“He put his hand in the air and waved at Preston across the dark expanse. It was a crazy kind of wave – done with the whole arm, his hand swinging at the end of it, full of childish exuberance. And as he watched, Preston raised his own arm and waved back.”
Last December. We had 19 more days left in the year. Short walk to the beach I watched a leaf circling in breeze drawing an endless geometric pattern.
“Leaves generate Energy that way.” Suddenly I was not alone. And everything, surrounded, came alive with wings of its own.
The leaf, the movement, the way I felt that day. Stayed with me the whole year. On my mind. In my heart.
Images above best represent my 2022, photographed mostly this year, a few in recent years, except for one, forth from top back in 2005.
The hand-written letters in the pic are typed out just beneath, from Kem Nunn “Tapping The Source” (1984, p.77, No Exit Press).
Just how, a snapshot of my then apartment from 17yrs ago, and an unforgettable paragraph from a book a friend shoved in my hand saying, “you read this.” in as early as 1984, like pieces of the puzzle finding their places in the picture of my life, years later.
Sixth and eighth, of a piece Spider Lily Red – Flare 2, in process, as of September 2022. Flare 1 is completed.
I took a grande break from posting Journals for a year to focus on other things. (Except for these ones: link to UPDATES page)
The plant wasn’t doing too well the previous few years. It was down to only one flower in 2020. Gardenia. The tree my height managed to produce one perfect blossom that year.
A year before that, May 2019, I suddenly noticed the power meter looking rather different. Turned out, the power company, TEPCO of Fukushima Plant fame, walked into and across the property I live on, all the way to the other side of the gate and replaced the meter to its ‘smart’ equivalent without ever telling anyone about it. That was in May 2017. No notice, before nor after the switch. The Gardenia plant, situated right next to it, had no choice but to be in the way of, according to TEPCO, “low grade” therefore ”safe” radio transmission every 30 minutes throughout the day since, for two full years until in May ’19 I brought them back in to have them remove the radio part to un-smart the meter.
Every time I thought of that one 2020 blossom, my heart sunk deeper than the bed of Mariana trench. The plant was already under LED street light, which I voted against on basis that, if our phones have “night shift” mode turned on at 10pm default why plants do not deserve the same consideration. My such solitary quest only resulted in forced nightly LED blue beam with a “nut” diagnose on my name assigned by some self-appointed psychiatrists, which I somehow felt deserving of it.
How much beating a plant can take before it loses its chi to bloom but one single belle?
Although there is no way for me to be certain what the causes of its unthriving were, the timeline of the events I felt was rather peculiar and I discovered, there is a special kind of heartache associated with a situation as this one, the ache I didn’t know how to soothe.
Someone else had an idea however.
One day in mid June, 2021, I noticed a bud on a branch of my dear Gardenia. Cream, sculpted, ready to flower. Looked closely I found plenty more green buds on standby, 30 plus then I lost count, full of chi, full of Life.
How overjoyed I was revealed to me how badly I felt for a whole year. About the kind of environmental hazard we had become steamrollering the ones that cannot relocate nor object. The ones that create the oxygen we breathe.
The plant flourished exuberantly this summer. Perfect flowers unfolded one by one like the world’s most elegant fireworks. It was the best year of blossoming since I’ve known the plant, the most abundant, fragrant, spirited.
As if untouched, dear Gardenia sprung back and quietly asserted its Resilience. The tree my height produced easily 100+ flowers this year, their organically interactive, scented like a dream, stirring, sincere perfection sang its song throughout the flowering season and I was there, a teary audience, taking every bit in with all my senses.
Quote in decorative letters is from my 2014 poem “Spring Song”.
The photos of the plant, I named her Bella Resiliente, do not do justice to the Aliveness the Bella radiated during this year’s flowering season. She was “lit up” with Life.
Unscientific claim? Perhaps. As little as I know tho, what science can cover is only a small portion of the Whole.
A few “scientific” articles I checked for this post suggested plants are more than alright with LED.
This uneducated nobody thinks the claim is of a narrow scope.
Force tweak one part and something else gets off balanced, may not be right away, may not be what you’re looking at, but the Whole is bigger, more intricate, than us mortals could comprehend.
Lighting up the streets (and the sea, as large fishing boats sailing out at night geared up with those that I had mistaken them more than once for apocalypse) with tons of beaming blue lights we humans are recommended not to gaze at before bedtime, is akin to robbing the natural environment of the night, and the ways to sense the shifting cycle of the moon.
I don’t think we have the right, or the enough wisdom, to do so.
Re. the claim that possibly, smart meters affecting plants are easy to find online. Example search words: Wireless Smart Meter Kills Plant.
My wish for the coming years is that somehow, someway, we bring our “heart” back to our operation here on Earth, for that is the portal to Creative Flow that leads us to the Wisdom of the Whole, and the Never Ceasing Resiliency we can draw the true strength from.
Until then I will not lose hope, that, like the poppies in California desert after rain, we will find a way to Super Bloom into our fullest potential, both collectively, and individually.
February 02, 2022 – simplified to “apocalypse”.
January 01, 2022 – added “the poppies” – hard to gauge how much to say.
Several hours before the moon to turn dark, I brought myself to my favorite sand dune, suited up in my swim gear, like I had been all summer. Mid day in the midst of September, temperature noticeably lower but water was still warm and inviting.
I kept myself pretty much out of the sea since Fukushima incident nine years ago and spent every summer in torment, pining for my ocean fix like I would for a long lost love but this year, after hearing some millionaire technocrat talk about nano technology embeds planned for regular humans like myself I made a decision that an extra plutonium particle or two in my snout wouldn’t be a big deal.
Usually this particular beach has chaotic white forms right at the shore giving me a clue about my whereabouts – as once in water, perspective changes and you become a minute miniature existence floating in the merciless energy soup. But this day it was a little different.
The shore break was nearly non existent. Smaller day I thought, and did not assess the current nor my physical prowess of the day.
Over confidence boosted by over eagerness can cause an issue or two. Without realizing I swam out further than usual and not too long after I started to struggle. Exhaustion grew rapidly like never before and with each wave I had to duck my strength drained in heaps.
Then a thought hit me: this is how people drown. I recalled a news story about a recent mysterious drowning of an actress I had not known existed and my thinking, how could you drown in a ripple-less lake? Fear inflated instantly while my arms turned weighty rubber and I knew I was in trouble.
Then came another thought, this time with quiet, solid confidence I never knew I had:
I am not drowning here.
The next moment I felt the Guidance kicking in, and I turned on my back and floated to rest. But waves kept coming and I had to duck and duck and duck. There was only one other person on the stretch of the beach, and he, a surfer, was just getting in as I arrived, and was way over there to notice me.
Or so I thought. Few moments later I saw him walking across the shore closest to where I was as I called out “Help!!”, to which he responded swiftly.
Guidance strongly at work by then, and just as strong was the surfer who happened to be on the beach that day. As if automated I floated on my back again so as to receive help with least harm to this young man. He positioned himself between me and the horizon and gave several powerful pushes at my soles, like he would to a surfboard. Neither party said nothing, but the communication was in Perfect Flow.
What happened this day have been on my mind since. Thought about it many times where it went ‘wrong’ and what I can do in my future swim. I was fortunate, no doubt. Typing this I still feel my heart quicken.
Each time I go over though, this one point when I said “I am not drowning here” stands out as the pivotal one.
In my struggle I declared, intended from the very core of my existence. Calmly, firmly.
And with bottomless Mercy, Life responded accordingly.
Special shout out to Guidance, Mercy and the surfer I do not know the name of.
Photos, from Top:
01: The beach.
02. Year of Rat rubber stamp, not quite there but I meant well.
03. At work, May.
09. Best picnic of the year – with my muse, red spider lilies, October.
10. The work, as of December 28. (Getting there.)
11. The best find of 2020.
Moments lived once, from top. year/month/day/time:
– The first sunrise of the decade.
– That summer I swam a lot in the sea, daily at sundown.
Until I became transparent and merged with the changing colors of the ocean lit by the setting sun.
Like one of them sea creatures in the deep, see-through with neon dots.
– Ocean Cafe, a practice I started in late 2000’s.
Did my “don’t laugh I’m trying to surf” thing around this time as well, the last time before Fukushima blew up.
It was on a moon-lit night, just after it was full. The practice – Night Surf – I started also in late 00’s, fascination and desire to rely solely on my intuition outweighed my fear. I thought it’d make me a better artist.
Not sure if it worked but I haven’t forgotten how I felt: very, very alive.
– “Wing Dress – Velocity” in near completion.
– Light Calligraphy, another naturally emerged “practice” in late 2000’s.
I literally close my eyes and move my camera like a calligraphy brush to “draw” with the light source.
By relying solely on my intuition I thought it’d make me a ….
– Tottori Sand Dune. I got there before sunrise, carrying a sewing body while still dark.
The mini dune sounded intensely quiet, like it does in a desert, especially in those hours.
– Classic Japanese nondescript flip-flops.
A pair carried me to the sea everyday, so worn, I remember even today feeling the bumpy, warm asphalt beneath my soles.
– From the last outdoor swim of the year. I swam so much throughout the summer, sharing the rectangles in the sun with a small group of enthusiasts.
– “Spider Lily Red – Flare 1”, in process.
2017/12/30 time unknown
– “Spider Lily Red – Flare 1”, in association with the ocean.
– On the last day of August I barefooted into the sea, ankle deep in the part of Pacific I’ve known for so long.
The first time since August 2012, a year after the thing blew up.
I was alive again in no time though, like as if I never left.
Like dried wakame reviving itself in water.
– The Last Sunset.
The spectacle at the beach was a gift from The Artist who knows, obviously, how to end the decade with a bang.
Additional Note on “Night Surf” (2020/03/09) :
Possibly redundant but I think worth mentioning is that, accessing the intuition seems easier if I collected enough data, such as, in this case, my strength against the power of the water, the rocks, the depth, the hazards such as sharks. Before hurling myself into the pitch-black water I consulted a fisherman and a surfer knowledgeable about the particular beach, and there on my own made enough mistakes under the sun. The angle of the moon was worth paying attention to as well.
Like a navigation map the human in me wanted to know where I am at, in order to best utilize fear as a fuel so that I could, to my utmost, surrender to the Intuitive.
Panic grows instantly when in the sea. Especially since I was neither skilled nor enlightened, I made sure I was ‘trusting’ enough before each try. Nervous, not frightened, anxious, but excited, eager, than reckless – it is in this longing / resisting I find the spark that enlivens the Creative.
On a walk back from an institutional concrete structure known as a big hospital, I noticed a path through withering weeds, barely beaten, consisting of short uneven steps and pebbly unpaved soil. I turned with my whole torso due to recent neck injury, feeling newly discouraged but still curious, to examine the difficulty level of passing through it.
Being the type to always try a new route, I’d made no exception and carefully taken steps. Immediately I noticed, on dried spikes of stickers a dragonfly, ornamented like a fine art installation waiting to be photographed.
Find!! I thought, with a surge of excitement that I wasn’t as forsaken by luck after all. Carefully I lowered my trunk solely with leg muscles and looked down only with my eye balls, and snapped off the stem in length enough for one of my glass bottles. Just as I started to plan on camera angles however, a surprise slight movement tickled my hand.
The insect, with three out of her four wings got spikes the size of her torso ripping through them, was moving her legs, as if to oppose to my photographic agenda taking place in my head.
No idea how long she had been that way, how had she kept her hope, is she a master of law of attraction, what are the odds of having someone like me, always on a look out for a ‘find’ like her, on foot moving slow, taking a notice of a barely noticeable path, and her predicament?
Out of sheer respect for this chance encounter I, at once, dropped my agenda and gotten to work tackling to break her free with minimum damage to her delicate wings.
As I removed the spikes one by one, she shook her wings off of them, the movement so full of life it was hard to believe she preserved her zeal for however long it took to manifest me.
Turned out one of her wings was more than half gone, another one badly ripped, and my heart sunk, recalling my own, one too many encounters with impossibilities of life. It was a warm day with not even a breeze, and the midday sun encompassed the two of us in a freeze-framed moment, as she rested on my knuckles, freed, facing me. Then with a sudden stamp of her tiny feet and the startling hum of her wings she flew away, leaving the power of her takeoff imprinted on back of my hand, into the field full of silver grasses and their sparkles, as if nothing’s lost, as if to state the most absolutely apparent:
“Broken wings? What broken wings!!”
Neck is nearly healed at the time of this writing (late Dec ’18). I hurt my neck editing photos – stationary for too long in bad “chin forward” posture, pinch nerve, very painful. Forced me on foot for over a month, which, as you can tell, turned out to be quite fruitful.
All photos are from 2018. Bottom two taken during the first sunrise of the year. They are at the bottom because, like waves the dawn always returns, anew, each day.
August 10, 2017. A day before Mountains Day, a national holiday only a few years old, I hopped on my little scarred Honda and headed out roughly towards west. Compelled by the briefness of summer, I wanted to absorb the scorching of the season as much as humanly possible.
Soon after somehow I took the turn I did not plan. General direction is right I said, my motto for a game I call “intentionally getting lost”. Just so long as I won’t miss out on the precious August sun for too long.
Well the path rode into the forest and quickly narrowed, to a single lane just wide enough for my compact. Winding as a large serpent would, on and on through the thick of woods that blocked even the brightest of the light. “Always a screw up, destined to miss.” An inner dialogue took the passenger’s seat like an inseparable old friend and worse yet at each hairpin, I grew deeper in agreement with her.
Then quite suddenly the serpent spat me out, into the bursting of the summer where I found a community probably the smallest I’ve ever seen. Tacked away in a valley between mountains are just a handful of housing structures, only some inhabited, lives held together with artful display of faded woods and rusted tins. Face to face with the unfolding quiet gem, with midday asphalt beneath my feet, I found myself alone in a place where leaves can be heard, streams carry life, the sun warms your shoulders and butterflies are free.
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