13 November, 2012

Highest leaf


The highest leaf on the tallest tree;
all the horizon;
breeze and wind,
shower and storm,
dawn and sun and set,
stars and moon,
the vault of the night sky.
Life in a season.

10 November, 2012

Fashion police


I find myself occasionally bumping into one or another of the “fashion police” websites. It’s probably paradoxical (I prefer not to use the word “hypocritical”); but I feel obliged to respond with some (partly negative) comments of my own.

The negativity is relentless. (Whatever happened to, “live and let live?”) And, you can see it played out in the on-line comments of the cheer squads, whose staple contributions are: “Eweew,” “noooooooooo,” “no way,” “lol,” “yuck,” etc. With plenty of capital letters and exclamation points.

These sites seem completely free of creativity, innovation, or insight.

If you’re interested in fashion or street  fashion photography, then I suggest, for example, The Sartorialist - a site that celebrates creativity and innovation.

So, what to wear? Not for me to say. (And, thank God too, because I'm the last person you should ask.) I liked, however, what Naomi Wolf wrote:
Perhaps we will forget to elicit admiration of strangers, and find we don't miss it....

08 November, 2012

Wabi-sabi

In his essay, "What is Wabi-Sabi," Architect Tadao Ando says this:
Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.
For obvious reasons, then, the phrase, "wabi-sabi" gets used a lot in photography. But it seems that wabi-sabi is much more.

I've embedded an interesting video called, "In Search of Wabi Sabi." (I hope that it stays available on YouTube.) Below is part-one of the BBC Four program presented by Marcel Theroux in 2009. It's 90 minutes, broken into seven, bite-sized portions:



I thought that I had a bit of an understanding (similar to Tadao Ando's description, above), but I'm not so sure now. Because it's a much more broad, cultural concept, I think that I'll have to be a bit more careful in how I use the phrase.