sakura sakura

Those who see the invisible,
achieve the impossible.
- unknown

Its cherry blossom season, right here-right now!
I studied Japanese in highschool for 3 yrs. and
the only thing I remember are the lyrics to this
Cherry Blossom Song:

Sakura Sakura

Sakura sakura

Noyama mo sato mo
Miwatasu kagiri
Kasumi ka kumo ka
Asahi ni niou
Sakura sakura
Hana zakari

Sakura sakura
Yayoi no sora wa
Miwatasu kagiri
Kasumi ka kumo ka
Nioi zo izuru
Izaya izaya
Mini yu kan

Cherry Blossoms, Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
On mountains and in villages,
As far as you can see.
They look like a mist, or clouds,
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
They’re in full bloom.

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Across the April skies,
As far as you can see.
They look like a mist, or clouds,
Blooming fragrantly.
Let’s go! Let’s go!
Let’s go see them!


this little piggy

That's Lila petting a drooling Vietnamese pot-bellied piggy.
I love how delicately she strokes his brillo-bristled fur.
My guess is the conversation occurred in Pig Latin!

The spare moments of last week were spent re-designing:
Dakini Designs, not quite fini but soon...



I've made a ritual of visiting this magnolia tree every spring. I try to stop by several times over the course of a 2 week span in order to see the before, during and after of her petaled regalia. Having made this pilgrimage year after year, I am still utterly shocked by her beauty. She is doing all this amidst a climate she is totally ill suited for. She puts out so much beauty weeks before any other trees even begin to unfold. A single snowstorm can wipe out all her blossoms, yet with zero trepidation, she shows up and bares everything she's got. I can almost hear her signing a sublime, "Yes!" to the sunlight. During this photo shoot I dropped the Holga 120N. There's nothing quite so quaint as re-coiling one's film, duck-taping the back of the camera shut and issuing the battle cry, "The shoot must go on!” It’s quite surprising how durable the 120mm film is, even after spilling onto the wet grass.


ancestor worship

Recently I've been feeling the complete lack of ancestor worship in this country. Other places in the world seem to maintain a strong sense of continuity between past, present and future via thier connection with thier ancestors (and thier children) but not here. It might lend some much needed meaning to our own lives if we knew that we might be remembered for how we lived them.

It's the rare person who knows anything about their lineage beyond 3 or 4 generations, myself included. In the spirit of ALL who walked this Earth before us, I raise up a glass of pixels in supplication at this cyber ancestor shrine. I know almost nothing about my great, great, great... (Mother's side) Aunt but she has become a patron goddess of family history to me, I feel her in my veins [click on the photo to enlarge]. I do know that her dog's name was Hector, named after the noble warrior and leader of the Trojan army who fought to the end defending his family, a very Saint Bernardian quality. By placing this photo on the mantle of this blog I invoke and honor the memory of ALL our ancestors and ALL who brought us into this moment.


decipher this

Invitation to yesterday's Easter Brunch:

I know its a little over the top in the difficult to decipher deptartment (in fact, few people even understood that they were being asked to RSVP!) . When I spend my days fitting bland little words into bland little fonts and framing them in bland little boxes I can only be expected to let all the rules fall by the way-side every now and then, non? The celebratory festivities were nice... though fleeting. I guess that's the way the chocolate bunnies crumble. I'm now left wondering; is there life after Easter? What's next? To all who stopped by for the delightful dally in the sunny day, Thanx for Coming! Hope the Easter Bunny filled your baskets with all the wishes you didn't even know you had and then some!


multiple exposures

Color possesses me.
I don't have to pursue it.
It possesses me always.
-Paul Klee

Recently someone asked me how long I'd been doing photography, realizing it might be good if I had an answer to that question, I'll attempt an overview here.

When I was 9 yrs. old I was lucky enough to hav
e this man take on the father figure roll in my life:

He was a professional photographer. He, my mother, our cat named Sunshine and I lived in San Francisco on the corner of Turk and Levenworth in the most squalid section of
The Tenderloin. Home was a 10,000 sq. ft. photo studio [complete with full darkroom] located above a Chinese Restaurant. Though I spent most of my time roller-skating from one end of the studio to the other, I did notice how things were being done. I think we were robbed 4 times in 1 yr. When he wasn't doing advertising layouts for Dial Soap he found me to be a handy subject to photograph:

This early exposure [tee hee!] of living in a photography studio kindled some creative flames for later on.

When I turned 15 my grandfather gave me a 35mm Nikon FG, 8 lenses, 2 photography books and a 10-year subscription to National Geographic... and my world was rocked. I had done a lot of art prior to that but the delight of capturing the truth of a moment on film was soon to become a
determining factor in how I felt my connection to all things. I took 3 years of photography classes, was the president of "Art Club" for 1 year and spent a 3 years as the yearbook and newspaper photographer.

When I was developing my own photos, the film reels had to be opened in the pitch-blackness of "the film closest". Unwinding and examining everything that was being kept in the dark became a full-on introspective practice. It's truly an uncommon experience to do something so technical with zero light. Opening the closet door and stepping into the brightness felt like a rebirthing. Next came the 18-minute drenching of the chemical elixirs over, under, around and thru the negatives. This shakedown of reality exposed everything that I thought I understood but really didn't (as photos often don't actualize as we expect they will).

As I witnessed, the slow emergence of an image beneath the safelights of a darkroom, the sheer magic of it all coming together became a way of revealing me to myself.

I took that Nikon all over the world with me and soon after high school I began to get hired for jobs, the rest is history... the medium has changed slightly over the years from 35mm to digital to 120mm but the basic elements remain the same--light, color, contrast, composition, sensitivity, serendipitous grace and of course a celebration of life beyond all reason.


yogini in the rain

These are from a photo shoot last week -
The Yogini in the Rain

I am so dang blessed to be surrounded by such beauty!
And what fun it is to take photos of such lovliness!

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.


What is art?
It is the response of the soul to the call of the real.



via con dios

gazing into the eyes of the moment

deep in the the heart of everything
i feel what it is to be human...


connect the dots

Back from a speedy jaunt to New Mexico for a few days of performing and teaching at the Taos Hanuman Temple.
Rachael: You move worlds, oooo Goddess of De-Light!
Thank you for it all!

These trips seem to end up being a whirlwind of pilgrimages to shrines, temples, stupas and missions. Feels as though my life is mapped out as one continuous connect-the-dots on which I am hopping from one sacred spot to the next. The universe winks at me when I arrive at the closed doors of a temple and the priest walks out saying, "Here, take the keys, you know the drill. Enjoy!" ...being handed the keys to the temple is one those moments of sheer delight for me.

Chimayó (just south of Taos) is a fabulous adobe mission to visit around lunchtime as the tamales are made with sacred water (who could ask for more from a tamale?!).... but the shrine is nice too! Somewhere around 1810, a Chimayó friar was performing penances when he saw a light bursting from a hillside. Digging in the dirt, he found a crucifix, quickly dubbed the miraculous crucifix of Our Lord of Esquipulas. A local priest brought the crucifix to Santa Cruz, but three times it disappeared and was later found back in its hole. By the third time, everyone understood that El Senor de Esquipulas wanted to remain in Chimayó, and so a small chapel was built on the site. Then the miraculous healings began. These grew so numerous that the chapel had to be replaced by the larger, current Chimayó Shrine. Be sure to stop in for a chat with the Padre, his manner is so refined and his words are spoken is a voice smooth as velvet.

This time of year, New Mexico is a riot of color. I know words can't touch the moment but as the tangerine orange and sagebrush greens pressed against the slate gray sky and the rain clouds embraced the Sangre de Cristos mountain range, it all became quite the trans-lucent dream!