Picking-oneself-up ritual for those who are too delicate for this society. For that custom Moo Journal, contact.
A year in review.
Everything that stood between us
Turned into a Pearl.
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.
“It’s what you are meant to become.
It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven.”
– a definition of the butterfly, according to Trina Paulus “Hope for the Flowers”
(For those of you using “translate” function, here’s what’s on the page in the photo:)
Stripe’s answer shocked them all – including himself!
“We can fly!
“We can become butterflies!
“There’s nothing at the top and it doesn’t matter!!”
As he heard his own message he realized how he had misread the instinct to get high.
To get to the “top” he must fly, not climb.
Stripe looked at each caterpillar inebriated with joy that there could be a butterfly inside.
(End of excerpt)
A little belated; Happy New Decade!!!
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.
Annabelle, I waited
in this Kingdom of the Winged
P1 – A warm day in early February 2020, a phone snapshot taken to remember. Edited with VSCO Cam, a mono version posted on VSCO on May 10th, 2020.
P2 – Also a warm day in summer 2018, edited and posted on VSCO, July 12, 2019.
I bring all that stuff but usually end up just sitting there looking at stuff.
Decorative text in the middle is Poe “Annabel Lee” deconstructed / expanded in the direction I wanted. It’s part of my ongoing “messing with other people’s poems” experiments.
Published here on March 12, 2021.
Edited on June 04, 2022 with a new photo, a poem, a new direction.
2010’s: A Decade in Review.
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.
I am a lap swimmer, have been since early 1980’s. Been back and forth in aqua blue rectangles worldwide, total sum of distance I covered would, at this point, get me from Central Pacific JPN to the island of Guam I bet.
At one point in my 20’s I realized one thing: when I focus on getting “there” sooner, I’d have a terrible time, increasingly frustrated because, in rectangles “there” does not exist. If I focus on each stroke however, by the time I hit a kilometer I’d be high as a kite. I don’t cliche you on my website; this just simply my experience. Fitness a fringe benefit, hooked on this euphoria ever since.
Spider Lily Red (2012 – )
Photos, from top (date photographed):
Petal (September 22, 2013)
A casual, care-free snapshot of spider lily petals, from one of the early macro sessions that introduced me to their delicate / dynamic world.
The one in the middle became THE petal.
Study (November 11, 2013)
Pencil on paper. Started off equally care-free, quickly discovered the shape to be overwhelmingly complex.
Nearly tossed the whole thing in a bin, a trash bin that is.
Why / how I didn’t remains a mystery.
Develop (June 01, 2015)
Pencil on another paper, after few more drawing experiments and several dye tests. Incrementally molding it into my style of line drawing, initially inspired by engravings from 18th Century.
Expand (January 10, 2016)
Still pencil on paper. My interpretations of red spider lilies are translated into each flowing lines.
At least that’s what I think I’m doing, oki?
The kind of endeavor tends to take plenty o time.
Augment (December 01, 2016)
Acid dye on silk. Took about nine full months to paint the pencil drawing (the one below) – of the curly half of the petal I’d call it, on fabric.
Blow up copy on the wall is a drawing of the wavy half of the petal, by the way is painted on the project’s second piece at the time of this writing, in late November 2019.
Refine (October 04, 2016)
Pencil on paper, the first of the two part drawings, congrats to me, completed.
Photographed outside hence leaves casting shadows visible on white space.
Form (May 24, 2017)
Acid dye on silk, photographed while still in painting process but by then I was starting to see the light, the tunnel exit light.
Pinned together to match the lines at seams.
There is a bird of prey named “Kite”, they glide up high in circles, scanning the ground for a strolling moron with a fish sandwich (true story). In speed of light the hungry moron would lose her sandwich, snatching so slick it’d leave her with heightened sense of awe memorable for decades to come.
Why steal when all you do is glide in circles?
Their whistles gentle like a songbird, its resonance the awe heightened up high, falling mist on the moron in euphoric micro particles.