Category Archives: Journal

Creative Self Exploration – Part Three: Your Creative Flow

Firstly:

Welcome to Part Three of the year-long experiment “Creative Self Exploration”.
For the next several weeks, we will be painting/drawing an abstract art piece. I will primarily be writing for non-painters. Of course though, all the other folks are equally welcome.

“Abstract art” can mean a plenty of different things, but here, I am going to ask you to translate what you discovered about yourself in Part Two into simple shapes/colors/textures.

This is not a test. There is no right or wrong. No one is coming to rate you, nor grade your work. You’ve got nothing to measure up to.
Because, what we are about to embark upon here, is a dialogue between you and you. It’s personal, it is sacred, the process of which can be quite delicate. For this reason I strongly recommend that you keep your art piece while in progress, private, as in, not sharing it on social media, or otherwise involve people in your life, if possible, as we ultimately explore our…

In Creativity, You Are Inherently Free.

Let’s dive in!!

What’s this about? INTRODUCTION
Just found this out? I recommend you start from PART ONE

Week 15: Scent Journey Inward

April 13, 2024

Welcome back Dear Visitor!!

It’s been a pleasure to welcome you (back) to this year-long experiment/exercise where I follow my creative hunch and let this whole thing unfold. I am getting inspirations for up to Part 5, and am excited to share them with you in near future.

If you just found this and would like to give this a try “live” – as this project unfolds, I recommend you work on Part Two and Three together, example, for this week, Week 9 then the current Week 15.

This week, we are going to use what we found in Week 9 and paint/draw on our emerging masterpiece.
Back in Week 9, we explored our sense of smell, what recollections surface within you.

Firstly, please bring out your paper you’ve been drawing on for last 2 weeks, and tools (e.g. pencils, pastels, paints, crayons….) of your choice.
If possible, find a spacious/stable/even enough surface where your elbows (if you are using your hands) can freely move about. If not enough room, no worries, just find a large enough space and make do.

Let me remind you this; limitations like that won’t limit your Creative Flow.
Easier with space, especially if you haven’t done something like this before, but not a must.
In fact, finding your way despite can be another opportunity for Creativity to aid you, and one more reason for you to be proud of yourself.

Let’s move forward:

Settle in a comfortable (enough) position / place, and reflect on what you discovered about yourself in Week 9.
Pick one scent memory that is most compelling to you, and allow yourself to feel into the memory.
Think of 3 colors (if using monotone tools, 3 textures) that best represent the following:
a color of your scent, of your memory, and of your emotions/feelings associated with them.
Choose one out of the 3, and when ready, draw/paint a shape you feel is right, on where on paper you are drawn to, with the color of your choice.

I intend to keep each week’s entry short enough. I shared some tips in previous 2 weeks about this drawing/painting experiment, so please do have a look, if you haven’t already.

When you feel you are done, trust the feeling and set the artwork down for now.
And pretty please, take time to marvel at your picture, coming together.
I say this as I remember another special friend of mine who once remarked, “the longest journey is the one you take, from your head to your heart.”
Allow me to humbly add:

The Most Beautiful Journey is the one you take Inward.

Bon Voyage, and see you in a week!!

Week 14: Listening to Your Visions

April 06, 2024

Hello again, how was your week?

This week, we are turning our ears’ experience into a picture.

We are going to picturize the sound. Let’s refer back to Week 8.
If you are just joining me and wish to come along live (as this exercise unfolds), work on Week 8 first then come back to this week’s experiment/exercise.

First, take out the sheet of paper you drew/painted on last week, and the drawing/painting tool(s) – pen/paint/crayon, etc.- of your choice.

Just as we did last week….

Find time and place where you can relax and focus for a while.
Pick one memory/recollection from what you discovered about yourself in Week 8.
Go into the experience, re-live the memorable moment(s). Savor what makes it so special.
In your mind, remember it in colors. Then in textures, shapes. Make it vivid.

When ready, pick one tool, choose a position within the sheet and draw/paint a shape you just envisioned, with your choice of color/texture – as if to place your ear-memory onto the paper.

Can you turn what is so special about the memory you picked into a color? If using a single-tone tool like graphite pencil, texture? In other words….
If you choose one color/texture that best represent your memory, which one would that be, how does it look?
If color, is it pale or dark, if texture, fluffy or jagged?
What the shape would be, a circle, a rectangle, warped, elongated, squared? Zig-zagged , wave formed or more like a cloud? How big within the paper, where in relation to the last week’s shape?
Do you want to fill the shape with the color/texture, or would rather leave some of it un-filled?

Memory you pick does not have to be a “happy” one, to make this exercise positive.
Recalling a special friend of mine who once told me “life comes in all 31 flavors.” …

Embrace all flavors until every one of them becomes Beautiful.

So yes, pick the memory that feels right. Even if doing so feels uncomfortable, no worries.
The very act of turning to Creativity transcends the experience; the Ultimate Positivity embedded in it.
The very act itself is a form of Embrace.

Now, “re-living the experience” may not be too appealing if your choice of memory is particularly, for instance, sorrowful.
I am not suggesting extended suffering.
What is suggested here is to bring the emotions/feelings, etc. forward in your consciousness, and imagine them in color-texture-shape and draw/paint, as if to move them from inside you onto the paper. May sound silly but I urge you to give it a try anyways.

Unless. as I stated in “Introduction/Disclaimer” – scroll down to “Few Important Notes”, remembering is too overwhelming.
If so, please discontinue and pick something easier.
Timing may not be right. You’ll know. Just please do not strain yourself.
This I learned myself through trials and trials:
Going gentle does not delay one’s progress. Straining oneself oft. does.

So now you got 2 shapes on 1 sheet of paper.
A parting wish for this week: please take a moment and be amused by your emerging picture.

Have a good one!!

Week 13: Step Into Your Blank Canvas

March 30, 2024

( I am going to write as if you have been with me since Part 1 throughout. If you have not / just joined me, etc., please go through each week from Part 2 along with Part 3 that is starting now. )

Let’s begin by referring back to Week 7: Your Feet.
But first, prepare your pen(s) / pencil(s) / paint(s)*, etc., and a piece of paper on a surface large enough to place them.
( I strongly suggest not using an eraser, and prepare just one sheet of paper. )
Please set aside enough time lest you not feel rushed.
Relax into what you found in your Week 7 exercise.

*I touched on this in Part Two’s “Important Notice” (at the top of the page): if you have one graphite pencil for instance, you can sharpen it to a needle point and fill the shape of your choice with thin, hard line scribble. Or, use the side of the pencil and fill your shape with soft fuzzy texture. If you chose paints in tubes, you can thin them with water and paint your shape with a brush, or apply thick paint with your hands.
Possibility is limitless even with limited tools / materials.

Pick one time / place your feet remember most strongly / strikingly.
Walk into the memory and live it as vividly as you can.
Hold the vision, the feel, the senses, as if you are right there, feeling it.
And ask yourself:
if your memory has the color / texture / shape, what would that be?
And where on the paper would you place it, how big is the shape?

When ready, draw / paint your shape on your paper where it feels right.

Please remember: you cannot do this wrong, even if you tried your damnedest.

When you ask yourself, please become silent enough, patient enough and eager enough, to listen to any hint of inspiration** arising inside you. An inspiration to pick a particular pen instead of a brush, for instance, could be a mere whisper. It may not make sense, a part of you may wage a war against it.

**Needless to say, but on internet, playing it safe is golden: what is suggested here is giving into inspiration that is life-affirming and not those that are harmful / destructive to self and/or others.

If you can hear resistant thoughts inside your mind, please write them down for future reference.
Another benefit of doing so is that more often than not, by simply writing them down on paper that is external to you, helps you create a distance from their influence.

Alternately. If you cannot harness your resistant thoughts/feelings enough, example, this whole thing makes you angry and that’s all you feel, then, you can instead find a color-shape-texture of your anger and paint/draw it on your paper. In other words,
what I am really saying is this:

Who You Are Now Is Always Perfect for Creativity to Flow Through.

I wish you’ll have a fun time.
Sincerely, and see you in a week!!

Flower Journal 2024

This is a progressive post: I will post floral portraits throughout the year.

Sakura blossoms in full bloom.
Sakura (Somei Yoshino)Currently full bloom in Pacific Northern Kanto. Pictured is the tree in my yard. If you are planning a cherry visit to Japan, let me recommend Tokyo. Not just well known viewing spots, but literally every street corner / neighborhood park has cherry trees blooming like they mean serious business. Collective energy – of trees and people – during the blooming season I find it to be enlivening. If timing is right, you get to see them fall, usually there is this one day when they – pink petals – fall hard, and the city becomes this ethereal theater, an unforgettable sight to behold. Photographed: 2024.04.11 15:32:54 Edited & Published 2024.04.11

Buds and leaves of a wild flower in spring, Japan.
Hotoke No Za (buds) / Lamium amplexicauleJapanese name literally means, Lotus seat of Hotoke/Buddha, named for the leaves’ likeness to the lotus leaf Buddha sits on. Full bloom as of late. Photographed: 2024.04.11 14:47:25 Edited & Published 2024.04.11

Trumpet daffodil blossoms.
Trumpet Daffodil / Rappa Suisen“Rappa” means trumpet in Japanese. Mediterranean origin. Photographed: 2024.04.08 15:55:08 Edited & published 2024.04.08.

Sakura blossom buds in detail.
Sakura / Cherry Blossoms (buds)The first blossoms spotted on 03.31 (Pacific Northern Kanto Plane). Photographed: 2024.04.02 15:25:19 Edited 2024.04.02, Published 2024.04.04.

Detail of a Camellia blossom fell on the ground.
Camellia (fell)Camellia has a distinctive method of decay: the whole flower drops, instead of petals falling one by one, resulting in the ground carpeted with rouge-fuschia flowerbeds. Photographed: 2024.04.02 14:59:55 Edited & Published 2024.04.03

Van Sion Daffodil blossom, detail.
Van Sion DaffodilPhotographed: 2024.03.31 17:19:22 Edited & Published 2024.03.31

Small spring blossom in Japanese country side.
Ko Hakobe / Stellaria mediaMedicinal. Photographed: 2024.03.22 15:58:03 Edited & Published 2024.03.29

Spring wildflowers of rural Japan.
Hisakaki / Eurya japonicaOriginally “Hime Sakaki”, corrupted into Hisakaki. “Hime”, princess, oft used in names as the “smaller version of”, e.g. smaller version of Sakaki. Scented savory/spicy. Photographed: 2024.03.25 14:46:55 Edited & Published 2024.03.28

Spring wildflowers in Japan.
Hime Odoriko Sou / Lamium purpureumLeaves are edible, high sugar content in nectar. Long side of the flower measures about a centimeter. Photographed: 2024.03.25 15:50:40 Edited & Published 2024.03.25

Pink small wild blossoms in spring time Japan.
Hime Tsuru Soba / Persicaria capitataPhotographed: 2024.03.25 16:00:52 Edited & Published 2024.03.25

Black and white portrait of a Ki Ichigo blossom.
Ki Ichigo /Momiji Ichigo /Rubus palmatusBerries are edible. The first blossoms spotted several days ago. Photographed: 2024.03.22 16:06:11 Edited & Published 2024.03.22

Black and white macro photo of Dandelion blossom.
DandelionThe first blossoms spotted on 03.14. Photographed: 2024.03.16 17:04:39 Edited & Published 2024.03.19

Spring small blossoms in Japan.
Hotoke No Za / Lamium amplexicaulePhotographed: 2024.03.14 16:22:58 Edited & Published 2024.03.14

Black and white macro photo of Narcissus blossoms in rain.
NarcissusScented. Photographed: 2024.03.12 11:43:13 Edited & Published 2024.03.12

Black and white macro photo of a hyacinth blossom in rain.
HyacinthScented. Photographed: 2024.03.12 at11:53:24 Edited & Published 2024.03.12

Black and white portrait of a camellia blossom.
Camellia.Photographed: 2024.02.10 at15:45:54 Edited & Published 2024.03.11

Black and white image of Japanese Apricot blossom.
Ume/Japanese Apricot.Scented. Photographed: 2024.02.10 at15:31:27 Edited & Published 2024.03.11

Creative Self Exploration – Part Two: You, The Temple.

Important Notice:

I just had an inspiration today.
For Part 3, we will be using what we discover in Part 2, to create an abstract painting/drawing.
Please prepare a sheet of paper and something to paint with, such as, crayons, pastels, paints – preferably 3 to 5 different colors and/or textures/materials. At minimum, one graphite pencil/ a charcoal block for example – something to easily draw in varying textures/tones with – and a found material like cardboard, newspaper, etc – will do.
You have several weeks to prepare, needn’t be fancy, but if possible choose something you feel drawn to/comfortable with.
– February 18, 2024, edited on Feb 20, ’24.

What’s this about? INTRODUCTION
Just found this out? I recommend you start from PART ONE

Week 12: Conclusion: Make Yourself At Home!

March 23, 2024

Hello hello, welcome back again.

This week, we are going to conclude the Part Two.

But firstly.
I’ve written each week thruout Part Two, a short note on how I approach ‘inclusivity’ regarding our physique.
It’s not really about being “inclusive” however. Allow me to explain. Thanks in advance.

I understand people live many different circumstances. Challenges, if you will, that may inconvenience your day-to-day existence in this world we live in. This can be said, obviously, about broader subjects, not just about our body.
With that in mind, let me clarify one more time, where I am coming from.

Especially, but not limited to, considering the person’s Creativity…..

Your Unique Circumstance can be
Your Most Substantial Asset.

Also / by the way, these snippets, like the one above, in large, fancy font are written as encouragements*. 

The words come to me as I write each week; they are spoken directly from my experience of claiming my creativity**.

*Because looking within isn’t always easy.
**Not just ‘art’, although I write as an artist.

Okay folks, let’s dive in, shall we?

How was the experience of Part Two (P2), any change in the way you see your bod? Yourself?


Imagine, if you will, you are throwing a post-P2 party, inviting each subjected part as a party guest: your feet, ears, nose, skin and hair.

What would the gathering be like? Time, attire, vibe….
Picture, the party’s in your Hakoniwa from Part One; how would you arrange it?

What would you write on invitation cards, and post party thank you notes?

How was Part Two for you? Anything stood out as especially challenging? Flowing?
Lasting impressions? New discoveries?
Which one(s) you enjoyed the most? The otherwise?

As for the party….
How’s the behavior/character of each guest?
What would the conversations be like?
Are they getting along okay? Who’s more chummy with whom, and with you?
Adoration? Animosity? Hair looking down on feet?
Favoritism? Equalism? Partying down, or party proper?

How would you decorate your Hakoniwa for the gathering?
Are you watching sunset together, a midday pool party or candle-lit wining and dining?

Will you write same message for everyone, on invites / thank you notes?
And how was it for you, the party host?

So this is it.
CONGRATS!!, to you for completing the Part Two.

Part Three will begin next week. We will be painting/drawing an abstract art piece, based on what we discovered about our body during Part Two.
It will be helpful, if you can jot down important points about each P2 week.
If you are not, or if you are joining in late, you can go back to Part 2 while on Part 3. (e.g. Work on Week7 and upcoming Week13 together – I think you’ll find it much simpler than it sounds.)

Looking forward to seeing you in a week, as the new adventure unfolds.

Week 11: Your Hair: Mane Majestic

March 16, 2024

Majestic synonyms: dignified, sovereign.
– from thesaurus.com

You’re given the Divine Right to your Dignity;

so much so you even get to choose whether to accept it.

Part Two, started with our feet, makes the last stop this week at our crown: our hair.

But first, I gotta drop a quick note, as have been for the entirety of Part Two: if you have no hair at the time of your giving this exercise a try, please substitute with either the memories of your hair, or your scalp.

Your mane, more often than not, plays a role of a silent servant. Oft seen more from the view point of appearance management, doesn’t scream when it’s cut, nor object when applied heat.
I thought it’d be interesting to point a spotlight and ask some questions, such as…

How do you perceive your hair, currently, and over the years?

If your hair is an antenna, which feels more true, emitting or receiving signals?

How would your signal sound like, what does it say, to you, and to the world?

What do you think of your hair, a decor, a protection, a shelter, a spear or a shield?

A root growing upward?

Most people have experienced multiple ways of styling hair. Do you feel your perception(s) of your hair changed along with it?

Some say, your hair is an antenna. Let’s explore this idea.

If it is, what have you received through it so far? Pulse, light, sound, songs like a radio would?
How’s the reception been, consistently good, full of noise or varies depending on your do?

Let’s explore further. If this antenna can also transmit signals, what do you think yours would be sending out?
Is it consciously crafted, or unintentionally escaped from within you?
From what part of your body / existence the signals come from – e.g. your heart, head, throat, etc, and how personal is the message to you?

Have you notice any change in your perception of your hair, after asking these questions?

So, that’s it, folks!!
Next week, we will conclude Part Two, and the week after, start Part Three, where we will use what we discovered about ourselves thru Part Two to create an abstract art piece.

In case you are from the “Oh I can’t draw, not even a stick figure” camp…
You are in LUCK, fren. You see, most children are naturally, and enviably good at drawing abstract. You probably were, too.
I will do my best to guide you through it, so at the very least, it will be a fun experience.
And arguably, not too many things are more important in life, than to experience quality fun.

See you in a week!!

Week 10: Your Skin: Between You and the World

March 09, 2024

Hello howdy, how have you been?

This week we are going to focus on our largest organ, our skin. And am thinking of approaching it a tad bit differently.

So, our skin. It contains you, enfolds your self, while simultaneously is exposed to the world around you, in direct contact with it.

It fights for you, it feels for you, is your armor, a shield, a wrapper, a billboard.

Your Skin Envelops You, an Inimitable Gift to the World.

Quick Note: It is the largest in most cases. I could not think of ways to exist without skin but I know I don’t know everything, so if needed, please adjust what is suggested in this exercise – skin as what stands between you and the world – to your unique circumstances.

Please set aside a few moments this week like taking off for a very short vacation and ask yourself:
How do you see/perceive your skin?

How the world around you feels on your skin? 

If your skin could talk, what would it say, in what tone of voice?

What is different this week from previous few weeks is that, I’m suggesting that you feel into you today.
For example, how is the perception(s) of your skin as of …. now. As a starting point anyways, because, asking questions as such may lead you to a certain point in your past.
If that happens, please take notes and return, when ready, to this week’s questions.

Is your skin more of a wrapper than an armor to you?
Does it feel translucent, or is it more like a mirror?
Hard shell or fluid silk?
Just to make sure, it is not your actual skin’s texture that is in question here. It’s the way you feel about your skin as an organ that encases the rest of your physicality – along with it your emotions, memories, your history.
Is it consistent or varies depending on the region, as in, armor on your back, billboard is your forehead….

Does the world, to your skin, feel like a feathered nest or a bed of nails? A battlefield, a no-man’s land, a tropical jungle or a mosh pit?
Hailstorm on your back (ouch!!) while a fluffy cloud covers your crown?
Anywhere you feel more protective of, or feel more open to the world? Tender vs numb?

And if your skin could talk, what would it say and how eager do you feel, to listen to what it has to say?

As always, I am suggesting you ask you and let your answers surface, you collect them answers and take notes – especially since we are going to be using all that info to paint/draw an abstract art in Part 3, coming up in a few weeks.
I think it will be a blast.

Enjoy your mini vacation this week!!

Week 9: Your Nose: Scent, Potent.

March 02, 2024

Hello and welcome back. Can you believe it has already been 9 weeks, which is more than one-sixth of the whole year?

This week, let’s venture into the magnificent world of scent.
Sense of smell seems to have a special relationship with a person’s memories.
Before we go any further though…

Just like with Week 7 and 8, if your scent-sensing/nose function is hindered, please pick the part of your body that serves the closest. For example, if you interpret smell into vision as in seeing the scent i.e. your eyes perform a double duty, then please focus on your eyes.

Find a place and time where you can feel reasonably relaxed for a while.
As if going over your life experiences through your nose, gently focus on your nose and let what it remembers surface.
What scent connects to which memories, and how do they make you feel?

Please perform this week’s task with extra patience/attentiveness and treat what you find with utmost respect – like a museum archivist with white gloves would.

Lots written about the connection between memories and scent (as easily be found on our internet).
Strong tie as such may bring up deepest of your emotions. Naturally, not all we remember make us smile. Please be extra sweet to yourself this week as you embark on your journey inward, and as I mentioned in the “disclaimer” (scroll down to “Few Important Notes”), if you feel overwhelmed, I beg you not to push/rush.
Nature in you somehow knows how much is too much, so please listen.
What you have to postpone this week may not overwhelm you in a year; things of this nature seem to have their own order, something else may have to come to your awareness first.
So please…

Trust the Process Unfolding;

like a flower bud, your Intuitive Wisdom knows the way.

When you are ready, choose a few memories/feelings significant to you.
If they are on more sorrowful-painful side (but you can handle them), I suggest you examine them by imagining them into colors, shapes, textures – a precursor to the upcoming Part 3 where we will draw/paint an abstract picture.

Hope you find this exercise meaningful – see you next week!!

Week 8: Your Ears: Soundness of Your Visions

February 24, 2024

‘soundness’ synonyms include:
integrity, strength, truth.
– thesaurus.com

Welcome back to this weekly, year-long experiment meant to be fun and hopefully also, inspirational.
Suggesting, most of all, you being the fondest inspiration to yourself.
It has already been a great lesson for me.

This week, we are focusing on our ears.
As stated last week, this exercise is designed to include all living biological humans. If your hearing is impaired, please substitute with the part of your body that functions closest to sensing the sound/vibration/frequency.

Find a place reasonably quiet where you can be alone for a while.
Giving your ears soft, permissive attention, allow them to recollect what they heard/experienced up to this point.
What do they remember, and how do they make you feel?

Perhaps it’s a swing at a park resonated so right it unlocked the treasure chest in your subconscious.
You may remember shifting colors of the sky on one special day with your ears like a concerto.
Or, you find your ears reliving the feel of squeaky sand revived just last week with your feet.

Please be nonjudgmental and allow what they – your ears – want to recall, surface.
They – memories/recollections – may trigger optimism or pessimism. While not to recommend anyone staying sad, both are valuable information about your truth/self. That is what I mean by “nonjudgmental”.

Furthermore, this is not an exercise to get comfy in mere sentimentalism. What is suggested here is that you tap into you as the…

Your body is The Ultimate Supercomputer, fueled by a bottomless supply of Purest Love.

Please make sure to take notes of significant finds. As mentioned at the top, you will need the info for the upcoming Part Three /in several weeks.

Wishing you a fab week listening to your ears ;)

Week 7: Your Feet: The Miles You Walked

February 17, 2024

Welcome to the Part Two of Creative Self Exploration, a year-long experiment/adventure, where I play it by my intuitive ear and post weekly themes every Saturday JST.
In Part Two, we will focus on our physicality, our body, the temple we inhabit.

I’d like to start off by focusing on our feet.
On many miles we walked, on times we stood still whether in awe or aghast. They are the foundation of our existence.

Important Note:
If you do not stand on your feet for variety of reasons, please focus instead, on the foundation of your mobility, such as the palm of your hands that steer your wheelchair. If you have no mobility then where your body contacts the ground. In other words, this exercise does not intend to exclude you whatever your circumstance may be. I don’t say this to be politically correct neither. What I mean, which, I believe, applies to everyone, is…

Your physique is Your Temple, wherever you’ve been, however you are.

Please take an undisturbed moment and give your feet a gentle, open attention.
Kindly let your feet recollect memories of the places they walked/stood upon.
Any time/place(s) in particular that stand out, if so, in what way(s)?

Feel any sensations as you let your feet remember?
Feelings, emotions, memories … visions, thoughts, scent/taste/sound?
What are your favorites, do you wish to revisit the places/experiences?

Any ripple effects, chain reactions, of recollections?
What do they mean to you, then and now?

Please give enough moments this week, ask questions like these
and allow the answers to surface from within you.

You can write, draw, record in whatever the method you feel drawn to.
I do recommend you take notes, treat those snippets like gold nuggets.
And you, a gold mine.

Have fun!!

The Art of Stealing Moments.

Happy New Year, Dear Visitor!!

A sea gull landing on water.
A mug cup and a pair of tennis shoes on beach sand ripples with foot prints.
Rubber stamp prints on the wall.

Pink Cloud Moment:

Zen and the Art of getting comfy for a sec, even if in the eye of the raging storm.

A cloud at sunset.
A large mug cup on sand at sea shore at sunset.

Life is difficult.
– M Scott Peck “The Road Less Traveled”

To steal a moment, to snuggle up comfy in the eye of the storm*, I must not deny that there is a storm.
Paradoxically, I found it true, I escape by not running.
What if then, the storm so severe you almost have to look away, at least partially?
I found it effective then, to not deny my such denial.

To get comfy, as in, tranquil. I found it necessary that I not battle with the reality of my day.
Stolen moments like that, open up a channel where Inspiration flows, giving life a meaning, regardless, despite.

“Needless to say but on internet, playing safe is preferable: This is an analogy. In case of an actual storm, escape to a safe place first.

Photos from top (photographed date month year @ hour:minute:second):
A Water Bird (08Feb18 time recorded inaccurate)
Cafe Footprints (31Dec23 @ 15:43:30)
Dra Gondola (15Jan24 @ 15:55:55)
A Perfect Cloud (01Jan24 @ 16:24:32)
Cafe Perfect (01Jan24 @ 16:21:10)

The print “Dra Gondola” was inspired by a story I read as a child “Tears in the Dragon’s Eyes” (Hirosuke Hamada, 1941, the title translated literally by myself).

Wishing you a year filled with countless Pink Cloud Moments, rain or shine.

Creative Self Exploration – Part One: Your Clean Slate

What’s this about? INTRODUCTION
Just got here? Scroll to the bottom and start with WEEK ONE.

Week 6: Conclude, Shall We?

February 10, 2024

The last week of Part One, here we go!!

Bring one furniture from where you live, into your Hakoniwa.
Place it where and how you feel is right.
Imagine yourself sitting/leaning on /standing by the furniture.
What do you see? How do you feel?

How is the furniture placed in relation to the object from Week 1?
How does it relate to your surroundings, imagined in Week 2-5?
What do they tell you about yourself, your life – thoughts, feelings, memories?
Correlations, symbols, wisdom from yourself?

(You can either imagine yourself there, or imagine looking at you being there from where you actually are.)

Now, please do be open, as in accepting, to the way you feel, being there in your space.

Let me share with you how I have done it so far, for the purpose of conveying what I mean by all this.

“I am in my loft on a folded futon. My Week 1 object, a sequined silver dress’ positioned a few meters away nearly out of my peripheral vision. I sit facing a very large rabbit in distance with its gaze fixed in my direction, I see it through the wall with no windows. I feel on my back warmth from the very sunny beach, the light from which sparkling on the sequins of the dress.

“As I imagined, an awareness surfaced, about its significance in relation to my current life, what this rabbit symbolizes to me.
With this awareness alone the rabbit shrunk in size, to the point I can no longer see its expression, and sensed myself turning away towards the beach.”

See how this exercise can be of benefit – for instance, to increase one’s self-knowledge and internal freedom…?

More than anything tho, please, if you may, marvel at what you created in last five weeks.
That’s your garden, your room, your space you assembled together into imaginative reality.

Your Creative Potential: Limitless.

Join me in Part Two starting next Saturday, til then!!

Week 5: Lastly, Skyward.

February 03, 2024

Let’s turn our attention to what is above us.
Imagine, standing in your space//garden/loft, and looking up skyward.
What do you see there, the structure over you, and the space above it?

Do you have a roof, shade, awning?
See stars through your skylight, or solid ceiling above you blocking the sun?
How starlit is the night, how bright the sunshine?
Do you feel the warmth, the chill, or is it scorching and you feel it even through the roofing?
If it’s a garden, is it fully open or part covered, if so with what type of structure, made of what materials?

How is the light, the sound, the atmosphere – anything falling? Flying?
How does it feel to be beneath it?

Imagination tells you a story you star in.

As always, please take your time and listen to your answers arise from within you
– for your attention to yourself is a gift of generosity, and you, the main character of an unfolding story.

Have a beautiful week!!

Week 4: Inside, Looking Out.

January 27, 2024

Imagine standing in your space – garden, loft – and looking over the fences, through the windows – what you envisioned in Week 2.
Look around, all directions.
What do you see?

Do you see tall buildings, or giraffes? How close to your space, are they….friendly?
Dense or spacious? Busy or tranquil? What’s the overall feel, the vibe, of what surrounds your space?

Do you hear anything?
Traffic, waves, dinosaurs…

Which view / element do you like the most, and the least?

Again, please don’t judge your answers even when they are “impractical”, because….

You are the one you will spend
the entirety of your life with.

…and every time you embrace the ideas as they surface from within you, the Creative Energy would, with equal eagerness flow through and circulate around you.

I hope you are having a swell time with this exercise / experiment.
See you in a week!!

Week 3: Ask Your Soles

January 20, 2024

How is the ground / floor?
What is it made of / from, and how does it feel to the soles of your feet?

Grassy, sandy, packed dirt. Hardwood, or carpeted? What kind of carpet, how fine is the sand?
And how do your soles feel, standing on them?
Wood panels squeak? How tall are the grasses? Any inhabitants, birds, insects or a snake?

Suspend Your Logic &
Imagine.

Please remember this: you don’t have to make sense.
You can have a hummingbird hovering above footprints of a polar bear.

Imagine walking around your space, barefoot.
Is it evenly comfortable?

As always,
please take your time and let your answers surface.
…and Have Fun!!

Week 2: Embrace, Enfold.

January 13, 2024

embrace:
to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
– dictionary.com

Because ‘You’ happens only once in the history of the Universe

Continuing from the Week 1:

What feels right to enclose your garden / loft with;
walls, fences, the height, density, spaciousness?

Again, please take your time letting your answers surface.

Do you want to build a tall continuous wall, a barbed-wire fence?
Or leave one particular side open?
What about windows, balconies, gates…

If you sense any feelings attached to your answer – please take notes.
No need to know / figure out why you want it/feel that way. Not the purpose of this week’s theme anyways.

As you may be well aware: there’s no right or wrong however you want it. But I do wish you embrace your answers and have fun with all this.

You may draw a picture or describe in words. Or just keep your visions in your mind.
Do as you please; it’s your Hakoniwa!

See you in a week :)

Week 1: Let’s Hakoniwa*!!

January 06, 2024

*Hakoniwa is a Japanese word for sand box garden / therapy.

Imagine a garden or a large room like a loft. Think of it as a blank canvas.
If you are to plant/place just one item, what would that be?

Examples:
– A vintage kettle you didn’t buy that you still think about after decades.
– A park bench you used to sit on at lunch time while working in a office nearby.

This is not “resolution”, nor “to do list” for this year.
Nor about striving-planning-achieveing thing.
It is about letting ideas surface from within you. I am suggesting you catch them ideas when they do. And take notes.

Please spend enough time this week, asking yourself this. In other words, I recommend you do not rush.

It’s best not to analyze nor criticize – which may be a bit of a challenge.
In that case, if it does not feel too much, take a note about your criticism/hesitancy, etc. Not to overcome them but just to gather information.

If you really can’t think of anything, that is alright too.
Sometimes it’s more important that you ask/ed.

See you next week!!

In your imagination
you get to pick whatever you fancy.

Photo A Day, November 2023

This is an experiment with “progressive” style posting: relying completely-clumsily on my hunch and letting the story unfold.
Photos are taken / edited / mostly posted on the day.
Photo title-caption is in image URL / embeds.
You are invited to tag along (and let Your story unfold), also to leave comments.

A bird nest on a bed of yellow ginkgo leaves.
Moon rise over sea horizon captured in bold geometry,
Clouds, sun ray shone through with two gulls in flight.
Surface of a forming wave at dusk.
Ginkgo leaves, a holly blossom, a shell and a sea-worn roof tile,
Ginko leaves in the sun and wind.
A kite eagle in part cloudy blue sky.
Abstract line drawing of a flower petal in detail.
Sea shells, a salt-worn leaf on sand ripples in mid day sun.
Daisy lit up by the mid day sun light.
A white feather, a white shell arranged with a smart phone out of service.
Blue sky, ginkgo leaves and a white cloud.
A pair of worn tennis shoes, a red leaf, a mug cup on beach sand.
Abstract traces of city lights in monochrome.
A mug cup, a fine branch, a person's foot on beach sand.
Preparing a holiday wreath with an origami rabbit and a crane.
A dragon fly perched on a person's hand.
Sea-worn shells, rocks, leaves and a pair of worn-out paint brushes.
Abstract art work lit with filtered lighting in studio.
A dog toy tennis ball and a rusted mini shovel on a large rock.
Japanese Aster blossoms.
Ocean wave with sunlight reflections.
Silver grasses and golden rod blossoms in afternoon sun light.

A driftwood at a sea shore.
Journal books, a sea shell, a cell phone.
Sea surface with sunlight reflections.
A white lily in bloom.
2 birds soaring in blue sky.
A small canvas purse and a broken sea shell on a chair-shaped driftwood on the beach.

Afterword

As noted in the beginning of this post, I spent my month of November 2023 posting one photo a day. While searching for the image I focused only on what feels right within. To the sea or make a tea; each step of the way I consciously consulted with my innermost self.

Inspiration is a whisper and my thoughts oft in doubting of it. The pressure to “get a shot” daily was an exciting challenge I gave myself, also was laced with creative tension.

Throughout the month Creativity wove a continuous tale mostly of personal significance. Images ‘coincided’ over and again in ways I could no way have coordinated*. The tale unfolded guided me to the greater degree of trust in Benevolent Unseen.

Collaborating with The Creativity Itself has been my greatest ambition since long. Spent decades up to this date, clearing from within myself what counters my such aim, I’d like to think now the battle is over in most part. I noticed however, during the month’s experiment the fear, a certain kind of nervousness, was still present. It’s an impulse to hesitate, to recoil from the Dynamic Creative Current, although no longer a paralyzing dread**.

But that is alright, for I’ve come to suspect, it is the tension, in longing for and fearing of Creativity I find what compels me to dare, to make my minuscule version of The Ultimate Beauty.

*I decided against giving examples, for too often what’s awe-striking in this manner is so very personal, and detailing it becomes like explaining a joke. Instead, I will let you, the visiter, experience something if it’s there for you.
**When I talk about “creative block”, basically this is what I am talking about.

History:
Published on 03Nov23 at 09:11
Turned private on 03Nov23 at 13:25
Gone public / published again on 10Nov23
Added “Afterword” on 05Dec23 at 21:27

Present.

A red spider lily blossom in a cupped hand.
A red spider lily bud in close detail.

A red spider lily petals in detail.
A forming wave.

a strange moment
an overpowering stillness
shot through with the scent of the sea

the silence so complete, it had
given up its secret

time and again

Listen

A drift wood and a dried spider lily blossom.

Photos are of red spider lilies 2023, the ocean pic is from 2 yrs ago.

Text: from Kem Nunn “Tapping the Source”.
 A poem constructed with lines from the last page of the story (multiple offenses: I’ve been messing with other people’s work).

I am in the process of writing a follow up post about my take on how to (effortlessly) be present, to find a sanctuary in the moment

This post began its process on September 22, 2023 at 18:51.
A poem written on October 11, 2023 at 14:18 JST.

August (Alone with Waves)

A forming wave and clouds.

Things I learned this summer:

1

Basically I am swimming in a translucent sculpture of ever-shifting Perfection.

Sea shells in a palm by sea shore at sunset.
Hamagou blossoms on a beach at sunset.
An artwork in progress in morning light.

2

I realized I am painting waves!!*

Abstract line drawing details.

3

…and guess what? Shells are, too!!!

Sea shells and other beach finds in detail.
Abstract line drawing close details.

4

Present is the present with no strings attached.

Picnic tote on a sunny beach.
A faint rainbow in summer sky.
Hamagou blossoms, a picnic tote and the sea shore.

5

Ocean humbles me but humility sets me free.**

Sky reflected on sand at sea shore.

All images were photographed in August 2023.

*The artwork in progress (photo 4, 5, 7 from top) is an abstract interpretation of a flower petal. How so in one post from 2019.11.27: Process is the Destination!!

**Please allow me to specify what I mean by “humility” here.
I am not coming from stereo-typical Japanese “politely lowering oneself is a virtue” presentation (as in, nationalism-based virtue signaling, say). This is an art website and I work within myself to write as a creative.
Ocean is bigger than me. My silly pride as a skilled, long time swimmer had gotten shattered numerous times against the sheer force of the Ocean. Surprisingly though, such surrendering to Majestic did not defeat me but has been having the opposite effect on me: it permits me to release the dynamic/energetic/unapologetic side of me. As if the Ocean itself tempts me to become more. “Be more. You won’t scare me away.”
I wrote about one of the times when I got my ass handed: 2020.12.30 – New Moon in Virgo (An inflatable buoy tied to my waist since.)

Edits:
12Sep23 – added the “**” paragraph about humility.
14Sep23 – minor corrections.
27Sep23 – minor addition.

Artwork in progress with ocean surface.
2019.06.22 – Sea/She