concrete

Intersection of Natural and Man’s Creations

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Concrete Slab, Drainage Pipe, Hydrangeas Hillside

June is quickly drawing to an end.  The rainy season has come, and without many downpours it has seemed to have already moved on.  There was the unseasonably early typhoon and the heavy Friday rain of last week, but that is about all that has really intensely fallen.

The weather still has been quite odd.  I even had to pull on a sweater on Monday due to the chill.  I am NOT complaining!  I am only observing this oddity. I am thankful for a bit of cool summer weather because, I know that the sticky hot months of July and August will be upon all the city dwellers soon enough.  Those days where the humidity is so high that walking out one’s front door is like getting slapped in the face with a hot wet blanket.

As I stroll around in the spare moments that I have I am more attracted to the way nature and mankind’s creations interact with each other.  Sometimes that interaction one of the two is winning the battle; however,   there is often quiet détente playing out between the uncomfortable neighbors.

The large blooming hydrangeas cast sharp shadows over it’s concrete neighbors.  The concrete prohibits the flowers’ roots from seeking more fertile ground.  There they both exist influencing each other.  No one wins no one truly looses.  In the camera’s mixing palette both gain an non combative posture.  In the lens they acknowledge each others presence.

We must deeply love the natural world.  Without love we will never be able to survive as a species.  Our interactions must be done out of love and respect for nature.  Let some areas be completely wild, while we attempt to tame others.  Let us bring some of that wildness into the spaces that we occupy with our homes, offices, and public spaces.

In the meantime I continue to inhabit this détente between the two dynamic spheres.  My heart sees the two clearly, and I search out those frames where there isn’t a struggle it is only cooperation.

That is the intersection between the leafy green and the poured concrete. The delicately balanced harmonious interactions between those worlds that enter my heart by way of a piece of ground glass.

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.

 

 

Sopping Wet Snow Spotted in Chiba, Japan

Friday, January 20th, 2012

It’s cold.  Really cold.  It is the kind of wet cold that just goes through your skin and heads straight to your bones.  This is when my growing up in Miami has its drawbacks.  It is right on the threshold of what I can bear.

The rain came all night, and continued into the morning.  People living on the west side of Tokyo had snow in the morning, but us on the east side next to the bay it was just gray dreary rain.

At around 12:30 pm the rain started become a bit slushy.  Not ten minutes later did that slush become snow.  I stood in front of a large glass window watching the clumps of snow fall to the ground and then vanish once they hit the puddles.  Watching the snow come down always relaxes, and excites my soul.

Snow was always something special to me.  My family only got to experience snow when war were on a vacation.  So, as soon as I see snow I think, VACATION!  I don’t want to see to much snow.  But a few times a winter is enough for me.

On this shabbat a special shabbat shalom shout out to Christine for sending some goodies from the states.  May all my other friends and family have a beautiful day of rest too!

Step Up Snow Kenji

Stepping up the Gardens

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

We still seem to be in the yo-yo throws of the weather.  Cold, wet, and rainy is followed by cool and sunny.  I really don’t mind so much because it allows me to still enjoy the cool clean air without having to be all bundled up.  Not only being reminded of the complete changeability of the the weather, at 5:59 a.m. on Saturday morning a 5.2 earthquake shook us awake.  It wasn’t that powerful of a quake, but its epicenter was not far from where we lay our heads to rest.  As a friend mentioned this morning that with all the shaking it must be like living in a war zone, when you never know when the enemy is going to strike.

I try my hardest to put all of these things into perspective and not let them to disrupt my mediations and focus.  They are more reminders of the delicate nature of life that we have been granted here on the earth.  We need to make the most of it and devote our energies to what really matters.  Reaching out our hands to help others in needs.  Using our time to explore ourselves and the world that we all inhabit.  Looking for those vibrations that speak to our souls.

Sometimes the language being spoken to us is confusing and needs to be translated.  In my case it is my camera that helps me to interpret the world around me.  The lens acts as a mechanism to filter the world, and allows me to see the positivity in the world.  Those positive vibrations might be hidden in plain view, but with my mediation and focus I am blessed to be able to see that beauty.  Those concrete steps, which for some are just concrete steps, take on new meaning to me.  They are an integral part of my worldview.  The plants and life that inhabit the tiny spaces, sometime being taken care of with tenderness, and others being left to the elements to thrive on their own.

These are the images an objects that merge in my lens and allow me to approach the world.  I am open to change.  I look forward to seeing the world through a unique perspective.  These are the gardens of life that are sowed in the streets of my soul.

Steps Umbrella Trio of Pots Garden

Porch Front Garden with Plastic Chair, Mimomi, Chiba Japan

Potted Aloe Plants with Bicycle Garden Ornament

Aloe You Happy?

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I sometimes am.  And then there are other times that I am not so happy.  I honestly try not to let those kind of days get to me.  Hey that is one of the reasons that I am a creative person.  The blues are meant to be chased away by our artistic endeavors.  So, when you are confronted with troubles, don’t get angry.  Take a deep breath.  Breathe so deeply that the oxygen reaches the very core of your soul.  Then, exhale out again until every last drop of air has been expelled out.  Noe, with the mind refreshed look at that same problem and find a solution.  Don’t forget if you get really stuck there are people who can always go to for some advice.

Aloe Gate Cinderblock Wall

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

Walls, Just some Kasai Walls

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The sun shone down on the old riverside section of Kasai.  A couple gorgeous walls stopped me on my way back home.  Just  some simple found blue, concrete, trees, and some graffiti tags.  Just some reminders of the simple gorgeous beauty of my little neighborhood of Kasai.

Asphalt, CInderblock Wall, Community Board, Trees

Shy Blue Corrugated Wall

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

By the Docks, Shinagawa

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

I needed to head to Shinagawa to renew my visa today.  If you think the bureaucracy in the states is bad, it is nothing compared to the Japanese. Well at least they are usually polite, usually.  After I was done I took a stroll, or I should say a bit of an urban hike from the waterside of Shinagawa all the way to the luxury brand infused stores of Ginza.

To many pictures to choose for a day, so I will just post a few from the waterside, heartland of industry, freight and the out of the way immigration office.

74 8104 with Two Mailboxes and a Clear Umbrella

Industry Dockside Cuts

Planting Weeds

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere