cement

I am a Cat, Let me Sleep

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Higashi Kasai Feline

It Sunday afternoon and I am napping on the side of my building.  It is pretty cool here in the shade.   I can catch up on all my missed sleep from my running around the neighborhood the night before.

Wait a minute some has stopped his bicycle in front of my mansion.   I lift my ears and then my eyes to figure out what is going on.  Could they be here to give me some tasty tuna bits?  Are they here to try to nab me and bring me off somewhere?  I could hardly be bothered.  I just wanna be here by myself.

I don’t really know.  All I know is it is a bit hot outside and I have the whole afternoon to do nothing but just sit in the shade.  I hear the world go by around me but I barely raise and ear as long as they just leave me alone and let me nap.

Perhaps in a little bit I might stretch my legs and take a stroll around my territory to make sure no one has tried to set up shop in my part of town.  I just couldn’t stand that.

That is a thought for another day.  I am content to just lie on my stomach and dream of tuna, catnip and little furry creatures to chase.

I am a cat, so let me sleep, and dream.

 

When the Levee Blooms, Have no Fear

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

When the Levee Blooms

Civilizations spring up along fertile rivers in the middle east and Africa.  The water was the fuel that gave the settles the needed life-force to survive without wandering.  The rivers would overflow their banks once a year and deposit their black gold.  The black gold would be rich with nutrients to maker their cereal crops grow.

As man’s dependence grow on the life giving waters so to did he attempt to regulate them.  To be able to guide where the rivers would overflow, or protect themselves from the ravages of the rivers after man began to live so closely to the edge.

Earthen works were constructed to keep the rising waters at bay.  They thought they had the technology to keep back the rhythmic cycles of nature.  For a time the works were successful, but eventually the levee would fall into disrepair and collapse.

Civilizations still build these levees.  In fact there is a huge earthen one within walking distance from my home.  Do I feel safe with them in place?  I feel only somewhat protected because I know no matter what man builds nature can always take them down with a blink of an eye.  The levees may be overrun in flash or they could crumple under the weight of debt.

Have no fear, it is not the levee that protects I, it is the love that does.  Let the blossoms bloom over the levees let their roots wiggle between the cracks in the cement and cover their surface with purple blossoms.  Have no fear.

 

 

Temporary Phasing

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Some things will last forever.  Somethings change too quickly to be seen.  Some things move between one phase and an other. It is just temporary.

Water is fluid and full of motion at room temperature.  In the heat of the earth the water becomes steam.  In the dead of winter the fluidity of water becomes motionless.

Wet snowflakes fall from the sky moving from one to another.  Hitting the wet cement it quickly transforms its alternative self.

It sometimes it is all just moment between one phase and the next.

Temporary Phasing

Standing Solo in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

I am definitely on a learning to survive so that the next stage one can thrive these days.  And on this day of rest my thoughts return to the natural world.  Nature has a way of coping with pretty much anything that it encounters.

In the dead of winter, a succulent has the ability to keep on growing.  Lifting up its fleshy leaves up to the warm sunshine.  Not only are they reaching up, but this one was sending out new shoots.

New life is sprouting forth in the middle of winter in the deepest backwater suburbs of Ichikawa, just east of the sprawl of the Tokyo metropolis.

We all got to find our ways to thrive in adverse environments.  My way and your way most likely will not be the same.  But, we will find our style of thriving!

Solo WInter Succlulent

Bouquet Pon Wall Pon Slime Pon Camera

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Harmony is a word we like to know but we rarely see it in practice.  How do two things that shouldn’t be in harmony with each other get to be?

I found one answer the other day as I was wondering along a wall in Chiba Prefecture. The large cement wall probably had been built to hold back the hillside from sliding into the houses that are packed in one right next to each other.  The large poured concrete wall had a few drainage pipes built into the wall in order to release some of the rain water that saturates the hillside.  In some of these drainage pipes a perfect plant bouquet was packed in.  The plant was thriving on the water that was filtering in through the mud and out through the concrete wall.  It was a pure harmonious relationship.  The wall and mus supplied the water and nutrients needed to sustain the bouquet’s life.  The plant in return added to the simple aesthetic beauty of the poured concrete.  Together they were able to capture my lens.  They were able to communicate with me about their relationship.

Yes, objects communicate with each other, and they also communicate with me.  It is a triangular relationship between the objects I focus in on, the camera that allows me to capture it, and the spirit that allows me to communicate with all sides of the process.

Lucid communication, thats what it is all about.

Wall Bouquet Slick

Vine Pon Wall Pon Pipe

Wall Bouquet 01

It Only Takes Roots

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A concrete wall has been constructed.  It was constructed to hold back the earth from sliding.  However, all it takes are some roots to wiggle their way into a small fissure to bring down what was built by man.

The overall power and beauty of nature never ceases to arouse my curiosity.  There is a place in my soul that drives me to explore the connections between myself and the world that ww all inhabit.  This tiny fern has been able to burrow its roots deep into the fissure dividing two slabs of weathered concrete.  It has adapted to be able to grown on a completely vertical surface.

On one of the slabs of poured cement some children have left their marks.  Taking rocks and scratching the surface of the blackened gray leaving behind a physical memory.  A moment from their childhood when they picked up a stone to express themselves.  The children’s scribblings are coexisting with the strong roots of the fern.

For me it is just another amazing day out in the world.  A world where humans compete and coexist with the nature that surrounds us all.

Fern Sprout Scratching Graffiti

Thinking Like the Weeds from Otemachi to Ginza

Monday, September 5th, 2011

It was really hard to get motivated to leave the house this morning.  It was so hard that I didn’t leave the house to it was actually afternoon.  I am not sure why it was so hard to get moving.  Sometimes I feel like going nowhere at lightning speed.  The only thing that eventually got me to back up my gear and go was that I could pick up my macbook that has been at the Apple store in Ginza for the past week.

The grayish skies didn’t really help motivate me either.  The skies eventually poured some rain before I headed to Ginza.  It was all just delaying my activity.  The rain, just made me want to stay indoors even more.

I got to the bus stop to catch my ride to the station.  I popped on some tunes and just watched the world roll by my window.  I almost never really feel comfy on the bus.  I usually have to sit at a bit of an angle to get my long legs to fit.  This occasionally brings on some stares from the other riders.

Decided to try to hunt down a copy of the Errol Morris’ new book on photography.  I didn’t have any luck finding it but I picked up the latest Carl Hiassen novel.  I think I really need something slightly escapist to read.  I made my way from Otemachi station over to Ginza.  I love to follow the tracks in this part of town, because there is no wasted space.  All of the alcoves under the old brick layered tracks are filled with shops and places to catch a bite to eat.

Today I was taken in by the weeds in under the tracks at Yurakcho station.  These weeds were thriving in a world of bricks and concrete.  Some have made their homes in the tiniest of cracks.  Their green hues adding a layer of beauty to the urban tones.

Maybe i couldn’t search out the gardens and flowers today because of my brain cloud like Tom Hanks was diagnosed with in Joe Versus the Volcano.  Perhaps I could relate to these out of placed weeds.  Here they were in a field of concrete and they were thriving.

I too want to thrive and not just survive.  It seems like I’m in survival mode.  I know I shouldn’t worry but I do.  I will have to think like the weeds.  Be strong.  Be flexible. And most importantly thrive under adverse conditions.

Ferns out of Brick

Nekojelasi under Yurakcho Tracks

Clump of Weeds in Alcove

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

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

Where I Used to Play, The Naked Lady at Dante Fascell Park

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I decided to head down to Coconut Grove today to enjoy the lovely cool weather.  On my way there I passed by Dante Fascell Park.  This park has been the scene for many birthdays, playtimes, and even was a location for my Bar Mitzvah portrait with my dog Sundance.  I didn’t stop, but I made a mental note to return there on the way home and explore around a bit.

I was happy to see youth climbing all over the naked lady sculpture just like I used to as a child growing up in south Florida.  There she was, in her cool gray concrete self.  Nothing to protect her from the elements.  Just the youth climbing all over her, and soaking up the cool warmth of her bosom.

I am glad to see her still there, reclining, and just chilling in the Miami sun.

Where I Used to Play, The Naked Lady at Dante Fascell Park- Nestled Between Concrete Breasts

Where I Used to Play, The Naked Lady at Dante Fascell Park- Breasts, Legs and Swings

Where I Used to Play, The Naked Lady at Dante Fascell Park- Legs and Sand

Concrete Boxes, Miami Style

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I just love these concrete boxes.  I think they hide water pumping machinery.  This one is a long exposure from FIU’s campus.

3 Cubic Fish Boxes, FIU Miami

Perming in the Urban Garden

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Seated in front of a hair salon in Nishi Kasai, were all these potted Aloe plants.  They were just there adding some green to their concrete surroundings.  Step inside, get a perm, pick a leaf of Aloe to soothe your burns, or dry skin.  All at the Lets Perm Salon.

Perming the Air Conditioner

Double Your Leather Pleasure, Pair of Lost Gloves, Urayasu

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

A pair of leather gloves, waiting to be worn by their owner once again.  There they were.  They were just perched ever so gently on a rough cinderblock wall.  There they sat just half a block from the entrance to Urayasu station.

Double Lost Gloves with Coffee Machine

Can’t Stop Art in Yurakucho

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Another in the series You Can’t Stop Art.  This one was taken in the underpass at Yurakucho station.  Lovely old brick arches with little bars and eateries tucked into those arches.

Can't Stop Art : Yurakucho

The Tipping is on the Wall

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There is was.  Just hanging silently on the wall.  It’s clear plastic body against the cold hued concrete.  Let us just call it my thermometer.  The tip was filled with a measure of water as if gauging the weather.  Quietly, perched, watching and observing me with my camera.

Tipped Wall

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