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Geometric Homecoming in Chiba

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

I love geometry.  Now you might think that to be a little crazy.  Even if you are thinking about the geometry that we all have to study in school, but honestly out of all the math that I studied in school geometry was the only one that made any sense to me.  My reasoning behind that is I am without any doubt am a visual person.  I think visually.  I approach the world and how I relate back to the world though how I visually experience the world.  Now, I would never really go back and study geometry again.  I’m pretty sure the boat has sailed on that part of my life, but the lines, tangents, and bisecting lines have become part of my visual vocabulary.

The cubists did it the best.  They oversimplified the world that they were apart of into line, shapes, and tone.  A world that is visually experienced through shapes.  I have learned to see the world very mush though these same lenses.  I cannot help but look out into Tokyo, where I live, and see the world sometimes reduced to nothing more than lines and cubes.  I, however, know in my heart that the world is far more complicated than that.  There are shapes that cannot so easy be reduced to just a square.  The natural world, even though, it is full of repeating fractal patterns they are never quite as straight as a line of hewn stone.

This is where my lens comes in to help me navigate my way through the visual world.  Trying to bridge the two ways to seeing the world together.  That world of the straight hard edge lines that follow the rules of geometry and composition.  Then there are the rulers of the plant and natural kingdom.  The ways in which a branch grows divides and multiplies as it reached out to the sun.  I am a part of both worlds.  My physical form comes from nature.  There are now straight lines to be found on my person.  Yet I love to see a rectangular door, meeting a window at just the right moment in space and forming can conforming to our geometric rules.

The door in todays group of images is a geometric homecoming.  There are no plants visible.  There is only the hint of the natural world by the shadows that are being cast on the image.  A piece of my inner mind has left its imprint on this image.

Welcome home.  Welcome to lucid communication with myself.

Split Shadow Geometic Homecoming

Trio One Life, Potted Garden

Keeping it Geometrically Shady

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

Obsessive Gardening in Chiba

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

I seem to be a bit obsessed myself these days.  I am be drawn into the highly packed world of the Japanese home gardens.  These are not the elegant gardens that can be found in Tokyo like Rikugien Gardens in the center of Tokyo.  No, these are the tightly packed neighborhood gardens that I find on my wanderings.

These gardens sometimes occupy the smallest spaces imaginable.  The might feature a row of potted plants sitting atop a cinderblock wall.  They could also be found in the tiniest of spaces that most foreigners wouldn’t even recognize as a backyard.  However, this is where the Japanese show amazing skill in how they use what ever space they have in order to be able to bring some greenery into their lives and in those that pass by on the street.  I would argue that there is more greenery, and green spaces to be found here in Tokyo that that of New York City’s green spaces.

There is so little space, and at times the concrete, glass, and steel seem oppressive, but all I have to do is to turn a corner and find a small contemplative oasis of green.  It might only be some herbs that occupy a windowsill, but that green is better than no green at all.

Spider Planter Mailbox

No Trash Here Garden

Potted Plant Row and Fire Extinguisher

Hanging Garden of Ichikawa and More

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

The light is in a transitional phase now.  As the sun grows more distant, the temperature begins to drop the quality of the light changes.  The light of this early winter in the late afternoon shifts towards yellow.  I really am attracted to that yellowing light.  Even in the full glare of the sun colors are rich.  Hues pop out and speak to me though my senses.  Even as my throat ached I couldn’t help but reach for my Ricoh GR IV and capture some of that light.

The use of space is amazing in Japan.  The Japanese aesthetic manifests itself in sometimes the most unlikely places like small roadside gardens that are wedged into spaces that would just be discarded in other countries.  Here the space, any space, goes to some use.  I am always amazed how the zig zags of a home are often loaded with potted plants in a tightly manicured gardens.  Actually, they might not be so manicured.  Some of them go rather wild and free.  To my eye they represent the to dichotomies of Japanese aesthetics.  The reverence of nature, and the attempt to tame nature.  I see both in the way the Japanese create their personal gardens.  These are not the Japanese gardens that are listed as national treasures. They are the homeowner’s personal treasure.  A tiny space that reflects their love and interest in the natural world even if it may be surrounded by concrete and asphalt.  The flowers rise to greet the sun, and I stop and pause to admire their beauty.

The simple elegance of (your) neighbors friendly garden.

Elevated Row Garden, with Self

Hanging Garden of Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan

Stepping Up Cinderblock Garden

I Promised You a Zen Garden

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Ok, so it isn’t exactly the zen garden that you had in mind.  It is not the beautifully groomed Ryoanji Zen garden in Kyoto, but then again I am not in Kyoto.  I live in Tokyo.  I spend most of my time in Chiba Prefecture which buts up against Tokyo. In fact I can look out my bedroom window and see Chiba prefecture across the river from me.  All this being said, I am constantly challenged to find that beauty, those zen moments without being in the cultural center of Japan.  In fact at times is seems like Chiba is a culturally located out in the boondocks of Japan.

However, this is where I find my zen moments.  They are to be found not in the places that the tourists flock to in the proper seasons.  No, they are those locales that are right there before your very eyes.  They are the areas that you walk through to get from one place to another.  They are the moments between the origin and your destination.  The journey and the moments, in my case photographic images, that allow the zen moments to unfold themselves.

I am thankful to The Creator, who has blessed me with my vision.  Not only the vision that allows me to see, but to be able to deeply visualize how we all connect, and disconnect from the world that surrounds us.  I am truly in debt to The Creator that allows me to see beauty even if no one else can.

So here is the Zen Garden I promised you.  It may not be Ryoanji, but then again this one spoke to me in a way that Ryoanji never did.

Succulent Rock Garden Fence

Rabi, My Tiger Stripped Kitty

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Been confined to my home for the last week or so fighting off a cold.  And now I have been told that I must continue to stay home for another week.  I wish to go out and explore, but there is no energy for that.  I have to be content being home and watching my kitties play, sleep, and eat.

This is Rabi (pronounced RAW BEE) he was adopted by my wife and I about 2 years ago.  He is male and is quite spritely.  Rabi loves to play catch. His favorite toy is a little piece of a Docomo mushroom character that fell off.  It is not much bigger than a lima bean.  He love when you throw it and he will go chase it down and then drop it in front of me.  For Rabi there is no end to this joy until he misplaces the little piece of mushroom.

I hope he makes you all smile too.

and here’s …… Rabi….

Rabi, My Tiger Striped Cat

Urban Greeny Green of Ebisu

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

The other day I went out to visit my mate in Ebisu.  I love Ebisu.  It is a vibing area between the hustling trendy Shibuya and  Meguro and the exclusive Daikanyama.  Around the station the movement of people can be mind boggling.  It isn’t the bustle of the Shibuya crossing, but the station is busy enough that if you enjoy people watching it is a heights spot.

For me, I’m not to into the busy scene.  I prefer the quiet side of things.  Even though Ebisu sits in the heart of urban Tokyo, I prefer to get lost on the backstreets and and the residential rows of house and apartments.  Now when I get lost, I am never really that lost because, no matter how lost you might think that you are in Tokyo, you are never that far from a train station.  Just to wander those streets.  Looking for where the greeny green of Ebisu interacts with the asphalt and concrete of its human dwellers.

A year ago my lens would have been attracted to the concrete, steel, and wood of the living spaces but, since the March 11th earthquake my lens has been all about nature.  How does nature overcome adversity. How nature brings beauty even if it is confined to a tiny curbside garden.  The lovely green patches of Ebisu were a delight after a couple hours of reasoning with my friend.  There is, if one looks for it, a green heart to Tokyo.

Angel's Trumpet No Entry Corner, Ebisu

Vine Sign Climb, Ebisu

Urban Bush Building, Ebisu

Not Far from my Old Hood, Kendall, Miami, Florida

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Took this image not too far from my old neighborhood in Kendall.  Perfect light on a lovely end of a day.

Wall to Landscape, Kendall, Miami, Florida

It was 2 Degrees in Downtown Ginza

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Getting ready to make that trip back to the states, I went into Ginza to do some souvenir shopping.  It wasn’t the best day to go to a department store it being, both a holiday and the Friday before Valentines day, so it was a bit packed.

We had lunch at an Okinawan restaurant, as we watched the snow fall to the city streets below.  Kind of a weird feeling eating warm  Okinawan, food inside while we watched snow fall from the 12th floor of the Mitsukoshi Department store.

Sweet

Snow

Food

2° Degrees C in Ginza, with a Helping of Snow

Another Found Key: The Little Drummer Had it!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Came across this lost key that the little drummer boy had found.

They were all taking it easy on a side street in Ichikawa.  

If its yours please come by and claim it.

 

Drumer Boy with Lost Key and Spring

Ichikawa Wanderings

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Backstreets . . .

Alleyways . . .

Side Streets . . .

Is where I feel comfortable.

my trusty GRII in hand.  Looking closely on my way.

Shapes, history, ebb and flow from my surroundings into my lens.

 

White on White Arrow

Field of Oxidation

Organic Orange Blob with Red Stripe

The Cherry Blossoms are Just About Gone. . . .

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

In Ichikawa, Chiba the other day, I stood on a bridge overlooking a small river moving though the town.  I watched the petals drift down the river, thinking to myself, see you in 2010.

 

Drifting to Memory, 2009

We Once Were Flowers, Too

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Wandering the backstreets of the Roppongi district in Tokyo yesterday, I came across a little alley with a withering flower.  It must have been gorgeous just a few hour, days ago.  Look closely, what do you see.  Roppongi is undergowing a makeover of an epic scale.

the side streets.

the quiet street.

away from the urban swamp that is tokyo

beauty, imagination, time racing to stand still.

 

Once We Were Flowers Too

Abstracted, Blurred Cherry Blossoms

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

The little Cherry Blossoms keep on falling.  

The little ones keep on splashing some color into the

concrete jungle that is Tokyo.

 

Wires Meld to Cherry Blossoms

 

Extracted Cherry Blossoms

 

Through and Through the Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms Squared

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

It is that time of year, as the days start to grow warmer, the days start to get a bit longer and all the cherry blossoms come out to play.  If you don’t live in Japan, you can’t imagine what a big event going out and appreciating the cherry blossoms.  People hang out on top of blue plastic sheets in parks up and down, all over Japan.  Drinking to excess and just flat out having a good time.  This is the first batch of images taken with the Ricoh GRII.  As usual there will be more 2 come.

 

This in NOT a Park, Cherry Blossoms

 

The Blossoms Come out at Night

 

Cherry Blossoms, Drinking and Lanterns

 

One is NOT SO Lonely

Last but not least.

For there are more to come

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere