a not so gentle breeze blows across the planes… across an open ocean for 4,000 or so miles, only to find its place striking against a nervous monkey, eager but frightened to travel to the place of his origin.
“do you feel it…” he asks me gently, feeling the weight of the upcoming motions of a life he is quite tepid to begin to journey down, “…it is all around us Dad”.
I too feel the pull from across the Pacific… it will be soon enough I know. I need to stay focused, clear in purpose. There is no turning back now, though Tiberius doesn’t know that. I have made the leap. It is beginning.
“I feel it too, Tiberius, it will be soon now.”
It has been a while since I have thought about my time in Japan… both of my past and my future.
Since I have returned, life has seemingly moved forward quicker than my consciousness can render. It is as if the multiple timelines of my Universe, the vast array of choice within the very essence of creation itself, has started to blur and transpose, causing me to feel spread across my reality and question the very distinction of that which has happened… and that which has yet to.
There has been so much confusion of late, so much raw emotion and unsuspected ‘new beginnings’ I wonder as to the man I am becoming. There seems to be a subjugation of my mind, a balancing act part of me is losing, a memory that seems to be fading from the perfect tangibility it once prominently held.
The daemon desire has again crept into my life, tempting me with fertile earth for which to inspire my devotion.
Hello kitty… oh how did I forget.
Would you care to wager?
No, I would not. It would have been a wager I lost.
I have made many wagers in my life… but honestly, as an adult, I tend to no longer ‘take bets’. For me, even 1% is just too much probability. I have been so viciously and ruthlessly reminded that life can pull off the unimaginable that it is no longer shocking. Murphy’s Law… Occam’s razor… call it what you may, there was a time when I knew… knew …without any doubt in my mind, that I would never want a child again.
“Would you wager now…. that you would like another little boy or girl?” Tiberius needles at me as I am writing this blog.
“What’s the over under?” I respond mockingly.
I calculate that I have 2 roads ahead of me; [with many many offshoots, and many more…] but two major roads in front of me as I start 2017: the one that I am planning for, & the one that the Universe may give me regardless of all of my focus and effort in the planned future.
“I want a Japanese baby!”
“Where did that comes from Tiberius?” I state shockingly.
There was a long pause.
“I miss my Buddy…” he says as his buttons start to gather condensation, “…and a cute little Japanese baby would go a long way in making me happy.”
“Oh I don’t make you happy, Tiberius?” I frame pseudo-shockingly.
“No!” he tantrums.
“Hahahaha. I love you too Buddy!”
But I know what he means. If you could have walked with us through Japan, had seen the little ones trotting around to school, to church, to temple or just downtown, it is soooo hard not to want a little more kawaii in your life.
There are no lines to read between, oh Beautiful. You know my stated intentions. I know what I want, which is to say I know I do not get to chose what I want, I do not get the agency for understanding the journey I am on, just like the rest of us. That is why this is so funny, to be blogging about a time when I thought I could actually fix my future, to the time now where everyone who has ever told me “never say never!” rings in my ears as I smile knowing that something inside of me has always been that transparent.
“I am ready now. I see you wandering beside me, ready to knock me off my stated goals. So I challenge you, dear lover, find me a different today… I dare you.” – Tiberius challenges to the world.
Thursday | November 24th 2016 | -122.052218 – 37.908984
As I look back…
Tiberius and I have begun to look back at our trip to Japan as one of the defining moments of our lives. Everything that will come next, will be a direct result of that trip. It was not easy, it was not without great sacrifice; for what we have given up, what we willingly have released back into the Universe is the very essence of the belief that inspired us to have gone on the trip in the first place. To begin again from the inside out, to be truly inspired by the awe that is in our world right around every corner… forever tempting us to be bold and brave and always believe! Always. This is what Tiberius and I found in Hiroshima, and again caught glimpses of in Kyoto: the willingness to always believe.
So today, I (before mentioned meat bag) will give my thanks for the many beloved and precious memories I have of this day in years past, and lifetime pasts, and futures forward… of Turkey cake choppings, sword bread cutting, super mashy-mashers, or frozen beasts wrapped in netting. So many precious pieces to the story that is my life; so many tomorrows dreamt about and yesterdays hardly remembered… all leading me here, to this moment, to this place.
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” – Henry David Thoreau
I am so very grateful to have had such pleasant opportunities for pleasant memories. I have been so very lucky in this life, so very blessed and gifted on many levels. I feel grossly undeserving of such a journey, of such times of pure joy, purpose and hope… and times with family, friends, loved ones and forgotten ones.
I have friends who this day are no longer here to be thankful for what we still have and can take for granted… LIFE!
But I think my choice this year to simply reminisce, to purposefully distance myself from my world and the ground that is around me… is yet another manifestation of my need to continue to envision the reality of spending next year at this time in Japan. I know it seems like that would entice me to want to spend more time with my loved ones here and now. But that is the funny thing about what the trip actually did to me: Make me give thanks everyday. I have made my reality of this next year seeing those people, spending that time, strentghening the bonds I will need to get me through the next year and beyond without their being down the street, or the town over. I will be an ocean away, on a path far from anyone in this reality I have now can understand. (well, except you Tiberius)
“To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.” – Victor Hugo
There was that one Thanksgiving in Reno…
Caught on a frozen day in a frozen storm, work allowing me the time since I was already in Reno… how different the man I was back then. Almost ten years have past, and all contacts forgotten and bridges burned, no longer in my daily thoughts or part of my routine. No triggers in this timeline, yet another reason to not be in the place were you walked another path.
But there are shots like this one below in the catalog that make me realize one inevitable truth… I have always had my ‘vision’, I have always been able to capture the Beautiful as I saw her manifesting in the world in front of me. This picture was taken almost a decade ago… but she is there, hiding coyly in form and sensually in curve! She is there, right there!
That year, so long ago, spent with then good friends, good food, and great joyous libations…
- while the soundtrack rattled in the background YouTube | Weezer – Holiday
- and the apples fell to water (alhambra)
- while the table ribbed for festivities (on her shoulders)
- consumed the butter organic (bubble butter)
- oranges and butterflies
And that was always the problem with the Dutchess and Jonathon, together they were trouble.
and now some humor… to lighten the mood. oh 2017, what a year you will be for me!
the following is the most peaceful piece of art I recorded on my entire trip, in any medium.
listening, you could never understand the remarkable beauty that went along with this chorus.
turn the volume up… and listen.
For those of you who know me best… (mind you I don’t actually believe anyone is reading this) …know that returning to the SF Bay for me has not been met with a single smile. And this is two-fold; no smiles in, and definitely no smiles out. It comes from the realization that California is no longer my home, no longer a place I long to be, no longer a place I have any path I could call a future. I say this without a note of sadness, but more with a sense of purpose for what is to come… my future now is set before me, the path has been laid out and the winds have changed to push upon my back.
But I am here to talk about the smile from today… for that is what has prompted me to write this spur of the moment blog.
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hahn
For the first time since I landed back in the States, I was greeted with a smile like no other. A smile I had forgotten, to be honest, a smile I have enjoyed too often without the realization of my taking it for granted, for I have definitely taken it for granted.
But today… again I melted. Today… again I remembered. Today… again she made me realize there will be some things I will miss about this place I once planned on being my home.
You deserved the rose today, oh beautiful smile… you made my day, again.
“If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression of something beautiful, but annihilating.” -Sylvia Plath
A smile like that could kill a man such as me. I am helpless from that twinkle in your eye…
I will always believe. Love from California. Always.
What is in a name? What hidden meaning can be gleaned from something so seemingly innocuous as a name? Or is there something more? This question was best summed up in modern times by Shakespeare:
“Tis but thy name that is my enemy; thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;“
I wonder this now, having spent an evening face to face with a woman whose name contains a distinct meaning, a meaning from a culture which accepts and promotes usage of descriptions as names. And it has been many cultures across history, many nations, empires and peoples; most notably in this context would be the native peoples of North America.
Pain and private language was one of the first experiences I had in my adult life to be confronted with this question. I was first exposed to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus while working on my undergraduate degree in Philosophy. He started the question, one I have not been able to answer or get out of my head in the years since. In short, his ideas question our ability to communicate effectively from person to person. An aim of his Tractatus then was to reveal the relationship between language and the world: what can be said about it, and what can only be shown. Wittgenstein argued that language had an underlying logical structure that expressly provides the limits of what can be said meaningfully. The limits of language for Wittgenstein were the limits of philosophy themselves. He believed, much as I do, most of what we call philosophy involves attempts to say the unsayable:
“What we can say at all can be said clearly,” he stated. “Anything beyond that—religion, ethics, aesthetics, the mystical—cannot be discussed. They are not in themselves nonsensical, but any statement about them must be.” 
He wrote in the preface of the Tractatus:
“The book will, therefore, draw a limit to thinking, or rather—not to thinking, but to the expression of thoughts; for, in order to draw a limit to thinking we should have to be able to think both sides of this limit (we should therefore have to be able to think what cannot be thought).” 
To be continued…
But since this is a photo blog, I will leave you for now with is picture, taken while admits a very intellectually stimulating conversation. It had been quite a long while since I have had one of those. My companion thought it should be titled: Chucks over Hiroshima.
We will see about that.
It is only as Tiberius and I sit on the train from Hiroshima to Himeji Castle that I can process the emotional impact Hiroshima has had on me. In the days, weeks, months to come I will still be trying to reconcile this feeling I have. It is almost as if, possibly in a past life I was Japanese, if one believes in that sort of thing.
It is… an intangile feeling. I don’t know how better to say it. Hopefully the words will come eventually.
But for now, here are some more pictures raw, unfortunately all my editing and color processing will be back in the states.
as I sit here, 451.2m above Tokyo, I am amazed at how small and insignificant the world down there appears to be. Numbers of people scurrying to and fro, loving and laughing and completely oblivious to the individual that sit here thinking of their nameless obscurity.
Much like when I perch myself on the Rock at Las Trampas, 2000+ feet above the San Francisco Bay, only then too do I get this feeling. It is like leaving the world of everyday, and entering the heavens. How can one be sad with such a perspective? How can one feel disconnected when the whole of the earth stretches out far down below you.
I had no idea I had such a need for this perspective, but now as I sit here I am realizing I have been in need of this my whole life. Like the clouds below me, I seek to wander the earth free…. as that is the only state a cloud knows. Untitled it eventually dies by giving life to all things on Earth.
Now that is connection.