stone

White Stone in my Girl’s Hands

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

White Stone in My Girl's Hands

 

There she was on a windy Friday afternoon.  She is always in the same spot.  She is there no matter the weather.  Sitting quietly on a small polished podium surrounded by flowers.  She waits patiently at the head of a small creak.

Her skin is youthfully smooth, polished and glistens in the sunshine.  Although she speaks of eternal youth, her skin has a burnished patina.  She is my girl.  She has been ever since I moved into my neighborhood.

It doesn’t matter that she may be made of bronze, I still adore her.  Her hands are outstretched in anticipation of the gifts she will receive from the neighborhood’s children.  Today I spotted her sporting a beautiful crystalized white stone.

I look forward to crossing paths with her soon.

 

A Japanese Rock Garden Saved from the Bulldozer

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The other day I made my way from the Tokyo side of the Kyoedogawa RIver to the Urayasu side to just wander around in the clear winter air.  I love wandering around the old part of the fisherman town of Urayasu.  The tight alleys and the corrugated metal homes that sit along the river that comes off the main river.

Urayasu for many years was a hub of clam harvesting, fishing, and seaweed gathering.  Urayasu was a town of fisherman.  They were utterly dependent on the sea to provide for them.  Those fisherman days are all but completely over.  There are a few families that make their living from the sea, but most now travel into Tokyo and have company jobs.

I am a bit saddened as Japan looses these pockets of old culture as the mad dash to modernize and compete on the world stage.  As I biked around the neighborhood, I was astonished to see the amount of rebuilding in the old neighborhood.  Everywhere I looked I saw houses being taken down, empty lots being prepped and building going up.  There was so much construction that was dismantling the tight community of Urayasu.

I came upon a large patch of land that had recently been bulldozed and graded relatively flat.  Buried though out the earth were thousands of shells. A reminder of the properties seaside past, or past profession.  They I spotted something unusual next to a cinderblock wall, I spied a Japanese stone lantern, and assorted rocks making up a small zen, meditative garden.  This little patch of tranquility had been sparred the bulldozer, and hopefully will be preserved for the next house that is to come.  It gives me some hope that all might not be lost in the old neighborhood of Urayasu.

Bulldozed Lot with Japanese Lantern and Rock Garden

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

Nokogiriyama, The Lost Quarry of Chiba Prefecture

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

My friend Tomo and I have a tradition over the last couple years of selecting a location that neither of us have been to before.  After we find the place to visit we load up our camera gear and head out to the location.  This year we chose to go to Nokogiriyama in Chiba Prefecture.  Nokogiriyama literally means sawed cut mountain in Japanese.  It was an active stone quarry from the Edo times up until Show (20th century).  It has now been taken over by a large temple complex and the walls and carved caves are filled with buddhist sculptures.

One TV show described Nokogiriyama as a place that Indiana Jones would visit.  And this I found to be a bit true.  The jungle side of Chiba Prefecture was quickly engulfing the deep cut walls of the quarry, and there were, at times, mysterious stone steps that lead nowhere.

As my friend and I made our way up the hundreds of steps the sounds of the summer and also the autumn cicadas was deafening.  The air was as thick as miso soup, but we were fortunate because the sun was hiding behind the clouds, and therefore the weather wasn’t that bad.  By the time we reached the top of the mountain the fog was just starting to wash over the the stone face.  It was pretty amazing.  I hadn’t really seen any fog since I had left the San Francisco Bay area ten years ago.  Just standing there watching the fog roll up one side of the mountain and then dissipate over the other.

There is a lookout point called “Peering Into Hell” on the top of the mountain.  Not quite sure why they call it hell, because the view is quite amazing.  It was jungle below, with the vertical quarry walls dropping vertically below our feet.

It was a great day to wander around the sprawling complex.  So removed from the hustle of Tokyo life.  I sometimes forget that there is more to life in Japan that the daily grind.  I am thankful for my friend Tomo for driving us out to Nokogiriyama, and for reminding us both of the beautiful intersection between the manmade and the wild jungle.

The Peering Over Hell Overlook, Nokogiri Yama

Cut Wall with Climbing Vine, Nokogiri Yama

Cut Cliff Face, Nokogiri Yama

Sliced Valley with Stairs, Nokogiri Yama

Inner Reflection Manifesting Outwardly

Friday, September 17th, 2010

As the sun sets this Friday night it is a time to reflect on the previous doing of the year.  It is a time to reason with the self and struggle how to make one’s self a better self.

The stone ages, wears, but the marks, and gouges remain.

Think about time, the ages, the amount of time that it takes a rough hewn stone to smooth like a river pebble.  Maybe, hopefully we can come closer to who we must be.

Love is the greatest gift.

Give and Receive it!

Engraved Heart

Oh My Meguro

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

I have spent lots of time wandering around Naka Meguro in Tokyo, but I have never really walked around Meguro area until yesterday. I was heading to see the photographic show by my friend Nasa and seven other female photographers, and to and from the gallery I had no choice but to wander around and take some images.  Meguro is an interesting area, that I should return to to explore a bit more.  So, for now it is OH MY MEGURO!

Shrine Side, Meguro

Draw Four Bush

Topped Off With Bush

Meguro Greater Mouse Trap

Gas Heat Pump

Bring for the First Sheaths of the Harvest

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I have been thinking about this a lot these days.  That in ancient times the first fruits of the harvest were given over to the priest of the the temple to be offered.  We have lost touch with our roots and connection to the land.  When do we plant, when do we harvest has all been lost to those that live in the metropolises of today.

I struggle to find those connections being a city dweller myself.  I maintain a simple patio garden filled with fruit and spice plants.  I have re committed myself to tending my plants more closely this year as a way to keep some connection with the biorhythms of the earth.

Keep on finding that connection.  Take care of your garden.  You are the master of the fields if you choose to be.

The First Sheaths of Grain

Half and Half

Tile by Tile they Built

Lost Braid in a Square Circle

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