Friday, February 27, 2009

random pictures from my iphone

 Bodhidharma, Daruma, Father of Zen. 
"Who the hell are you?" the emporor asked Bodhidharma. 
"I don't know," he replied, and walked away. 
I visited Niihama's Zen Temple and Monastary after school yesterday.  The misty air was wet, the moss fully open, the colors unreal. To my surprise the entrance gate had been completely rebuilt. The new wood smelled so strong, so fresh, and so clean. I was saddened, while also breathing deeply the smells and marveling at the creamy orange color.

It looked really great next to the light green. 
Cemetery wall.

At the base of the forest leading up to the gate before the temple is that other tree I like to paint. Stunning, isn't she?  The iphone captures the crazy light pretty well, dontcha think?
As you know Japanese students clean their own schools. Here are some freshman cleaning the bathroom.  This always cracks me up. 

This is the japanese food pyramid.  I love how they include water ("or tea") as the center around which the entire pyramid turns. 

Typical roadside grave. The water bottles are to keep cats away. 
These are all the Kapibara I took to America for Christmas. 
Party at Emily's.

My friend Misa Yanagi, left, sent my phone this picture of her and her sister.  These girls are so cool. 

Close up from the picture above. These are drawings of Niihama's beloved taikodai--the portable shrines carried during festival. 
I visit the largest elementary school in my prefecture. The morning assembly today was a talent show!  About 20 kids showed off their skills, from singing to cutting shapes out of apples to touching the tongue to the nose.  
And this little boy just kanchoed me.  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The day after rain

My bus ride to school.  Maybe it's because I'm from Kansas, but the mountains here, when the clouds get low...they blow me away. 

As you know, I am a sucker for puddles...reflections in water. Gimme a flock of birds, a mountain, or a sky of clouds reflected upside-down in water and I'm a very happy camper. Today wet silver sky-licked surfaces play with my mind. I'm wearing a coat of mirrors. The graveyard is next to my school. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

whisper of the heart

Here is the newest layer to "Ground."  I hope the couple who commissioned this painting like it. I sure do. Babies like bubbles. 

And I started this other baby painting today. It's a little portrait of my friend Rin. Can you see the gorinto tombstone in the background? I also painted in a crow, shide, and space beings.  The blues are much brighter than in this photograph. 
The annual global party happend in niihama last sunday.  It was amazing, having so much diversity in one afternoon; sharing, laughing, learning.  Universal Heart was opened. 
These are pics from the night before, Valentines Day at Bellinis. 
enlarge this one and look at these amazing people! 
Beautiful people showed up. 

And these are from my birthday party. More beautiful people. 

The World of GOLDEN EGGS

This is a really funny Japanese show that some of my students refer to sometimes.  The comedians doing the voices are brilliant, and the animation is pretty clever. 

One of my teachers asked me the difference between finally and at last.  Hmm. That's a tough one. 

I finally saw Whisper of the Heart. 
I saw Whisper of the Heart at last. 

Whisper of the Heart is another movie by master Miyazaki Hayao. My family told me to see is ages ago, but I never did. "It's my favorite Miyazaki film," my aunt said.  Well, I (finally) saw it (at last). And yeah, the song "Country Roads" plays an interesting role throughout the entire film. It's fascinating.  And not unexpectedly the art by Kazuo Oga is superb. I saw an exhibition of his paintings in Matuyama a few weeks ago with Takashi, who also told me this was his favorite Miyazaki film. I saw some of the backgrounds to this movie at the museum and the play between detail, realism, and abstraction made me think of Norman Rockwell. I want my friends and family to know that this is what Japan looks like.  You don't all have to visit; just watch a Miyazaki film like this one. 

This film is also fitting because it's about Junior High School students, who I'm surrounded by all day everyday.  I think I cried. 

The story is about two young artists, a writer and a violinist, who read the same books, and fall in love with each other. These are good clips. The last one is a great introduction to the art. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birthday Weekend

This year's was exceptional.  Friday night I went to Bellinis for the monthly Open Mic and at midnight, the lights went down, and suddenly the band on stage, which was Chris, Caleb, Ty, Amy, Tricia, Emily, and Melissa began singing to me the greatest sounding happy birthday I have ever heard.  I turned around and Pat, the bar owner, presented me with a cake. What a great surprise! 

The next day I spent with friends, at the onsen, coffee shop...I saw some of my "bad" students by Mr. Donut and decided to buy them some and these particular kids, who hate teachers and usually tell them (and me) to die and go away, were so happy, said "thank you" in english, and happy birthday. Then at night I had a party at my house.  Very special people came. Yasu came. And ashley made me a cake. Then sunday was spent with Emily and Bri, lazy, which was the best. We ate Indian food for lunch, and Italian for dinner...We watched 28 Weeks Later in the morning and The Bucket List before bed.

Monday, February 02, 2009

New Music

While I was at university an old friend and painting colleague Josh Adams (amazing drummer) introduced me to Greg Davis, myspace here, whom I now love, and put on every mix cd.  Greg Davis posts on his record label's site a list of favorite albums, and on that list I found White Rainbow.  I then followed White Rainbow to the top 50 albums of 2007.  Note: Radiohead's groundbreaking In Rainbows is on the list, along with Panda Bear, Kashiwa Daisuke, Battles, and Animal Collective.  The best part is that every album on the site offers you a single free download so you can have 50 songs from 50 bands this particular ambient avant guard minimalist-loving nerd has chosen for you!  Also please notice the seriously beautiful album art.  

"People are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of real Dharma." Huang Po

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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