The grass is greener where you water it.
– Internet Meme
The grass is greener where you water it.
– Internet Meme
2022: a year in review.
“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)
Wishing you Very Happy Holidays…
Compiled: December 12-19, 2022.
Scarab reference is from a tale about Carl Jung’s synchronicity bits, about his “psychologically inaccessible” patient (“” by me) not buying any of it until a scarab beetle turned up just as she was telling the doc about a dream she had of the very insect and proven his point to her.
“Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know.
The grand thing is to plunge ahead and see what your passion can reveal.”
One night, season unknown, circa 1998.
I placed a worn vinyl on a turntable, as I’ve done so many times since I found the album over a decade ago at a record store cleverly named Pied Piper. It was getting late, getting ready for another day at work, weary, spent, mildly agitated.
Those days I recall feeling like I was running in a dream, my intent racing while my feet stuck in mud. It was around the time I got hit with a spark of inspiration to paint a dragon with fabric dye on a dress without knowing where to start, seemed like a massive undertaking, unsure if I got what it takes, if it’s worth the trouble.
If I pour all I have into it how far will I go? As an artist, as a person. It was the kind of question that triggered my existential dread, that put me in an instant on a remote island afloat in Galaxy somewhere, lightless, alone. No one had the answer, and that included myself.
Up to that point I spent a good portion of my life being kinda sorta artsy. Limitless Freedom, Creativity in the purest sense entails, frightened me into an uncomfortable standstill, agitated, stuck in mud, as I was that evening.
When it came to the last song of the Side A everything stopped. A moment’s pause between the songs turned eternal, a very loud silence. As if the world froze except me and the song to come, commanding my fullest attention.
“Open wide the hymns you hide
You find renown while people frown
At things that you say
But say what you’ll say.
About the farmers and the fun
Things behind the sun
People around your head
who say everything’s been said
Movements in your brain
sends you out into the rain.”
And I heard the words as if for the first time, written and sung, as the story goes, by a young man died young before he found his audience, addressing my anguish I could not articulate, as if someone, something used the song – because my heart was open to it, so I can reach within, afraid but aided, and find my own answers.
“Who’ll hear what I say” – the young man sung to me for the thousandth time, but that evening I heard it, humbled by the profoundness of the Creativity itself, perfectly timed, the wisdom, the patience, handing me the assurance I did not know I was ready to receive, shone through the impossibility, the cruelty of life in the society we live in.
“Fill this sieve with sand and you’ll get a dime!!”
Fast forward to year 2021. After many more incidents like the one I just told you about, I picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read ‘one day’ for the past few decades. It was perfect really, it was the end of late summer, finally gave myself what I’ve been promising, a gift of luxurious “Book Time on the Beach”, and I picked up the dystopian novel with hopeful ending. Unexpected though, was to find bunch of “scarabs” in it, right from the get go.
It was also right after I posted a journal entry titled “Stir”, in it I mentioned about my 9yr old art project, how I “no longer know what I am doing” but that “is actually a very good sign that you/r art is getting somewhere.” Not knowing of this variety no longer troubles me as it did in 1998, but I be lying if I said it totally doesn’t. The quote at the top, from the book’s introduction, to me was a sign I’m vibing fine with the Creativity, my Invisible Bestie so better rest assured and enjoy the sunlight. But it didnt end there.
Half way into the book, I found a following line, spoken by the main character, on public transport agitated in anguish.
“Consider the lilies of the field.”*
Lilies of the Field, the very wording I’ve used since while back, to call upon the muse of my aforementioned art project, painting in progress, with the method I practiced since 1998, poured as much of myself into it and here I am, in the middle of the year 2 of global confusion trying to paint as fast as humanly possible, while the world methodically closing in on us.
Consider the Lilies of the Field. The line found me, while on the beach with the “tsunami wall” a towering ton of concrete breathing down my back while the Ocean itself reduced, as if, to everyone’s favorite garbage bin with Godzilla lurking somewhere in the deep while waiting, from somewhere down in Mariana trench the answers would emerge, for the questions one can ask only while pushing through the same old mud pit.
By bringing up words and works from the prominent folks in the society, my intention is not to publicly validate my points with them but rather, to use them as a proof that in Creativity, as the Grandest Container in which our society resides, the Spark of Inspiration will permeate through even the faintest hairline cracks, and send its Most Benevolent Beam right into the core of you, piercing the facade of impossibility, rest assured, at your very earliest convenience.
Titles of the book/music are intentionally unmentioned in the main text.
Quotes, except “the lilies” are edited sensibly by myself.
“Open wide…” – Nick Drake (a.k.a. the young man) “ Things Behind the Sun” (1972).
“Don’t tell me…” (p.2), “ Sieve” (p.101) and “Consider…” (p.102) – Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451” (1953)
Re. Tsunami Wall I mentioned – web search “tsunami wall japan” and you’ll find lots of articles and news stories.
My take? I never saw humanity as the land owner of this Planet. According to my book, we are just renting our space in the Very Intelligent Ecosystem. Other lives sharing the place with us. We benefit from them, in fact, can’t keep on without them.
And, I’m saying this with objectivity of a life long cultural outsider with minimum dose of nationalism, Japan is the birth place of the term “Umami” – the delicately vague taste was given a name in this culture. Most often used to describe the flavor of soup stocks from dried fishes / kelps/ mushrooms, Japan has its history deeply rooted in a humble dance with Nature itself. Not to conquer but to dance with. Nature’s lead. Nowadays it’s hard to find food items without “amino acid (MSG that is)” – the lifeless equivalent of Umami.
Once upon a time our ancestors built their homes on 1000+ islands on fault lines with many active volcanos, the sources of hot springs and tsunamis. Modern day first world comforts, like treats we didn’t earn, have seemingly made too many of us, me included, entitled and somehow, paradoxically, disempowered, disconnected from True Generosity, the Ultimate Free Lunch with no strings attached.
13Oct21 @20:32 JST
Written: 13Dec21 @19:02JST -19Dec21
Published: 19Dec21 @13:36JST
Editions: 25Dec21 – added “(MSG…)” bit.
*Additional note on May 19, 2023: Just discovered by chance the line (“Conside…”) is from Christian religion textbook. Even with my lack of awareness (look, I’m not even a buddhist) the sentiment vibes, as if…
Creativity has a life of its own, and I am merely a party guest, invited to take mini part in everlasting blossoming of Ultimate Beauty Itself.
“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.
Making of the series in one post: “Process is the destination” (2019)
The whole process for “Spider Lily Red” since 2012 in descending order.
Spider Lily Red – Flare 1, completed 2017, with “artist statement”.
October 03, 2021 – corrected minor grammatical errors.
Photo: Your Horizons, a diptych (2016)
Truest Tears are those of Gratitude.
– My Dad
What is a “father’s day” anyways? All them special dates emerging from somewhere like a circus clown sprinkling magic dust upon us.
And what good would that do to mend our wings if the sky is, in facto may have been, confiscated from us.
We are all alike, and we are all unique. Submit to the latter and you’ll know we are also all alone.
Sky is ours. Future is not set in stone.
When you stand in your own truth withstanding the “uni” of the unique.
And look over there, see another one, and plenty more of us with our wings strong in the sun,
just and only then we will
bring heaven down to earth where it belonged all along.
“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)
“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.
Time flies, but you are the pilot.
– KLM Airlines paper napkin.
The pilot, during a break after a long flight through fine and foul, low fuels, engine troubles, and turbulences with oxygen masks dangling – there also had been a few instances of emergency landings (details withheld) – is photographed on her recent 55th birthday, striking a “mountain peak pose” standing amidst papers for a project named “Spider Lily Red“, with a bouquet of Bunchflower Daffodils, sandwiched by pictures of Japanese Apricot, the first two to start off the seasons of scented blossoms.
She is captured donning a dyed jacket, one of her earlier creations, and a smile that turned up impromptu, as she pondered upon the monumental tasks, the project and the flight, both work in progress, much like the pilot.
Thank you for your visit, and here’s to your monumental flight!!