sensation of joy to this news.  I was just numb to it.  My only real hope is that the troops in Afghanistan can come home and be with their families.

I received the news from a friend that his brother had passed away.  Even though the brother and I were never very close I remember him in my youthful memories of playing with Star Wars action figures in their backyard.  Making mud pits for the figures to be thrown into.  Fighting over who’s figures were ours, which we kind of solved by writing our names on the soles of Bobba Fett’s feet.  We even would tie firecrackers to some of the poor Star Wars souls and blew them to pieces.

I mourn his passing.  It hit me pretty hard, and I am reminded of how little time we are sometimes allowed on this planet.  We should love those around us.  We should stop and see the beauty out there in the world.

Much Love!

More Love!

More Life!

Violet Requiem

Celebrate Life, Not Death

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The weather yesterday was gorgeous.  The sun was bright.  The air was cool and dry.  A slight breeze was blowing through town.  I was thinking to myself how beautiful life can be if you only take the time to enjoy it.  To open our eyes to the world full of pain and sorrow to see that there is beauty in the living world.

I have continued to be completely obsessed with observing the spring.  All the colors that dance with in my sight at every step, anywhere I go these days.  The flowers are survivors.  They are thrivers even in the most difficult of situations.  Their roots reach down and squeeze in between the cracks to seek out the nutrients from the earth, as the colored petals open up to receive the sun’s rays.

It wasn’t until I got back to the station and hopped on the train that I checked the news on my cellphone.  The top story was Osama Bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.  I had no real emotional reaction to it at that time.  I felt kind of numb.  I felt no joy in the news.

I read through the story and still felt not much of anything.  I wasn’t surprised.  It was as if i was saying to myself, “Ok, now what?”  After the news sank in a bit I began to wonder what is this going to mean in our lives.  Are we truly going to be safer.  I think now.  Now that the number one evil doer in the world has been killed, I thought to myself, what are they now going to use as the poster boy of evil?

I was sadden to see the young Americans out in the street rejoicing in the death of someone.  Even though that someone in no way was a good soul.  My heart tells me that rejoicing in the demise of someone else is just wrong.

I began to think about these young people.  Most of them were of the college years.  They were just children when 911 happened.  They know nothing than what the media has been feeding them over the last 10 years.  In the words of my friend Jerry Kolber It saddened my heart to see them “celebrating as if we had won the world series of baseball!”

We, as human beings, should celebrate LIFE, not death.  Life is worth living.  Life is worth more that all the billions spent in the name of war.  We should celebrate life, the happiness in our lives.  The color and joys that fill up our days.  At the same time we need to be vigil and remember the great incalculable cost to kill one man.

So I choose life.  I will celebrate life, not death.  We cannot let hatred rule our lives, because hate will only breed more hate.  Love can conquer hate, but it is the more difficult way.

For me the flowers and their hues are life.  I celebrate the joy that they bring to my heart.  Let your hearts be open to love to dispel the hate.

One Love

from Tokyo

Dancing Orange Blossoms

Yellow Up Between the Pavement

Love Life in Yellow

Osama is Dead, Now Time for True Reflection

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

I am a bit shocked.  I am in the midst of flashback to the early days of the second Gulf War.  The news that has been reported is that Osama Bin Laden, the great boogeyman of the 21st century, has been killed in Pakistan.  Untold billions of dollars has been spent on this elusive manhunt over the last nearly 10 years.  Many US lives have been lost, along with an unknown number of Afghans, Pakistanis, and Iraqis.  Has all the costs been worth it?  Some of course will answer yes, and many of these same Americans are out in the streets chanting and rejoicing in death of Osama Bin Laden.

However, for me my heart feels heavy. I am not sad, nor joyous at the news of that Osama has been killed.  I am already thinking about who, or what will be the next great evil that America will have to present to the American public.  In the 1940s and 50s that great evil was communism, which evolved into the Anti Soviet days of “Evil Empire” of President Reagan.

I was in New York city a few weeks after September 11th 2001, with my camera in hand.  I was shocked at how America had so quickly demonized the others that they held responsible for the 911 attacks.  Everywhere I went I was confronted with anger, hate, all cloaked in patriotism.  It actually caused me to become physically ill.  All my images and emotions culminated with a photo essay in Chuo Koron Magazine in April 2002.  (Click the link to see the images and the translation)

So here we stand at a crossroads.  The evil witch in many eyes is dead.  Yet we should not rejoice.  We should not fall into the fear that is already being poured out by the media.

The time is now for change.  I am not talking about changing of politicians, but real change that can only come about for looking into your soul, and knowing your relationship with yourself, an with all the others that inhabit this place.

The image I have selected from my series from the images that I shot in 2001 in New York City, takes on new meaning today.  I never noticed that written in pencil within the stenciled WTC letters reads “love conquerors all things.”  Now is the time for more love.  Remember the costs to our wallets and souls that has led us to this day.





4th Street and 3rd Avenue, NYC 2001

Terraced Gardening in Kasai, Keeping in Touch with Nature

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The wind is howling with the threat of some heavy rain to come later in the day.  The clouds of dust and sand just are twirling around in the air.  I grabbed my camera to hit the neighborhood  before the rain hits.

I love the way my neighbors squeeze so many plants into tiny spaces.  There is no wasted space in our neighborhood gardens.  The potted plants crowd corners, spread across the entrance ways to little backstreet shops. I guess living in this urban sprawl we all try to stay in touch with our agrarian roots.  We want to be able to get our hands dirty with earth.  To help bring forth some color in beauty in what sometimes can be overwhelming times.

The plants, flowers, and gardens are there to remind us of our delicate relationship with the natural world.  We have been given dominion over the living world, but this does not mean we can exploit it.  We must act as protectors and nurturers of the natural world.

Plant those seeds, and watch them grow.  Give them the love that they need then we all can appreciate.

planting seeds….

Terraced Flower Garden, Minami Kasai

Step Up Garden with Hose, Minami Kasai

Barbershop Garden with Gnomes, Minami Kasai

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