“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.
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 ;)
The first two pictures are from 15th of July at sundown. This post was published on 14th. I didn’t time travel. I edited the post on 16th. Pics on the first version didn’t click. Intuitive click, I didn’t get. Know the kind I’m talking about? The one that gets your spinal discs aligned and chi circulated like a minty breeze.
The 3rd from top is a work in progress named, by a friend of mine, “Earth Fairy Dress”. I haven’t asked her how so but I get the feeling. Cut from the pattern for my current project “Spider lily Red”, “shimmering” silver pigment paint is applied on silk that looks more like a linen-hemp-canvas rag. Ragged but luscious, don’t know whether to laugh or adore. This is the year 2 of durability testing, the paint different from the year 1’s that didn’t quite stick.
The dress will be covered with slightly excessive layers of silver, I will then have to wear it through to the end of warm months, a guinea woman I will be. If the paint continues to shimmer, by the end of the test phase I may turn into an actual fairy.
Also in the photo 3 is a snapshot of the True Contentment. Time spent by the sea with my mentor who was born 25 yrs ago around this time with the tough fate to guide this human disciple, through thick, thin and Japanese humidity.
In the photo #4 you see lots of print tests. Well there is a section in this website called “photography” that apparently never opens. I figured I’d share with you what’s been taking place behind the closed website, so you’ll know I didn’t branch out just to say “soon” forever.
Photo 5 is dedicated to Hydrangea blossoms, their season ends as the real summer arrives, and with it enters Gardenia (as seen in photo #3), the last one of the, what I call the scent season, starting with Ume (Japanese Apricot) in February.
It’s sentimental-sweet, the Gardenia scent. That’s what my nose thinks anyways. In fact, Gardenia blooming itself is sentimental-sweet, happy-sad, oh-it’s-already-the-last-one excited-dissapointment. All the photos on this post are edited accordingly, in colors that embody the sentiment to me, that also are the colors of the season’s sunsets.
The last photo is of a Tanabata bamboo grass with prayer ribbons, not exactly usually done but works regardless. Traditionally the bamboo grasses with people’s wishes tied to them, they float down the stream (not on their own) on July 7th, the Tanabata day, but nowadays it’s loosely prohibited due to “pollution” the floating bamboo-paper would cause. I burnt mine. Then let the waves engulf my heart’s desires. That’s right, you’ve got to unearth wishes from the depth of your personhood just so they’d be set free, into the Immensity nearby.
This may actually be the longest text I’ve posted here and all I talked about so far is my favorite kind of nothing. I usually do my best to keep my words minimum, short like Haiku. Evidently this is not a usual time, it is summertime.
One last thought, and it is about sunset. Nowadays I take sunset very seriously, serious, as in, of value, one of many things I learned from the mentor in photo #3. One day on our walk at, you guessed it, sunset, I asked her, how do you get so excited to walk the same street the same time with the same human. It’s never the same, human. The mentor spoke in Hunch, and glanced at me in mischief, “you’ll get it one day”.
When the one day came the mentor already resigned from the role (it was too humid) but I to this day commit hitting as many sunsets. I get it now, it is a show, a theater, a spectacle, and unless you are an Antarctica penguin, it is on everyday, throughout the year, never the same, and always pretty.
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