skies

The Island of Okinawa: Fusion of Land, Sea, and Sky

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Manzamou Cliffs, Okinawa_

 

 

I was honored by my wife with a semi-surprise birthday trip down to Okinawa Island.  It was only for one night, but we moved all over the island catching the sights and soaking in the sweat breaking heat.

The island is amazing.  It is a mix of what I love about Miami, Jamaica and Hawaii.  Its skies are endless stretching from horizon to horizon like south Florida.  There are hills and jungles like Hawaii.  The modern Okinawan buildings are like those found in Jamaica and the Florida Keys.

There is a harmony the way the sky, land and sea all interact.  Anywhere you go the land meets the sky.  The sea is never far away.  I was often speechless when gazing out into Okinawa’s sea.

The last time I was in Okinawa I barely had the chance to see the sights.  This time we drove all over the island that I have a better concept of what is Okinawa.

I took so many pictures I was having a had time trying to select which images to publish.  This first series is on the land sea and sky. I have a deep rooted connection to the sea. I have always lived near a body of water. Looking out onto the water has always soothed my spirt. I let the waves drift me off to another place.

I felt completely at home in Okinawa. It reminded me of my past, I thought about my future, but most importantly I was able to live in the present.

More pictures soon come.

 
Mibaru Beach with Boats, Okinawa

Secret Shell Beach, Okinawa

Sesoko Beachh with Whisps

Sugar Cane Field, Okinawa

Reaching the Clouds, Okinawa

Clear Side of Nago, Okinawa

Coral Rock, Cloudy Clouds, Hamahiga (浜比嘉) Okinawa

Double Cloud Line Sunset, Okinawa

On the Edge of Urban Foreverness

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Urban Skies Forever and Ever

 

No matter where I turn the skies are as endless as the rivers of concrete.  It is a realization of where I live.  I have the bay over my shoulder, and the sky over my head, but the urban landscape fill my field of vision.  This is no reason to let the urban weight hold us down.

It is only a matter of changing how we perceive our world.  If we choose to only see the stacks of gray and the endless kilometers of wire than that is how you see it.  If you only see the open skies and the blooming flowers that is how your heart will develop.

In many ways I have chosen to do both.  I need to embrace my neighborhood as it is.  I also need to search out the beauty amongst that overbearing gray.

I will always be on the edge of foreverness with my soul in the clouds.

 

Fishing the Ichikawa Autumn Dream Bridge

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Fishing the Ichikawa Autumn Dream Bridge

The autumn has finally come.  Each morning is dryer and cooler than the day before it.  A bridge spans the distance between to place, two ideas, two sides.  As a vision we sit with hook and line slightly drifting attempting to hook the dreams, the dreams we envisioned in our youth.

I stand on one bridge looking out over another thinking back to those dreams of two bridges side by side.  One that was rusted and flat reaching far into the horizon, the other arching up into the sky.  Two ways to cross from here to there, which one I would choose would determine a course in my life.

Here I am thousands of miles away thinking back to the flicker of my mind images as a stranger in a strange land.  Fishing for those dreams, casting the soul into the current. Sharpening the hook to catch the spirit.

 

This is a Test, a Surreal Test

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

This is a Test

This is a test, a surreal test of your attention.  It was a hot and humid last day of September when, Urayasu city held its annual Emergency Preparedness Drill.  The city in conjunction with Chiba Prefecture, and the National government  organized an event to inform its citizens of the facilities in what to expect in a disaster situation.

This of course takes on even deeper meanings since the March 11, 2011 earthquake that devastated Tohoku region of Japan.  Outside of the Tohoku region, Urayasu suffered the worst damage mainly due to liquefaction.

The police, military, and emergency services all had set up displays, and interactive events to help the people of Urayasu.  I am not sure if i found it comforting or disturbing.  They say (whoever they might actually be) that Japan is does more preparation than any other country in the case of disaster strikes. There are always drills, and mock events to test the readiness of the people, and its emergency services.  This is good; however, one can never fully prepare.  There is always, and most likely the chance that something will go wrong.  I do commend the patience of the Japanese people in response to the March 11th triple disasters.  I think they did a fabulous job of coming together in the hardest hit areas.

That brings me back to this surreal event unfolding before my eyes.  Seeing the water tanks that would be used, and in the case of recent events, were used.  Witnessing Disney-cutesy characters of a soldier, a police officer and an emergency worker, was truthfully made my stomach turn.

In the end I am glad I went.  It was surreal, a surreal test indeed.

 

Skirting the Typhoon

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Limited Infinity, Kasai Rinkai Park

As the typhoon Sanba passed over Okinawa and headed over to Korea we on honshu were treated to some sporadic sun showers. I spent most of the day on the computer so as the sun was dropping from the sky I hopped on my cycle and headed out towards Kasai Rinkai Park.

The wind was blowing as I crept under the bridge and over to the park.  Today was a holiday in Japan so the park was crowded with families, friends and lovers.  The clouds were moving quickly as they brushed past the horizon.

People were sitting about on the edge of the water watching the spectacle unfold before us all. A beautiful end to a day filled with sunshine, rain, sweet breezes and clouds.

Skirting the Typhoon, Kasai Rinkai Park

The Skies, Its All About the Skies

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Sky Over Flagler Street, Miami

The skies of south Florida are amazing.  I do not have to venture far to be in complete amazement of the fluffs and puffs of those Miami skies.  In fact, I usually only have to walk outside of my home.

Look up!  See those blues fill up my heart as far as I can see.  The colors the hues, those setting sun golden moments.  I could be at the shopping mall, I look up and watch the clouds.  I can be in the middle of downtown industrial side of 305, and there is the constant reminder of the beauty that The Creator shows us.

Look up!  See!  Feel!

 

The Creator Works in Beautiful Ways Too

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The Creator's Cinema, Miami

Miami is definitely not a walking city.  In fact walking in this city can be down right hazardous to your health.  Miami is a city that was designed for car use.  Even if that use frustrates most as they get stuck on 1-95 in the most horrendous traffic imaginable.

I still like to take walks.  Even if those walks are just around my neighborhood and all I get to see are house, strip malls and some landscaping.  Its my home.  Miami is where I grew up and all these sights and sounds are beautiful to me.

The skies are unforgettable.  The skies in the late afternoon yesterday were a blessing.  To look up into the limitless skies that adorn my neighborhood just helps to put life into perspective.  I can never truly capture the beauty that the Creator performs for us.  I will try to interpret and give my view on that beauty through my lens, but it will never be able to fully capture the personal experience.

It is the Most High’s cinema!  Observed by this lucid communicator for the first time in the cinematic 16:9 ratio.  Love, beauty and life is all around us.  I want to keep my heart open so I can let it flow through me.

 

Farewell Ichikawa, Japan, Till April

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

I walked those Ichikawa streets for the last time for a few months today.  The sun’s rays were growing long, and the light was just perfect.  Sometimes, I just see, and observe how quickly the light changes around this time of day.

It is around that time of day, that a few minutes, even a few seconds can make the difference between the most amazing light and just in the shadows.  I love watching those changes.  Light, and seeing light has become integral part of what makes up life.

I wonder to myself, how can people just walk by with out seeing how amazing the light is.  I know other photographers know what I am talking about.  Golden, yellow, orange, white, they are all there.  All one has to do is pause and just open your heart, and see what is happening all around you.

So, for now, I bid a sweet farewell to Ichikawa.  Goodbye!  Take care!  I will walk your streets again come April.

Till April Ichikawa

Thinking About the Big Picture in 2012

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I should rephrase that to read “trying to think about the bib picture in 2012.”  It hasn’t been easy.  I seem to be stuck in self created limbo.  It has been hard to move out of this limbo.  Sometimes I wish I could be apathetic and not care about the world, or myself.  I think that it would be easier to live my own life.  However, I know that this really would not create any change.  To ignore my own feelings and connection to the world would be to relinquish the will to live.  There are already to many people out there that have given up all hope.  They no longer care about if they seek after truth.

Sometimes, seeking after the truth you will discover issues about yourself that you don’t like.  You can find issues that you don’t want to be involved in.  But, this is life.  Life is how we choose to take these struggles and help ourselves, and communities to become better.

Even though I might be in a rut, I know that I will not be there for long.  I will keep on attempting to find the solution until I do.  What else am I going to do?  Give up?  Nah, I don’t think that would make anything better.  That would only be adding petrol to a burning building.

I will continue to search out the big picture in 2012.  I think that is one reason I have been attracted to landscape images for the past few weeks.  I can’t see the details right now, I am searching for the whole shebang!  Step back and trying to take it all in.

Wired Park 2012 and Beyond

Looking Forward to 2012, Up in the Sky

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I was thinking about what to write in today’s post, when I realized I was not going to write what I had planed to do.  I was going to go through my images and post up the 10 most important images for me over the past year.  I kind of visual journey thought the ups and downs of 2011.

We, especially in Japan, have been though so much.  Every disaster imaginable has happened to this country and we are still dealing with the after effects of the March 11 triple disasters.  We are still dealing with the daily stress of not knowing what the future holds for our communities.

I thought deeply on this matter.  I even had begun to map out which images I would use in the post.  I have decided to change my focus from the past to the future.  It is important to revaluate one’s life in order to create a better future.  Those that are in tune with their spirit take the time to review their actions, and take steps to redirect our lives to be on the path that we want to travel.  In some cases, the path that we need to travel on.

I have chosen on the end of the Gregorian calendar to look forward.  To put the past behind us, and to forward to the year to come.  To look upwards into the endless skies and see the possibilities for what the future can bring.  To forge ahead down the roads that we need to travel.  To find ourselves in the bluest blues of the universe.

As many revel in the end of the year, I choose to look froward to the next.  Where will my artistic explorations take me?  I do not know, but I am excited about the freedom that lies ahead.

2011 into 2012

Looking Forward from 2011 to 2012

You Got to Use What You Have to Express Yourself about the Lunar Eclipse

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

I was so excited that I was going to be able to view the full lunar eclipse in Japan.  No the best of my knowledge I had never seen one before, and I was determined to stay awake and alert.  I pretty much knew going into this life time experience that my camera gear was not going to be up to the task of getting those beautiful, clear, images of the moon.  I decided anyway to go ahead and try to see what I can see with both my naked eye and my lens.

I got out my Canon 5D with a sweet 100mm lens and a crappy 300mm zoom lens and my Ricoh GRIV.  I didn’t really expect to get much with these cameras.  It was crazy cold out and I set up my tripod on my patio and took a couple of test sots around 8 p.m. Tokyo time, about 90 minutes for the beginning of the lunar eclipse and about 3 hours from the peak of the red hued moon.  The tests did not come out so well, but I forged ahead.

I jumped in and out onto my patio on and off for the next 4 hours or so.  Looking up into the heavens was beautiful.  I was able to bear witness to an event for the first time in my life.  I will never forget looking up into the skies that cleared up around 11 p.m. and watch the shadow fall across the moon.  The stars and other heavenly bodies are reminders of another ancient way of keeping time.  The moon is not to be worshiped but it is there as an heavenly guide to the times and the seasons.  I thought back to our ancestors that looked to the heavens in accordance to set their calendars and planting, and reaping of their crops.  I became part of this long line of sky watchers.

I hit the sack at about 1 a.m.  Got up the next morning with circles on my mind so I made my wife and I pancakes for breakfast. I started to go through and edit the images from the night before and so many were just blah!  I kept flipping through them until I found that best expressed both my experience and the pushing of my equipment to match that vision.

These three images are a result of that.  I had to use what I have to the best of my ability.  I am sure there were some brilliant images taken last night.  These are not those images.  These images are the best that I could do. The memories of spending the night out on my patio with my wife in the cold winter air will last a life time.

Multiple Lunar Eclipse, Minami Kasai, Tokyo, Japan

Lunar Eclipse Smaller than the Naked Eye, Minami Kasai, Tokyo, Japan

Pre Lunar Eclipse, Minami Kasai, Tokyo, Japan

Jacob Saw the Sun Come Out

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

The morning was the coldest that it has been thus far.  And to top it off I was running behind due to the cold and the persistent rain.  I do enjoy the journey out to Chiba in the morning before I make my preparations for the shabbat, but nothing seemed to go right this morning.  I got out of bed late, and had to hurriedly eat my cereal and banana. Then, I made it outside to realize that I had forgotten my iPod on its charger in the house.  I look to my right to see the Number 24 bus, my bus, coming, so I had to kick up my heals to be able to catch the bus on time.  Usually I catch the 7:25 direct train to Tsudanuma station, but I caught the 7:27 one to Tsudanuma.  It doesn’t seem like much, right?  We are only talking about a 2 minute time difference, but it was enough for me to miss the 7:57 bus, and I had to wait 15 minutes in the cold for the next one.

I am not really complaining, because that I know in a few short hours I will be able to put aside all my worldly worries and focus on the shabbat.  When I had finished up my business in Chiba, and the sun had finally come out to greet the sabbath bride.  It was the creator smiling down, showing me the way that things are suppose to be, and where I need to focus my energies.  I need not to fret and worry over such trifle matters as missing my bus.  I need to remember to be thankful and look for that sunshine.

Then the Sun Came Out

Truthful Happy Ending

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

One positive event in the morning was that I saw Mt. Fuji with its first dusting of snow.  That is always a good sign.  It is a reminder that I am actually in Japan and not anywhere elese in the world.  The day quickly went down hill from there.  Overall it was quite a rough day.  It seemed like no matter what I do I was on the verge of just loosing my voice.  My throat ached and ached.  I wasn’t really able to get into the swing of things.

All of that changed as soon as I looked out the window at about a quarter to four.  The sky was filled with puffs of clouds with rays of gold spinning down to the horizon.  I just paused and stared for a minute.  I let the truth of this beautiful scene wash over all the troubles of the day.  They just melted away as I focused again at how beautiful, crazy, lovely this world is.

Truthful Happy Ending

Truth in a Shade of Blue

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As I was walking through a buddhist temple on my way back to the train, my eyes drifted to the roof of the temple.  My eyes kept on wandering over the roof until I encountered a sky so blue that I thought that I might be dreaming.  The sky was an amazing shade of blue.  Like those caribbean seas I swam in down in Jamaica.  The sky was painted this hue.  And across that sea of blue were rows of white clouds.  They had been pulled by the wind and stretched into long rows like that of planted garden.  It was an amazing to just be still and look up into the sky.

It was a surreal moment.  Was I really there?  Was it just a fragment of dream that surfaced in my waking hours?  Does it matter if it was?

I do not have the answers.  All I know is that there was truth in that shade of blue.  A truth that touched my soul.

Chiba, Ichikawa, Japan October Sky

October Firecrackers

The Summer that Never Happened

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I was fortunate to head out of Tokyo for the day.  We ventured out into the wild countryside of Chiba prefecture.  Chiba sits just next to Tokyo and is peninsula shaped like a dog.  On one side of Chiba is Tokyo bay and the other is the Pacific Ocean.

In the summer time Chiba is one of the close getaways spots to hit the beach and enjoy the surf, sun and sand.  This year I suspect it was bit lacking.  We made it all the way to the bottom of Tateyama Beach to be greeted by no one.  Well there were a hand full of people down on the beach, but nothing like it should have been. The beach should have been swarmed with young people oiled up and playing beach volleyball.  Instead the four volleyball courts stood silently. The beach shops stood completely empty as the owner’s gaze just looked out over the deserted beach.

My friend and I suspect that peoples fear of radiation have kept people from wading out into the water.  Even though the news does not really cover the radiation story, I guess people are worried.  The government says it is safe, but this empty beach says otherwise.

I sincerely hope that the situation improves soon.  I pray for the ground to rest.  I pray that there should be a return to the way things were, but we can never go back.  We must go forward and deal with the situation best as we can.

This was the summer that never happened.

Was There a Summer

Yellow Sand Bud

In Out, Repeat

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