cherry blossom

Time Escapes as the Cherry Blossoms Desiccate

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Desiccating Cherry Blossom (Wrapped Around) 02

 

Eating my breakfast at 7 (6 pm the previous day on the east coast) in the morning in Tokyo I saw Boston’s horror.  Violence has never sits well with me.  I am an emotional empathetic being much in the way of “He Who Feels It, Knows It.”  I’ll admit to being moved to tears when faced with some of the horrors of the world.

My heart is heavy when I witness hate inspired destruction.  It is immaterial whether that hate is against governments, people, or religions.  Hate is hate.

I recall a memory soon after NYC’s 911 when a dear Japanese friend asked me if I feel more when my people, Americans, are victims of hate.  I answered, “no.”  I feel pain whenever I encounter death, destruction and hatred.  I am not sure if it was a conscious decision on my part or if it is my soul speaking to my heart.

There may have been a time in my life when I would have been more moved by the deaths of my countrymen, but that no longer holds true.  How can we as people that inhabit planet earth learn to respect each other, when we constantly label what we don’t understand as other.

Our physical vessels are on this plane of reality for a blink of time.  Why do we choose hate?  Why do he make the choice to disregard other sentinel beings as other, only good to be thrown out with the trash.

We need to be thankful for the life we have been given.  When darkness enters into our lives we need to shine the light higher and brighter.  We need to lend a hand to our brother and sisters regardless of who they may be.

The only way we can conquer hate, is by employing love.  Love yourself first, then learn to love others.  Seek the beauty and the light the creator has given us.  Use our hearts to extinguish the ignorant fears that drive souls to hate.

Our time we are granted by the Most High is precious, let us not waste it with hatred, but we should fill life with love.  The cherry blossoms have come.  Their beauty delighted us that spring has arrived,  now they lie drying, becoming one with the earth from where they came.

Let these two events remind us of the beauty out there.  The love for nature, and the love shown towards complete strangers as people rushed in to help those in need.  We are our brothers keepers, we must be there to support those worst off at all times.

Love over hate.
Desiccating Cherry Blossom 01

Can’t Stop Spring

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Late Blooming Cherry Blossom with Bicycles

 

This is the week that the youth of Japan return to school, and if they have already graduated it is the month when new recruits head off to their new jobs. Today in many ways felt like spring.  The morning air was dry and a bit on the cool side for my taste, but it was only a few beats away from a warmer afternoon.

The crossing guards were out in force today making sure that all the little ones made it safely to their classrooms.  They were stationed at busy intersections and crosswalks near schools.  They will soon be replaced by volunteer PTA moms.  For most it is the true beginning of the year.  A chance to make a new path.  A chance to become what they want.

As the day progresses so did the forcefulness of the gusty winds.  They have been steadily increasing in power that I felt if I had a bat cape I could have glided all the way home.

The earth’s cycles cannot be stopped.  The wind will blow the petals from the cherry blossoms, and the dandelions will become puffs balls of seeds scattered across Japan.

 

Break Out Spring

Between the Storms there is Silence

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Sky Cherry Blossom Earth

 

There are always storms in life.  Some of them you feel them coming in the depth of your soul.  There is a drop in the weather, unusual cloud form on the horizons, and the wind whips though.  Other times, there is no warning.  One minute you are on a hill enjoying the sunshine, and in a flash the heavens open rain falls and you feel like Noah’s neighbors, unprepared for the storm.

Our spirit and physical bodies need to be in sync.  The more we tune in to the turmoil the more we can be at peace when the unexpected arrives.  To be able to appreciate and love the silence as much as we may fear the storm.

There is enough trouble in the world that we do not need to be out creating storms of our own.  Look for the silence.  Let your spirit seek the peace.

Shalom

Peace

平和

 

The Fallen Prophet

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Fallen Prophet

At one time all looked up with the blue skies behind him.  They all came to admire his strength and eloquence.  The way he could peer into the soul of a crowd.  The way in which he would happily sway in the springtime breeze.  Dancing in the trees while those celebrated below.  Some would come from far around to listen to him speak.  People were always moved when he revealed his heart.

It all ended too soon.  There were many more hearts that he wanted to open.  So many more inspirations that he wanted to give.

But he knew it was his time.  There would be no more moving prophecies.  He wanted to deliver so much more, but he knew that he would be departing this earth.

This is where I found him.  On a concrete wall in a small neighborhood in Tokyo.  Momentarily motionless, until a stiff breeze would pick him up and return him to where he came.

I was the only one to pause and pay homage to the prophet.  I saw the works that he accomplished in his short life.  A life to be memorialized.  The words spoken to be remembered.

All bow their heads for a moment of silence for the fallen prophet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Momentary Triptych of Cherry Blossoms

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Tripple Window Cherry Blossom

The time that we are allowed to spend on earth is so short.  One moment the time is here to be enjoyed and the next it has floated off.  We struggle to hold onto that time.  We desire to make those moments last a lifetime.  I strive to cherish the time that we have.

This freezing and stretching of time is one of the reasons that I have fallen so in love with the way of photography.

Photography allows me to capture those fleeting moments.  To be able to stretch that second into a lifetime of viewing.  I can always go back and reflect back on that moment.  All the elements with in the frame may no longer physically exist, but they live on in pixels, or silver halides.

Next week when I return to the same place where this image was taken it will no longer exist.  The petals of the cherry blossoms will have all drifted to another place.  The light will vary depending on the day, but I have this moment when all the elements aligned and the photograph was taken.

Enjoy those moments.  Reach out to them.  Search through family albums and relive moments that have passed.  Before we know it those memories will float away just as the petals fall from the cherry blossoms.

 

Cherry Blossom Self and Shadow

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Cherry Blossoms' Self

The beautiful cherry blossoms are out.  They survived the near typhoon force weather that hit Tokyo the day before I returned to Japan.

I really haven’t had the time or energy to go out and enjoy them this season, basically because I have just been in a haze of jet lagged exhaustion.  That all being said, I did get out of the house for a bit of a walk around today.

The sun was beautiful and the temperatures made me feel like it really is spring time.  The previous days all felt pretty cold to me.  Especially after spending such warm days in Miami and Huntsville.

The wind was whipping in over Tokyo Bay as this let the cherry blossoms do their dance for me.  White ones, pink ones all out their boogying to the spring time jam.  People were out enjoying some picnic lunches with friends under the canopy of blossoms.

As I wondered around a bit this afternoon I found myself remembering what it was to walk around last year at this time.  The Tohoku-Kanto tsunami and earthquake were on everyones mind as well as the ongoing nuclear disaster.  So much has happened in the course of one year.  We in Japan had to face every known disaster imaginable at one point over the last 12 months.  It was a year I would not like to repeat again.

It was at this time that my eyes truly opened to the beauty of spring.  The rebirth of all the nature that lays dormant during the cold short winter days.  The flowers were a sign of strength for the future.  A sign that we had made it this far, and that out of the disasters beauty can once again be found.

I have since found myself paying closer attention to the natural world even if they may be confined to terra-cotta pots and curbside gardens.  I make an effort to observe the moon as it goes through its phases.  Which fruits are ripe and hanging from the trees.

Even in this concrete jungle their is nature.  We should all pause to take notice among the neon glow and the endless data byte streams.  Nature is there.  All we have to do is to open our hearts and eyes to fill our hearts with joy.

Cherry Blossoms Have to Deal with Their Shadow Too

Flowershine on a Cloudy Day

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

The purple evening skies of yesterday continued over to today.  The clouds hung low, and the colors were allowed to develop into such rich hues.

I have been wearing a surgical mask when I go into Shin Urayasu for two reasons.  Firstly, my hay fever has been atrocious, a secondly the dust just blows around with no place to go.  I kind of hate when I am wearing the mask, and my glasses fog up, but I guess it is better than being all full of sniffles and sneezes.  However, today the pollen was so strong the mask didn’t make any difference.

I am amazed at some of the pathways and sidewalks in Shin Urayasu.  Because of the liquefaction on some parts they just became piles of bricks, and others, they rhythmically all tilted by 15 degrees.  It was by watching the paths that led me to a Cherry Blossom tree at an entrance to a townhouse like development.  The voluptuous pink blossoms were such a contrast to the dirt filled sidewalk along the main street.  It was so tranquil and seemed so far removed from all the construction going on just meters from this tree.

It again reminded me of the dual nature of the society we are living in.  We are so desperately wanting to return to a stable home life, but the constant aftershocks, the construction, and the Fukusshima nuclear power plant are all there like a fog that wont break up in the morning sun.  Yet, here there was this tree.  It paid no difference to the dust, construction or other worries.  All the tree knew was that it was spring and it was time to bring forth it’s blossoms.

As I continued to make my way home, I caught another flower.  This time it was just a weed.  It was growingly  singularly in some space between a wall and the sidewalk I was on.  The flower just appeared to be shinning.  It was radiating warm light that filled my lens to with warmth.  This images just sandwiched my day.  The tranquil to the mundane.  All full of beauty and full of such promise.

Cherry Blossom and Brick Pathway

Aubergine Tree, Shin Urayasu

Flowershine on a Cloudy Day

Trying to Re-sync with the Nature Around Us

Monday, April 18th, 2011

As the wind was whipping up around me last Friday, I used the time to mull over in my mind my relationship to the environment.  Being in the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo we sometimes forget that there is a rhythm to life that is not set by the subway timetables.

There are seasons to be observed.  The Japanese were very in tune with nature, and their attention to the arts reflect this connection; however, the connections between man and nature are being severed.  For example, I heard from a friend a few weeks ago that some residents across the river from me were in a complete panic when they found yellow powder in the streets and on the buildings.  They immediately jumped to the conclusion the radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant’s radiation has reached their homes.  Even though, radiation, is odorless, colorless and tasteless.  The officials checked the suspicious yellow powder, which turned out to be just plain old pollen.

Have we so lost touch with nature that we have forgotten that at certain times of the year pollen dusts our neighborhoods?  I try to live my live with a balance between the urban and the natural.  It isn’t always easy, because of the way we isolate ourselves from nature.

Take the time to notice the seasons.  Take the time to notice how the plants have grown, shed, or changed since the day before.  Take notice of these things as they meld and mix with the concrete and steel around us.

Nature is the Real Power

Starflowers Concrete and the Cyclists

Tokyo Harmony and Hope

Monday, April 11th, 2011

There is a beautiful park in my neighborhood.  There are cherry blossom trees, a manmade hill that children slide down of pieces of cardboard, jungle gyms to climb on.  It really is a nice park.  But there is a little secret about the park.  The only reason that there is a park there is because of the huge power lines that are running over the park.

So rather than run from the power, and the man made I have decided to embrace the harmony.  The blossoms working in harmony with their man made wires.  The seemingly random fractal growth of the branches, intertwined with the straight and designed power lines.

On the one month anniversary of the great Tohoku-Kanto earthquake we were reminded with an aftershock of 7.1 magnitude that the power of the earth has not yet settled.  However, let us look to spring as a reminder that there is beauty outside.  There is manmade and there is the beauty that only the creator can make.  Sometimes the most thrilling of them is when they work in harmony with each other.

Stay safe

Stay blessed

Stay positive

Nature and Manmade in Tokyo Harmony

Sunday in the Park with my Neighbors, and the Cherry Blossoms

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

After a cold and rainy Saturday, the weather warmed and I decided to stroll over to my local park to see the cherry blossoms and see if my fellow neighbors would too.  I was astonished to see how my people were crowded into the park.  Families had spread plastic sheets all over the park.  Couple strolled hand in hand snapping pictures as they went.

There are some possible reasons why so many ventured out this year to our neighborhood park.  Metropolitan Tokyo but a damper on the hanami (flower viewing) parties in their parks, but our park is run by Edogawa ward.  There were no lanterns hung this year, but there were many more people.  Maybe they came out to the local park rather than hopping on the train to a bigger Tokyo park.  I also truly feel that with all the tragedy and stress people have been under today was a chance to escape it, and to welcome the beautiful little things that the Japanese take so much pleasure in.

It again gave me a lot of hope to see so many people out and enjoying the weather.  There is still a long way to go, but we are going there together, and Japan will overcome.

Packed Park Flower Garden

Picnic on the Hill with Cherry Blossom Row

Tulip Row

More to Come, Cherry Blossom Buds

Spring is the Time for Change

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I have been going through a lot over the last several weeks, as I am sure many of my fellow expats and Japanese have been going through with the after effects of the earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear situation.  I have been reasoning deeply with myself what is my position in all of this.  What should my reaction as a human and an artist should be?

I have been in this situation shortly after 9/11 in NYC.  My images I was creating were so overwhelmingly negative that it was beginning to make me ill.  But, I knew I had to capture these raw emotions in order to start the healing process within myself.  I find myself in a similar situation now; however, I do have 10 years experience since NYC.

And I have decided that the side that I must show is the positive.  I need to balance those sides in my artistic creations.  There is so much evil in the world, and the media over covers that so much that it makes me sick to my stomach.  I want to, I need to create work that is positive, showing the hope and the beauty in the world.

Spring is springing here.  The passover is coming.  A time to renew my relationship with the creator.  As a jew it is important to renew the self.  I see the flowers blooming.  I see the new recruits in their crisp justly bought suits.  These are the seeds of change that the world needs in a sea of despair.

Seek out the light.  Put your faith in higher places.  Do not let the hype paralyze you from action. Set this spring as a chance to renew yourself, and create the world that we all want to live in.

Much respect to double you from flickr for seeing the change in my images before I even could consciously.

Stop and smell life.

peace and much love from Tokyo, Japan.

Flower Stars, Edging of Hope

Time for a Change, Seasons, Life, the Earth

Pink Beauties and Asphalt, Tokyo

Studying Ability

Windy Strewn Cherry Blossoms

Spring Continues Springing

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The weather was gorgeous today.  The sun was high in the sky and the cool air blowing in from Tokyo Bay.  As the residents of Tokyo continue to return to normal the flowers only know that it is time to spring forth.

The blooming has begun across all kinds of plants.  Rose bushes are starting to unfold their lovely petals.  The cherry blossom trees that line my park are continuing to open up.  Small groups of mothers with their children are gathering under the cherry blossoms to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of spring.  This year the hanami (cherry blossom watching parties) will be a bit subdued.  I do not see scores of new recruits staking out blue tarps for company parties after the work day has finished.  Tokyo has banned large parties this year and has posted signs that if you are to gather to keep it quiet and cut back on the drinking.

Even though the large parties will not happen, I will be happy to see families out and about enjoying the spring.  With all that Japan has suffered in there 3-11 the bonding will be beneficial for all.

I have, we have, no choice but to be optimistic.  We have to think towards a better day.  We are all trying to cut back on our electrical use.  We are all trying to get back to our so called normal lives.  I sincerely hope that Japan will continue to be thrifty with their energy consumption after learning to make do with less.

No matter what we do, we cannot stop spring from springing; therefore, we should embrace the spring with open arms like long lost family.  Hey there spring!  It surely is fantastic to see you again.

Mailbox Rose

Cherry Blossom Bud with Powerlines

Can't Stop Springing

A New Hope with Cherry Blossoms

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

I have been back in Tokyo now for one week.  It has been a bit of a roller coaster since leaving the warm sun drenched suburbs of Miami, for the cold spring of Tokyo.  As the communities in Japan struggle to return to normalcy, I awoke Friday morning in an inexplicable good feeling.  It was as if some worries of mine had been plucked out from my heart.

As rode the darkened Tozai Line I started thinking that we all are in this together.  We all must do what ever we can to help Japan.  For some us that just means, taking care of our families and continuing to work.

I have decided that the best way for me to acclimate to my odd surroundings is to continue to do what I do best.  Use my camera as means of expression.  Trying to show my community and the world the side of Japan that I see.

These cherry blossoms that are starting to unravel their petals are a sign of good things to come.  This not to say that there are not going to be difficulties, but humans are crafty and together we can overcome.

Anticipating More to Come

Blossoms with a Water Tank

Spring is Popping Up in Tokyo

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As the earth still continues to shake, and TEPCO struggles to contain the the nuclear power plant, the colorful blossoms of spring are popping up in my neighborhood.  The Cherry Blossom trees are covered with buds that should burst forth any day now.

As all these issues that I have absolutely no control over swirl around me I can take some comfort in knowing that mother nature will continue through its cycles.  The flowers will continue to bloom.  The children who have been bundled up during the winter months will head to the parks to play.  All the signs that spring is coming.

Still I feel this uneasiness this spring.  I am sure that there will be little partying under the cherry blossoms.  People’s hearts are heavy with uncertainty about the future.  I have no choice but to be optimistic that a better future will come.

Disasters are a part of human kind, and they challenge us to rise above and overcome them.  My prayers go out to those on the front lines of disasters here in Japan and throughout the world.

For all my family and friends out there, keep us all in prayers.

First Bloom Spotted

Fluffy Pollenating Tree, Minami Kasai

Trio of Spring with Mailbox and Wall

Step Up to Spring with a Pair of Addidas Sneakers

Blossoms on My Mind

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The mercury dropped today to mimic the falling petals of the cherry blossoms.  I guess you can say I have a bit of spring fever, waiting and wanting the warmer weather to return.  So, for those of you who want spring to brighten your day, enjoy the last of the flowers.

Fall, Falling, Fallen . . .

Over Steady Waters

Red Dot Cherry Blossoms

Petal Path

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere