Basically I am swimming in a translucent sculpture of ever-shifting Perfection.
I realized I am painting waves!!*
…and guess what? Shells are, too!!!
Present is the present with no strings attached.
Ocean humbles me but humility sets me free.**
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.)
12Sep23 – added the “**” paragraph about humility.
14Sep23 – minor corrections.
27Sep23 – minor addition.
“Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?”
the river knows
It was meant for me.
Monkey wrenches flying across a rocky slope substitute made of stained concrete while all I’m saying is:
let’s get out of the zoo.
“Who say everything’s been said.”
Text at the top in “”:
Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451”
Haiku in decorative italic: Series “messing with other people’s poems”. Deconstructed this time, Nick Drake “River Man”.
Text at the bottom in “”:
Nick Drake “Things behind the sun”
Drawing / painting are by me, the cup, the spoon, the rug, hat, vase and the gadget are store-bought, all the magnificent rest (including my toes) by The Ultimate Artist.
Yes my toes are magnificent, so are yours. Own it.
The second from top photo taken with a vintage iPhone 3GS, no edits.
The rest of the pictures are minimally edited to match the look of the above-mentioned.
The artwork in photos are all part of a two-piece series called “Spider Lily Red – Flare” I have been working on since autumn of 2012.
Took time to develop the style, as I aimed at doing something I haven’t seen anyone do before, that is authentically my own. 9 years on I no longer know what I am doing, I hear that is actually a very good sign that you/r art is getting somewhere.
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.
Pictures (counted from top):
The Beauties of the world – Spider Lily Petals, my muse (1,5,7), and a Spiral Shell (3).
Artwork named “Spider Lily Red – Flare 2”, part, process, acid dye on silk (2,4,6). (Flare 1 is done.)
Background / layered chicken scratches are a journal entry glued on a cardboard, done about 20yrs ago during my lengthy, and severe I might add, creative block. Thought “Garbage!!” but I kept it for there may be a practical use for the cardboard, not the things on it.
Above is the first photo I post online in the new decade. Of a leaf I found one day in mid January, on the ground I was walking, lit up with a special Nudge I’ve learned not to ignore.
A moment before that I was dragging my feet lamenting on my photography fatigue, gazed down which turned out to be a good thing because, the Leaf, as the Grade A Plus abstract art, catapulted me out of the enthusiasm desert.
Photographed is the Leaf’s reverse side. The shiny side has the chicest colors but I’m not posting it because, I am pretty certain you can find a leaf at where you are, a Leaf just as potent, even if you live in a most desolate inner city.
And also, much like that: you always have You, under any circumstances. Yes you do, a Leaf and You, and are way more than enough to ignite the unfolding of Your Visions. Your Truth.
Special thanks to The Oceana, photographed on my 56th birthday in late January. I now hear you, your Waves, always, even when I am away.
“It is in the struggle between good and evil that life has its meaning.”
Collaborative works with The Artist, who did the photographed pieces, all ocean-worn, collected in recent weeks.
Magnificent time working with You, always.
“….and in the hope that goodness can succeed.”
Scott Peck, People of the Lie (p.266-7).
Life is like a waterslide, you jump in with a bang, tossed around with gusto and then spat out, into the splashes catching the summer sun, bursting into laughter like blue sky saying,
“it was really fun, let’s do that again!!”
This post is dedicated to my two special friends, one entered, the other exited in July,
to their unforgettable bang/gusto/laughter now imprinted in my heart where I create, I try to, from.
May 05, 2019, the day the last petals fell from the cherry tree outside my window, I opened a new bottle of red acid dye and dissolved a small portion in a tiny plastic container. It’s the beginning of a long painting process, starting with tracing of the previously-done drawing on the wrong side of silk stretch satin.
In the early part of the process, as seen in the photo below of a newly traced pattern, the piece would look quite unpromising. Being the only person who sees the potential in the work-in-progress, it is up to what faith I got left in me to bring the vision of what it can be onto the surface which, at least for an initial while, appears to be nothing but a far cry.
I’ve been driven to bring into existence the two-piece series I named “Spider Lily Red – Flare”. Will I still be going through this even if no one else in this world would dig it? (ouch!!) The answer is ever-emphatic yes.
I’d do it for the Beauty, the kind that is all-enveloping, synonymous with words like ‘Timeless’ and ‘Truth’, because It touched me again and again and again, in a way I do not know how else to say “Thank You” to.
Quote / hashtag by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Haven’t read the book though – I found it on instagram.
Photo 1,5,7 – Spanish Bluebell, captured macro in various stages of progression.
3 – Violet, bold and vibrant.
4 – Hyacinth, dried petals and the part that held the seed.
2 and 6 – ‘Spider Lily Red – Flare”, in the aforementioned initial stages, with inspirative Spanish Bluebells.
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