The leaves are slowly changing from gold to burnt terracotta, the days are getting shorter, the sunsets getting more vivid and slooooowly, ever so gently, Japan is slipping into winter. It's simply glorious.
Unlike my home in New Zealand where gale force winds, extremes and theatricality of weather patterns and a shunting, pushing and less visual departmentalising of the seasons gathers us up and deposits us in colder months, Japan is so very much more elegant about this transition. Dare I say; more organic. Although I miss the push and pull- the fever and passion of New Zealand's weather, climate and landscape is intrinsically woven into my psyche. Yin and Yang. Living in an environment where I haven't had to worry about 'bringing things in', 19 incase items of clothing or the environmental challenges of getting from A to B, has been really pleasurable- but has made me giggle as my mind still thinks these things over.
I love a party, and especially here positivity is accompanying this new period in Japan. It is a time of celebration, reflection and progression- looking forwards to winter and what delights this brings. The intensity and passion of the autumn festival happenings is totally infectious and kinetic. Being a winter bunny at heart I adore the tidings of colder months as they announce opportunity for adventure; snow and playtime within. But as I get older I understand more the longing and sadness of some for Summer, with her gentle comforts, easier living and melancholy that leaving another quarter of memories behind can bear.
Memories and longing are an immensely powerful emotional combination- ones that encourage us to turn back, to live in the past, as they can become glossier and massively assertive. But these must be looked at, cared for, touched and placed BACK into the filing cabinet with love and respect- because we cannot go that direction. That can be tremendously hard- I find this tremendously hard. Yes, we must be positive, but we can love and hold our negative. The environment of Japan for me hightens this need as it itself is not encompassing of negative. Japanese language is extremely complex when communicating anything dissentient; all the niceness can get you a little in need of an outlet! But this is my story, my experience- you will carve your own and come to your own values. For me it comes down to love- for others, for myself, for the world we have the pleasure to inhabit. I was given a heavy dosing of this to give and have experienced the full spectrum of love beyond measure; it is a gift to continue best as I can to keep this wheel going and build on it. Being loved makes you brave but to give love makes you fearless.
Each morning I have my Inspector Gaget talk with myself: “Your mission today, if you choose to accept it… blah blah blah what I am working on”. Priority positive number one. Yes it may make me want me to ‘self destruct in 5 seconds’ at some point during the day- but I remind myself: in the morning you chose to accept this, and you can get through. My injuries, the physical pain and discomfit I am now in most days by mid-afternoon greatly affects my psyche and I need mental reminders like this to put things back in perspective. I am a fix it, add to it, sort it personality- if I do not mentally do this I have a catalogue of negative behaviours which I can revert to. I prefer not to- I look at them and think- ‘Been there, done that, got the t-shit, puked on it, washed it, re-wore it… rather wear something else thank you for your reminder ;) they were interesting times in the past”.
Other times- when I have bitten off a large chunk of action to chew on and I feel I might be getting speed wobbles, I remember when I first started snowboarding. I LOVE snowboarding, snow, mountain action. I LOVED keeping up with my partner who was much better than me at that point- and I am fiercely competitive. I would smash myself up quite horrendously when I was learning how to ride- they say pushing 6% more than what you currently sit at is a healthy amount of stress indusive to bettering yourself. I used to go redline in almost everything. There are two ways down the mountain. You can heel side it and grind your way to the bottom; yep you got there, but it was painful for everyone involved. Or you can ease off a notch and get in flow. I highly recommend going through option one and coming quickly to option two- especially to conserve the old relationship matters- I learnt to just stop and sit down- yeah you get a wet bum, but the cluster-fuck will pass and worse case scenario; it all comes out in the wash.
Some say ‘We can become what we fear’ which is why I am here. I push to face my demons but realisation does not come from fear. I brought myself back here to get down and dirty with the sugar, the spice and the inbetween that makes me me because by b.e.i.n.g I also make some amazing productive things, become a better person and meet wonderful other humans that are going through life learning and living. Just like my surroundings, I am transitioning from this with enlightenment, bumps, colour and new viewpoints- but it aint all gloss and never will be- but that’s me; and this is LIFE- I want the whole hog; the extremes; but I didn’t want to recognise the price I must pay for this- I had to become even with the things that haunted me also. The wonderful thing about growing through transition and active participation is that when we re-group our metaphysics, we are inevitably a better, stronger version than before.
Fear is stressful. In small doses it can be indusive to pushing us beyond our limits- but in larger portions it can be immensely counterproductive. However- sometimes it can be very hard to distinguish what is pleasure and what is pain. I garner an extra ordinate amount of pleasure out of what may be considered pain, or another way of looking at it may be my pain threshold is too high; along with my expectation threshold of the ones who love me to watch or join me on this path; and I have an underestimation of the cost of this. This being pysical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When you are more intimately connected with your surroundings you are intune and feeding off every energy. There is nothing to fear, but worries must be worked out and through. I do not fear death, or love or life- those cornerstones, I believe, make circumstances where you rise with the connections you feel rather than blocking or imposing barriers because of perceived image or ego.
I love walking at night. In dodgy areas, we puff proud and resolute when passing under the streetlights- showing off our plumage; strong, impenetrable, ain’t buying into the danger around us and when the darkness envelops us, quicken our steps and get on through to the next lamp where we can open our wings. But where I see the true art is to slow down and feel and experience the dark and deal with what comes at you, just like in the light; with genuine integrity, passion and respect. I am primal- fear is what makes me feel, instinct is what drives me and a drive to be better, to know myself and accept myself for the whole package. It’s absolutely fucking terrifying sometimes.
The one me has many angles- there are many hats, many facets and one helluva conscious and internal monolog. I met someone once who said they had absolutely no little voice in their head- totally blindsided me. I'm happy with mine until the day it goes silent- then I know somethings serious really is up! Is mine my creativity?- I believe it is my heart and spirit and I have unequivocal intuition to follow it. I give less of a fuck about worrying about it. Shake it like a polaroid baby and just shine as is. The world is huge- you will inevitably find others who think similar- let the haters slip to the wayside- there are shit loads of 'em if you are flying your flag high, but there also comes the people who respect and understand how hard it is to do just that. I am honest, unique and not everyones favourite jelly bean- but I am true to myself and what my radar inclines me ride- and I get you- I see the how, the why and I don’t judge for it. You are what you are- and there comes a point when you realise that self evaluation, self bettering is actually completely counterproductive and useless- you. are. what. you. are. just get. ooooon wit it.
An old employer said to me once “I get the impression that when you walk down the street, you are the type of person that when a crazy is coming towards you, you don’t avert your eyes- you SEE them”. Hell yes. Don’t avert your eyes. My journey has taken me to the brink, past and back into the light so there is no fear for me in what I can see in others. I understand journeys are our own and the complexities that these will bring. I unabashedly air (in my head) my dirty laundy and hang it out to dry on a daily basis.. and then make more and have to do another load in a few days time. Took me a long time to stop getting pissed that the laundry basket kept filling up and none else was helping me unfill it though- but as I get older the washing pile is greatly diminishing also!
We have the answers inside us. They don’t exist in a relationship or a belonging. Experience gives us a bigger toolkit and sometimes makes it harder to select actually what tool you now need- but whoever upstairs dealt out why and how we are has put us here to take these and use them to effect. I, just like us all, get the wrong tool, don’t think I have the right tool and freak out sometimes I NEEEEEED more tools- but it simply is not the case. Nothing like sending yourself to an island in the middle of a completely different culture to move on with this and many other wonderful perspectives. Experience is knowledge, knowledge is power, but coming to grips with the effect this has is compassionate love for yourself. Fuck the art- thats a product of yesterdays news; experience and these learning lessons- ain’t this what it’s all about in life?
The world will spin, we will be up, down, and sideways- but inevitably we have new days and these hold the most incredible opportunity for living- untagged and unlabelled as a nominated name or vocation and get to bumping, cuddling, clicking and jiving our energy with the other spirits that inhabit our zone. On darker days, yes put a smile on your dial, but you don’t have to ‘fake it till you make it’-- we all have pain. Have a sit in the park, close the eyes and listen to your breath- the birds- the engines- the footsteps- and feel what colour you are beautiful human… wait, it will change.. enjoy this change and LOOK at it from all angels, turn it over and give it a squish and watch it develop, and resume your day with that just b.e.i.n.g, being the exceptional ok. ॐ
o-O ⭕️ 〰 👀 〰 ⭕️ O-o
Last time I was in the Setouchi islands and visited Teshima I missed going to Teshima Yokoo House. Well Well WELL- sooo happy I went for a round two. Every day is different and seeing the other art installations and presentations three months later was fascinating all over in new lights. Gotta say though- I'm now a rather big fan of Yokoo. His work is colourful, thought provoking and intriguing- the architecture of this installation is fascinating. I spun around and around with my arms wide in the mirrored 'chimney' lined with postcards of waterfalls and thoroughly enjoyed what this did to my senses!
The "Teshima Yokoo House", a collaboration between artist Tadanori Yokoo and architect Yuko Nagayama, was created by altering and renovating an old private house located in a hamlet in the Ieura District, facing the harbor that forms the entrance to Teshima Island. Making full use of the building's existing layout, the exhibition areas are divided into a "Main House," a "Warehouse," and an "Outhouse," displaying 11 two-dimensional works. Other features–a stone garden with a pond, and a cylindrical tower–are devoted to installations, so that the art spaces seem to expand symbolically to cover the entire site, making it a philosophical zone that simultaneously calls to mind thoughts of both life and death. Thanks to the building's use of tinted glass to control light and color, the sunshine, breezes, and natural hues of the island, as well as the artworks themselves, assume a range of different appearances, turning visitors' spatial experience into a series of interconnected collages.
Concept＆Artworks: Tadanori Yokoo Architecture: Yuko Nagayama