Searching for beauty in my own flawed eyes

I think that is going to be the title of my piece next month. It’s quite fitting, for it encapsulates so much of what has gone into this production, as well as the underlying mission I so often instinctively charge myself with. My photography is flawed and the disparate mess of a novice. But I have already learned more in the last two months than I have in the last three years in terms of what it’s going to take to get better. So, this art show is already a success. No one has to come and see it, no one has to buy a single piece of photography. I am already proud of myself– an increasingly rare occurrence.

Recently, I’ve somehow managed to find time to cook lunch for myself, four days a week. However, my mother’s spaghetti sauce is still nearly intolerable due to the only ground meat available being composed of a pork and beef “mix”.

I have the materials for my photographic display. I spent over two hours at a home improvement center in Tachikawa last Saturday. I made the potentially fatal mistake of not leaving leeway, hopefully I won’t hang for it. I started tonight’s two-plus hour session by laying out the proofs I have right now to get an idea of how many photographs I can display. It seems we’re looking at 18-28, depending on print size, poetry usage, and any other decorations I end up adding to the facade. Unfortunately a mediocre pass on my print stock right now leaves me with just under two dozen shots, so I’ll cram another two rolls if possible this weekend before turning it all over to iterative printing at Horiuchi.

Per the always spot-on advice of Rodney, I got an Edirol UA-1EX last weekend after scouring all of Akihabara. Now I can record the music from the synth with a lot more fidelity (24-bit 96Khz). Now if I can only get a power supply for the Sound Canvas, and figure out how to use the damn thing without a manual, I may just generate the minimum one hour of music I need for the show. This will probably happen mostly in the next two weeks because of the scant amount of time I have to work with the printer on color matching.

I have more words that I’m satisfied with than I do digital camera pictures, which means that if I thought about it, I may very well try to look for some common threads and patch together a boring and fragmented manuscript of my thoughts. For this time, though, I’ll print out some torn, faded tidbits of verve to caulk around my pictures. I’m worried all of the flavor will be lost in translation though; I could never do my feelings justice in another language. But, such is life. I am young, I am learning. I will build greater halls in the future.

After the show is over and I decompress from the ridiculous amounts of frothing stress, I’ll put together something nice on the main site so you can see what you missed. And who knows, maybe you’ll want to put a little brown bread into my burbling stomach, and buy a print.

I haven’t been this focused and excited about anything in ages. I am slicing into this project with a deadly, single-minded efficiency that is startling even me. Thank God.

The days after drinking or not sleeping are always...

The days after drinking or not sleeping are always cheap delerium. Everything is quieter, people seem to notice me more, or perhaps I’m hyper-conscious of my surroundings after stepping out of Sunkus with my can coffee, Deepresso. I felt straighter, taller, at five a.m. much of Tokyo is still asleep. But I saw the rooves and second stores of the huddled buildings that crowded the winding strets of my neighborhood. I am moving slowly, partly for lack of energy, partly for having a rare bouquet of time. Determined to spend the weekend dedicated to the last three weeks before Geisai, I fought a grueling and largely fruitless battle against shadow maps until four-thirty, at which point I meandered towards home, resting at Denny’s. Breakfast was an overpriced BLT and a quiet hour alone in the non-smoking section reading the central passages of CITR. The sun slowly rose behind overcast skies as dawn fell on the wet tennis courts.

The first golden rays to meet my eyes in weeks,...

Saturday in sun

Originally recorded June 24, 2006

The first golden rays to meet my eyes in weeks, a sweltering blissful day along the Kanda, to my alma mater, to Waseda. Stopping along the way, taking pictures. Beat houses, engulfing ivy, and sweet storefront paperbacks. Meandering, loving the nowhere, the gardens, alleys, and streets so full of character. Stop outside of Mejiro crossing for a pencil; buy a pad, and a glass pitcher so I can make sun tea. Miles Davis paints a glorious summer with Sketches of Spain and I stroll into a mom and pop liquor store for a green bottled Tsingtao, opened by the cashier.

Wo, little breeze, sweat beaded on my forearms and brow. Sweat behind dark Italian hair, sweat so thankful. Thank the Lord I am outside and soaking in the best of my free life. Elderly ladies with walkers, young boys with trading cards; little girls wobble after their fathers on pink training-wheeled bicycles. The smell of hamburgers in my nostrils and cracked red Coca-Cola wood under my smiling jeans. Leave the bike by the photo ID machine, take a walk along verdant paths with Kenny Barron, drink in the sun to my tired face and smile. Again, the days of beat luscious living have returned, thank you, June.

Crazy, lazy, Waseda’s mascot is Ohkuma and he’s all a-round for-you-to-see!
He’s on your shirt, he’s on your skirt, he’s full of ac-a-de-mic glee!

Tired boy, wandering boy, where have you been today? Did you dream of Enoshima? Were you thinking of walking by Ichigaya and the sotobori? It’s a crime, a shame, the Swallows are down at Koshien. If not we’d be at Jingu within the hour, fueled by clamoring cheers and frothy beers, singing the old songs, in the old ways, rallying for a homerun. Yes, today we must get tea bags. Yes, we must go lie in the park. Oh yes, some wine! Some wine and some cheese and a whole lot of love for the sky and the grass– it’s just the homily for me!

Are these days made, are they born in heaven? Or have I found a swatch of fabric made all the softer by my heart? Hello today, you are one of many, but I love you so because I am in you, and rolling amongst the daisies of your bounty.

This JTB travel guide to northern Kyushuu is handsomely wrapped in brown paper and cost me all of twenty yen.

Good day, Bossa Nova, you know what life is about it. It isn’t those numbers and letters on a piece of plastic that you cannot touch, I’ll tell you that. Nothing I create will ever hold a candle to the real thing, but I’ll keep reflecting and recording anyway. Until you are here feeling the sting of mosquitoes and the nap of my beta beta skin, dream on, dream softly; and one day we’ll drink a day like this together.

I read your blog

While scanning pictures of Honmachi, I read what you wrote. I’ve seen you post a couple times on the eikaiwa community, and I liked what you said. Your comments made sense to me, so I read a couple entries from your personal blog. Your loneliness was taut, the luscious feelings you had made my heart ache. The things you said were interesting. They sounded a little like me.

You live close to here; it flashed in my mind that maybe we could be friends. After reading your blog some more, it seems that you are gay. That made me feel something else. Do I still think we could be friends? Of course. But my perception of you changed. Reading that filled me with images that didn’t come from your words, but from a whole bunch of things other people I don’t know said or insinuated. Why does my mind grasp for tangible, easy-to-sort stereotypes so quickly? Like a monkey, on a thin branch dangling out into the open, as soon as something firmer and more sheltered came into arm’s reach, I made a grab for it. I swung across and clutched it without thinking. It was a muscle twitch. I am not going to let my mind go where it is safe.

Sometimes I get angry when people honk at me while I’m riding my bike home from work. Sometimes I curse under my breath at those that I think are being crudely inconsiderate.

What if I am regressing? What if I stop being the person you love? What if I’ve already reached my apex, and now will only plummet into the quagmire of sloth and bigotry I was soaring over for so long? What if I’m already dead?

we put together these tiny pieces of moments. then...

one moment

we put together these tiny pieces of moments. then it becomes one precious memory, which we will never forget. It keeps living inside of us, always stay with us even we don’t realize. It is always around us. And it is already one part of us as who we are right now. what a heavy thing we are carrying around. But what a great animal we are, we still keep moving on, don’t give up anything.

今夜は懐かしい。なぜか。今日小さいな成功があったので、この珍しい満足の気がします。三年前に一杯夢があって日本へ来ました。でも生活は辛くて自信が失った。三年間段々機嫌が暗くなって道に迷った。けど、今日だけ、ちょっと気持ちよかった。やっと仕事で色んな問題を解決した。やっと、帰る途中にゆっくり焦慮なくて出来ました。スーパーに直感的にうまくヘルシーで安い材料を買われた。家に...

Big Time Sensuality

今夜は懐かしい。なぜか。今日小さいな成功があったので、この珍しい満足の気がします。三年前に一杯夢があって日本へ来ました。でも生活は辛くて自信が失った。三年間段々機嫌が暗くなって道に迷った。けど、今日だけ、ちょっと気持ちよかった。やっと仕事で色んな問題を解決した。やっと、帰る途中にゆっくり焦慮なくて出来ました。スーパーに直感的にうまくヘルシーで安い材料を買われた。家にTNG見ながらゆるんだ。そしてそれ後に、ちょっと魅力的に刺激した。

もう遅いけど、ちょっと、ゲイサイの栄光の為に撮影術を勉強しないと?

I wish you were here to share this mood with me.  But we don’t talk much anymore, so I’ll just dedicate a song.

i can sense it
something important
is about to happen
it’s coming up

it takes courage to enjoy it
the hardcore and the gentle
big time sensuality

we just met
and i know i’m a bit too intimate
but something is coming up
and we’re both included

it takes courage to enjoy it
the hardcore and the gentle
big time sensuality

i don’t know my future after this weekend
and i don’t want to