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.
Note on August 23, 2022:
Flowers in the above photo were cut by someone else and were withering on the ground, turning black. I gathered them and brought them back to my room where they revived themselves brilliantly.
Painting footage were recorded on October 18 mostly and on 20th.
Black and white, sea-less, soundless version was upped to IG on June 28, 2019.
The one you see here is the revised, relatively fancier version, edited on 29Mar22 ~ 03Apr22.
I use iMovie, always have. I am aware of fancier editing tools but I haven’t gotten around to study them. Reasons? One-woman show with time limitations and priorities.
Pic#1 – photographed late 2015 and edited and shared on VSCO onDecember 05, 2017.
Pic#2 – photographed late 2015 and uploaded to my personal FB profile on December 18, 2017.
This post is being compiled on March 07, 2022.
How time flies.
Speaking of flying…
The swans fly in each year just as the real winter sets in, around mid to late December. They leave sometime in March, and when they do I will know. How do I know that?
They talk amongst each other as they head north flying right above my room, and perhaps because of their long neck working as a horn, their voice I can hear even with my windows closed, loud like trumpets although they fly quite high above. I find it adorably humorous, and subtly so if I smiled it would be too much.
The thing about the creatures of the wild – their independence – they are not of this society. And having to settle for just observing them from distance makes me feel the particular sense of longing…just like the creative kind of longing, reaching for the almost attainable, the longing, the reaching…
I don’t want to taint this post with the latest in the local swan situation. Briefly though, the recent years’ swan feeding frenzy – with white bread of all things, seemed to have changed the wild creatures into a flock of domesticated animals, numbers doubled, waiting in shallows for next crumbs to fall on them.
(I posted a few more 2015 pics on VSCO also in 2017 – when I could still find humor in the situation. Links to the post 1 and 2.)
On a hopeful note…
While there the last time, I spotted about three swans floating away from the feeders and the flock, poised and elegant like they used to appear short 7yrs prior. White breads are like designer drug, refined, processed, chemical compounds made to lure you back into consuming more of them. Evidently they had enough power to override the natural instinct of the wild and winged, but not all were smitten, at least that afternoon. Us humans are a bit like that too.
So ironic tho, for some say the feeding brings out a sense of competition and aggressivity among swans. Again, a bit like us humans’ been thru… in any case.
Swans would make the perfect catalyst; after all they are the ones who know how to find the way.
Published: March 08, 2022 at 02:08. Better get to bed.
Edited: March 09, 2022 – added a paragraph after “hopeful note” – doubling down on hope.
Evidently, I do this a lot. The “operation guerrilla cafe” (OGC hereafter). That is, to bring my beverage to the location of the day, of my choice. Strictly solo.
Why, join me, come along for a virtual tour of Cafe Solitude.
(Beneath each photo is the time photographed / social post details.)
2019.07.31 at 18:55 / VSCO on 2020.04.19. The color of sunset was actually that pink.
2017.10.03 at 15:27 / VSCO on 2017.10.03.
2017.11.11 at 12:16 / VSCO on 2017.11.11.
2017.11.05 at 15:06 / VSCO on 2022.12.06.
2018.07.13 at 19:14 / IG story fall 2022.
Many had asked, “why so solo, lonely lady?” Well, let me tell you you inquisitive lot. These are one of the most un-lonely times I’ve ever spent in my life. Ever felt “lonely in a crowd”? On the wrong planet?? Imagine the absolute opposite.
(In facto, the question always made me a little sad; if being alone with yourself means “lonely”…)
During OGC what’s being set aside is “society”. Sitting by the Water, I am in direct contact with the Big Container. Look.
Conception sometime in Oct.-Nov.2022, drawn/photographed on 2022.12.27 / first time posting.
By mid 1990’s, I was at it for several years, digging up piles of debris that were burying alive the creativity I may or may not possess. Operating on blind faith, what guided me was the utter sense of suffocation.
Around that time someone suggested me a work book for (blocked) creatives called “The Artist’s Way”. Although I didn’t quite click with the writing style nor its cult-like status in the city of industry I resided in at that time, with the core concepts I did, so gave a diligent try through early 2000’s.
One of the exercises in the book is called “artist’s date”, as in, you take yourself out on a date, solo. No one gets to come along.
The practice was a familiar one. Since I was a young child I wandered the streets of suburban Tokyo, to be alone with wonder-full and awe-some, and I found them in little patches of untended lands between buildings. But too many others around me framed my such inclination as anti-collective hence negative. I was somehow, instinctively doing the right thing, to cultivate my creativity, to water the seed that was trying to sprout. The suggestion in the book was a validation arrived a little later, that told me I was not the only one. Not “anti-social” but “pro-creativity”- what I always knew in my heart, but doubt snuck in and stole my clarity.
By around 2006, the suffocation subsided. As of late 2022, I no longer care to know how I am doing as a “creative”. One thing I can say for certain: I did all this simply because I could not not to.
The book has a ton of very helpful quotes, and out of the ton the following stuck with me through my trying times, trying – to reclaim my creative freedom.
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
– Andre Gide (The Artist’s Way, p.199 Week12. Recovering A Sense Of Faith)
Photographed and uploaded to Flickr on January 28, 2015, revised edit made on February 14, 2021.
The purse itself was created circa 2004, out of vintage futon fabric I found during my visit to the island in early August 2003. The peak season with very few tourists, I was often alone, the only car on the road.
The place has a unique history as an island of exile, “…was a place of banishment for those who had fallen out of favor with the rulers of the day. More than 70 people—notably aristocrats and artists—were exiled here” (within “” from Smithsonian magazine).
Text: “The best thought I’ve ever thought” November 03, 2012, originally posted on cowbird.com.
Pictures: Both from early 2014. Kites gliding is a video still, Fukui, Japan, 2011. The small wood sculpture is from 1996. I wrote about my sculptor phase here: Abstraction in Nature, a Tribute.
Photographed in September 1997, at Larchmont Village, Los Angeles, CA.
Uploaded to Flickr on September 27, 2012. It was in an album titled “I remember everything that made her special”.
My best friend here, a goddess in fur sitting under bougainvillea. What you don’t see is a servant holding a camera, on the cloudy end of the leash that tied two of us together.
We lived in a 1920’s studio apartment, somewhere between Larchmont and Korea Town, walking distance from places like the Wiltern Theater. It costed a little over 500 USD per mo. with utilities included. A friend told me recently, that a place like that now charges at least 3 times more.
I moved to the City of Angeles in late 1980’s. There were a lot of rooms to be alive for someone like me – a young creative with a penchant for adventurous and experimental. I lived by a motto “I didn’t cross the Big Pond to sit in front of a TV set.”
I’m not saying I found a paradise. It was “spacious” tho, before social media, before smartphones, I thank my God to this day that there was no instagram back then to have my follies documented.
Don’t get me wrong; I love technology. If I didn’t I would have not spent my precious hours learning to run my own website. But. Here’s what I think. More advanced the technology is, greater the need to implement, and USE it/them with empathic, compassionate, good-natured, warm-blooded kindness, which may require each individual – the user end of equation – a consistent willingness to self-reflect.
Or else we’d end up building an invisible cage where Creativity may struggle to flower. And without Creativity life may just be….o, never mind.
The photo was taken shortly before moving away. When I first landed there I had known not even a soul; in little less than a decade I carved out a life I so not wanted to leave. It was an experiment, a challenge, a blank canvas upon which I stumbled, struggled to let myself go.
What’s photographed here is the perfect moment I had to seize, at the conclusive time of contemplation on my long stay in the city I chose, my imperfect life unfolding with impeccable precision leading up to that point.
Examining her smile now as a not-so-young creative with much less self-doubt, it makes me wonder if she had known, an angel in her fur coat, that one day I will come to know that I had done the job just fine.
Last time I was in California, I took a long lone ride across the southern half of the state. Came alive in the open land where no one knows what I am. Beneath the desert sun the earth and the ether met at right where I stood.
Photos from my too few/far between visits, from top:
P1 – The first time in San Francisco, Christmas 2011, practicing my “light calligraphy” technique near Union Square. Posted the monochrome version on my then Tumblr around 2017.
P2 – The car was not moving but my camera was; the early incarnation of the above-mentioned “Light Calligraphy” thing. Northridge California, September 2006. Posted the diptych version of this photo titled “Miss LA” on my website, Flickr, and MySpace shortly after I returned.
P3 – Don’t try this at home: holding a camera on a freeway riding back from Half Moon Bay, into SF city, also 2011. Never posted this one anywhere simply because I don’t think it’s that good, but “the feel” is there; the California night, going places.
A quote in decorative letters from a conversation I had earlier in the day, as the other party, noticing the change in my tone as I spoke fondly of Calif. good-natured jokingly said, “Is that it, the ‘you can take a girl out of California but you can’t take California out of the girl’ thing?” And I laughed with her remembering that girl I once was, the girl who fought a long, lonesome battle against Creativity Itself.
Photographed film around early summer 2000, my friend (the fluffy one in the photo) doing what she does best: bringing Heaven down to the ground she walks, resulting in me walking into it as well.
Posted in the past on MySpace, Blogger, Flickr, my website…and published here on February 27, 2021 at 17:17 – right on time for the full moon in Virgo, with as much Gratitude I could contain.
Edited on March 25, 2022 – last bit about Gratitude – previous “every bit I could garner” suddenly felt odd. Objectivity hits you when it does, not a minute earlier.
October 21, 2023 – Changed the post date from May 2000 to March 16, 2014, which is the date I uploaded this photo to Flickr.
October 22, 2023 – Post date changed to August 4, 2009, the date I prepared (and published soon after) the photo for my site’s “about” page.
First posted on Myspace (it was fun there, learned a lot, thanks!!) in July 2008, the photo was taken around 1986 in my apartment in central Tokyo. In case you wonder, that is me in the reflection.
My 20’s was in 1980’s, and I spent large portion of the decade pretending I was in the 1960’s, thinking there was a genuine “creative””cultural””explosion”happening in the era I thought I “missed out” on.
The convex round mirror has a person’s name on it, the scribble was acquired at a meet and greet of a band I thought was very cool to “get”, looking back, I was falling in a trap of validating my coolness by liking a socially well recognized (but not too well, cuz you see, obscurity is also cool) figure in one of the “creative field”.
Trouble with the stance is that, the moment you out source your existential dilemma you end up compromising your creative freedom. But no worries, if you deeply desire such freedom Life will conspire and arrange circumstances that will catapult you out of such dependency. May hurt a bit but totally worth it.
My story, anyways. Took a bit while like everything else that is worthwhile to attain. Lemme quote myself…
“No more heroes; everybody off the pedestal.”
– me, a status on Myspace, 2006.
Published on February 16, last edited March 14, 2021.
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