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.
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.
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
Ume = Japanese Apricot / Plum. Pictured in photo #1 and #3.
“Demure, delicate, their fragrance so faint, their buds mature during the coldest time of the year, petals push open against late winter chill.
Soft yet Strong, they flower to signal the end of the Winter, and quietly retreat as Spring triumphs and flourishes in magnificent varieties of shapes and shades.”
The middle photo is a casual iPhone snap of the piece “Spider Lily Red – Flare 2” I’ve been working on, taken on February 28, 2023 at 16:29. Turned it into monochrome and part soft/off-focused to simulate a hand-held blur using Lightroom phone app, then applied vsco A5 filter, then, taken into Photoshop on computer and layered with a ocean/gull pic and the scribbles I’ve been using for sometime. In short, over processed some. It’s an experiment.
What I think is so wonderful about subtlety is that, it brings out a hunter, a seeker in a person, the opposite of things that explain themselves so loud they put you in a position of a mere consumer. If creativity is about connecting dots in new ways, it then naturally asks you to be the initiator.
Initiate, but not overbear. Intend, yet keep it open-ended. Candid, without making it all about me. I think about all this while remembering the fortunate times when I found myself encased in an elegantly subtle Ume scent cloud*.
“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.
Regarding 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.
“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.
The season of scented blossoms begins with Ume (Japanese Apricot) in late January.
Demure, delicate, their fragrance so faint, their buds mature during the coldest time of the year, petals push open against late winter chill.
Soft yet Strong, they flower to signal the end of the Winter, and quietly retreat as Spring triumphs and flourishes in magnificent varieties of shapes and shades.
Photos from top:
– Magnolia Kobus, close view. March 18, 2021, at 15:24.
– In praise of my favorite blossoms and the World they reside in – Spider Lily Red-Flare 2, acid dye on silk, as of May 11, 2021, 15:56. (Flare 1 is completed.)
– Same as above, at 15:55. In painting process since May 05, 2019, gradually coming together.
– Magnolia Blossoms in real nice morning light, full bloom. March 27, 2021, at 4:26.
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.
She was a compact two wheel drive in the modest shade of silver.
Previous owner from western Japan left a cigarette burn on the driver’s seat.
Sales man at the lot remarked on my face, said I look rusted like the car’s old engine.
Purchase was made in autumn 2011, the year everything felt like one big defeat.
Thought nothing good would come from this, turned out couldn’t be further from the truth.
Soon there were nights parked on a sand dune, curled up to hear the endless loop of waves.
We’d ride up the hills, into the storm and rest under the trees, wrapped in their unquestionable resiliency.
Most importantly though, she was a shelter with changing sceneries, encased my shedding, the morphing, the reaching for Creativity.
My humble, sturdy sidekick fell silent in the late February 2020.
“Cocoon spat me out” I said, I felt like a cicada freshly out of his, with soft pale green wings that harden overnight.
100 months in my modest silver cocoon, had brought me to where I always dreamt I’d visit.
We took one long ride together, thousands sunsets enclosed us along the way.
This post is dedicated, an ode to my sidekick, we had parted our ways in early April.
Photos are mostly taken with iPhone, all edited using vsco B5 filter.
All artworks are from the series “Spider Lily Red” (2012 – ).
The second selfie: “one eye” is a happenstance, I am so very much a ‘commoner’.
The sales man did not receive my vendetta; figured him being him would be the punishment enough ;)
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