Prayer Beads

Still running full steam, so I missed yesterday’s TBT. Ah well, that just means that I’ll go with a FBF (Flashback Friday).

Since I have never done a FBF on these pages (that I can find), I’ll go with an image that has never been on these pages.

The image actually predates this blog by a couple of years, taken on March 13, 2005. Back then I apparently liked putting a thin black border around my images. And perhaps pushed the saturation a bit, although I do think that it was actually the result of a plugin replicating that lovely film Velvia.

Some of you might remember Fuji’s Velvia. It’s saturation was something to behold.

Anyway, these prayer beads are on the wrist of a Yamabushi monk as he observed the preparation of a bed of coals. The coals were to be part of a purification ritual—a firewalk.

If you click on that last link, you’ll see that the monks do the actual fire walking. Once they are done, they spread the coals out, clear a path between and let the public stroll through the smoke. No danger of burning the feet, as Goddess, the Boy, and I found out.

Regardless, hopefully you take advantage of this weekend to stretch yourself, whether it be intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, or physically.

Perhaps a bit of all four.

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Homework

I don’t particularly mind that the school work is completely destroying me in a metaphysical sense.

Because the truth is that it really isn’t destroying me.

Just sapping most of my mental and physical energy.

That is not a bad thing.

But I am thankful for a few moments where I can break away and exercise my creative brain for some school work.
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This is a Mokugyo, a piece that we have had in our house for ten years now, in six different homes in three different countries.  I had never given it too much thought, other than the memories that it brought forth.

After spending the weekend learning more about it, the memories mean so much more.

Thanks!

A few weeks ago we announced our sponsorship from Yama Mountain Gear through a program that the owner Gen Shimizu calls mYAMAdventure.

And for those of you who know of our connection with Japan, his company logo is perfect:

This was our view of sunrise from the summit of Fujiyama (Mount Fuji), along with many hundreds of others, taken on the morning of 17 July, 2004.

Just having moments like that gives us many, many reasons to be thankful for the opportunities that we’ve had.

This year is no exception with our long walk.  An opportunity that we know is so completely outside the realm of consideration for the majority of the world.  For that we know we are lucky.

As you might recall, we announced our sponsorship in mid-December.  If you don’t recall, it’s likely you are amongst the hundred or so new followers of this blog since then; if that’s you, hang on for the ride.

Back then we mentioned that part of the sponsorship is our part in helping raise funds for the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), the organization responsible for maintaining and advocating for the trail.  It’s an organization that I spent a good portion of 2014 working with and we’re proud to continue supporting.

It’s early in the new year and we are already up to 8% of our total goal of raising $4,000 for the PCTA, so that they, along with their volunteers, can continue to maintain the trail.

For those of you who have donated (especially you anonymous donors that we can’t thank directly) – THANK YOU!!!

If you’re considering donating, we would appreciate it greatly.  All this year as we’re walking the path from Mexico to Canada, as well as in the following years as we continue to work on the trail so that others may follow.

Online fundraising for Bill and Jennifer Anders fundraising for the PCTA with mYAMAdventure
Please ignore the “raised” amount. The widget works fine in the editor, but posts wrong here. :\

And if you’re curious how your donation might be used, just click on the graphic above.  It will take you to our fundraising page which has several different suggested donation levels, along with examples of how that amount might be used to maintain the trial.

Thank you so much for you consideration and your support!

Bill & Jennifer [trail names pending]

 

 

Globes

GlobesWe are marking the first full day of winter today with a grin.  Yesterday was the kick-off for this year’s Winter Solstice offering over on my photography site and it was a good day (thank you everyone!).

But if you’re following via social media sites, they do a fine job of squashing certain posts that contain certain words, especially words that are a single-word representation of an offering of anything at a reduced level of currency.  Why?  Because they want us to pay them to increase viewership of those specific posts to normal levels.  Or pay even more to increase viewership even higher.

If you are looking for a holiday present, it is too late to get it this week, but if you’re looking for a different look on your wall, now is your chance!  Please click on the picture above and you’ll see the code at the top of my website.

Again, thank you all for your support!!!

Winter Solstice Sale

In a few short hours it will be the official winter solstice for those of us north of the equator.

For some that means it’s now the the beginning of a long, dreary winter.  A season to dread.  But not us.  Winter is another great season to get outside, explore and play.

This past Friday was opening day for our local ski mountain.  Goddess and I were able to get more than a few runs in on uncrowded slopes before school let out for the holidays.  And the rain today.

It’s currently raining up on the mountain, on top of the minimal snow.  Hopefully it doesn’t melt the snow and start another rough winter for the mountain, which never opened last winter for the first time in its 50-year history.

Fingers crossed.


As is tradition here on the solstices and equinoxes, I’m offering a sale on my photography.

All products are 20% off (does not apply to shipping costs).  Just enter Winter14 in the coupon field when you are ready to check out.  Just click on the coupon below to start browsing.

BAP - Winter14Thank you so much for your continued support.  I do appreciate you!

Temple Maple

November.

Autumn.  Trees.  Crispness.

Kyoto.

Temple Maple

That’s right, Kyoto.

Our favorite Thanksgiving experience ever.

November, 2005.

So good that every year at this time, Goddess starts perusing airline tickets to see if we can get back there.

But it’s pricey.  At least the memories are priceless.

Snowy Skirt

It’s not Throwback Thursday, but I’m not bothered with that right now.  This is quite a throwback, one that predates this blog by a good six months.

That makes it almost nine years ago.

I am revisiting this photo for a personal project of mine and since it has never been introduced in this blog, I’m sharing it with you now.  There are quite a few stories to this image.  I’ll tell one, but have fun creating some for yourself.

Snowy Skirt

The setting – Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.  February 2006.  We were visiting the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which is amazing.  After an evening of watching the light and laser shows around the large snow sculptures, we decided to head down the side streets.

The sidewalks are kept clear all winter long since they are heated.

Goddess, The Boy and friends were in a convenience store (I don’t remember which, but it could have easily been a 7-11) looking for warm drinks and a nibble.

Fact – if you find yourself in Japan and are realizing that it’s getting expensive to eat at restaurants for all three meals, head to the convenience stores for your food for two of your meals.  The trays of sushi, sashimi, meats, rice and vegetables are top notch and quite a bit cheaper than a restaurant.  The money you save will go a long way towards a very nice dinner.

Anyway, it was crowded and I had my large camera backpack with me, so it was a bit tight in the store.  I headed outside to watch all of the activity and enjoy the gently falling snow.

Then this young lady walked past, headed down an empty sidewalk.  Rarely does that opportunity present itself in any Japanese city.

What an opportunity it was.


A few months later, I had this image on display at a showing and a musician friend happened to see it, along with a few other images.  He liked what he saw, so we started talking about a planned CD release of his music.

The image paired quite nicely with one of the songs on the CD called “City Girl“.  Go ahead, click on the link and let it play while you’re reading.

If you had an actual CD in your hands, this would be inside the front cover with a line from his song along the bottom – “young girl, cold and lost in the city”.

Fitting.

He liked another of my images enough to make it the cover image.  But it wasn’t just the image, it was the name, which he used for the title of his first CD “Delicate Eye“.

Since then, Kluso has released two more CD’s: “Young Hard Red Spot” and “Determination“, each with my images as cover art.

While it is fun to have images printed, framed and hanging on walls of other people’s homes, it is a unique experience to reach up onto a shelf and pull down CD’s with your pictures on them.


I know it’s early on a Monday morning.  Hopefully it’s a good start to a great week.

A week filled with good music and good images.

But first, tell me what story you created when you looked at the picture.  I’d love to hear it.

Impressionistic

With a couple of projects in the works that are taking up quite a bit of time, I’m going to have to focus on a different project for you all this month.  I’ll give some details on the other projects later this month.

It’s a bit of fun, looking back at photos I’ve taken in the month of September over the years.  Well, at least the digital years.  I’d really have to do some digging into the negatives and log books to determine which analogue photos were taken in September, but that kind of defeats the purpose.  So we’ll stick to the last 9 years or so.

That means that some of you will recognize some of these photos but a large majority of you will not.  So it’s fun for me to hear new thoughts on images I was producing years ago.

Impressionistic

Cosmos in Showa Kinen Park, Tachikawa, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo.  We loved that park.  Every season had a season-appropriate garden display; spring had tulips, autumn had cosmos and other plants.  We’d walk for hours and enjoy the different views.

Unfortunately, our cosmos in the yard aren’t giving a showing quite as nice as these.  It has been a dry summer, even with irrigation.

This photo was taken on September 19th, 2005.  I haven’t reprocessed it since then.  I think it stands on its own as originally presented.

What are your thoughts?

I Guess I Should Pay a Bit More Attention

Apparently my post on Friday, American History, was my 700th post here.

And a few weeks ago, on July 12, 2014, it was the eighth anniversary of my first post of putting words and pictures here.

Huh.

Here’s the very first picture that I posted here, a detail of a monk’s office table in a Buddhist Temple in Tokyo.  The visit was arranged by some very good friends of ours whose uncle was the head monk at the temple.  Before taking over the temple from his father, he was a professional fashion photographer.

A great host that provided an opportunity filled with experiences that we still talk about.

Paperweights

Some of you have been reading these posts from the very beginning, others are newly arrived.

Thank you to all of you for the comments, the encouragement and the support.

For Rent (and last day on sale!)

Although this isn’t the last of the “flashback” landscapes, today is the last day of my summer sale on prints (see details below).

Ten years on, this is still one of my favorite images.  Whenever I’m in a funk or just need to refocus my energies, I like to pull up the raw image and work it.  Sometimes I improve upon earlier versions, sometimes not.  Regardless, the moment makes me smile.

For Rent

Sunrise, Lake Tanuki, Fujinoyima, Japan; December 2, 2004.

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LAST DAY for 15% off!!!!!

It’s simple -> Enter “Summer14” when you check out and receive 15% off pre-shipping costs.

Summer14
Summer14

I do appreciate your support.