“Masao Yamamoto is a famous Japanese photographer who successfully interprets his knowledge of existence through his photography. Yamamoto’s images are simple, nostalgic, and elegant. They are suggestive and original, and can be perceived in many ways. He tells us, without explanation, about the human experience. Yamamoto exposes us to one of his influences: a Japanese calligrapher-poet named Ryokan. Yamamoto describes his respect for Ryokan’s work by admiring his ability to “describe simply the movement of a leaf trembling as it falls” in one of his haikus. This poem can be interpreted in several ways. The falling leaf could be a metaphor for life, the right side up, the bad, or the reverse side, the good.
Yamamoto’s work emphasizes that some things are beyond our knowlege of physical reality. Not everything can be explained using empirical investigations, and perhaps some things are better left undiscovered and unexplained. Perhaps by analyzing every insignificant detail, one may lose sight of the broader landscape. By not labeling and categorizing, one can discover the mysteries of the unknown, one can think autonomously, and maybe that is more honest than any proven fact. If you are curious, read some excerpts from Being and Time by Heidegger. Or read some Derrida. For photography lovers, new discoveries can be found in Camera Lucida. There are connections in the thoughts of great philosophers, Yamamoto included. Yamamoto is of a different breed, but he too has ways of explaining that life is worth living, even though at times it is shit.”
Courtesy of Illiterate Magazine
Many poets are not poets
for the same reason that
many religious men are not saints:
they never succeed in being themselves.
They never get around to being the particular poet
or the particular monk they are intended to be by God.
They never become the man or the artist who is called
for by all the circumstances of their individual lives.
They waste their years in vain efforts
to be some other poet, some other saint…
They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor
to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.
There is intense egoism in following everybody else.
People are in a hurry to magnify themselves
by imitating what is popular—
too lazy to think of anything better.
~ Thomas Merton
Essence is emptiness. Everything else, accidental. In this world of trickery, emptiness is what your soul wants.