Okuma, Okinawa, Japan. Ilford 400 black and white film. Hasselblad 501c/m camera
Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using Ilford film. Photographed at the site of an old farmhouse in Okinawa, Japan.
Today is my last official day of spring break. I know the week ahead will be busy, but I’m trying to not think about that yet.
Yesterday was the first day of spring here, and I found myself at the spring Mala at my yoga studio – 108 salutations: 27 sun salutes, 27 moon salutes, 27 hatha salutes, and one last round of 27 sun salutes. It is an amazing experience, that I’m not sure I can describe in words. Yoga has taught me so much already, and every time I am on my mat I feel like I learn a little something new, not just about the practice itself, but about myself, what is important to me, and what I need to let go of. The Mala was no exception, and together we let go of a lot of garbage and baggage we were carrying around, and greeted the spring.
2016 has been a much different year than I thought it would be…not good or bad, just very different (and already including one more tattoo than I thought it would). I set a goal of reading 52 books this year, one book a week, and so far I am on track to surpass that goal. John and I have amassed such a collection of books over our years together, and I am making a conscious effort to read through the ones I haven’t tried yet, and enjoying all of them. Currently I am sucked into the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I’m not sure why I haven’t finished this series sooner.
I spent a lot of time this spring break working on artwork for two shows this summer. My artwork is changing, the meanings are changing, and I find myself adding in layers of meaning that coordinate with current events and climate issues. This is not really new territory for me, but something I haven’t explored for about 10 years. We’ll see where this takes me. I have had inspirations coming from very different places lately, and I find myself craving the time to work, and no longer feeling bad about taking every minute I can get. This is just one more necessity for me.
Back to work.
This week I get to share with you that my #Mississippi book is now also included in the permanent collection at the Minnesota Historical Society! It is so exciting to have that book travel so many places, and be seen by so many people. I never dreamed that would happen!
I have been busy the last few days editing film scans of photos from our trip last month, and working on a new series of artwork. I have more plans for this year, though it is a bit too early to share them now. It is an exciting and full year, in all the best ways!
If you follow me on Instagram, I’ll be sharing many film photos from our trip this week, as well as a couple of work-in-progress photos from the artwork series I am working on.
Things I have learned:
- I am enjoying listening to the audio book ‘The Art of Asking’ by Amanda Palmer much more than I ever thought I would. I have enjoyed her music for a long time, gone to her concerts when I could, and followed along on Twitter and everything else. For many insignificant reasons, I stopped following not very long ago. This book came through a list of suggested audio books available through my library’s website, and I decided to give it a try. It has been amazing to listen to, and today, I find myself following her again on social media.
- Meditation is really good for me. It has taught me a lot about myself already. I do very well with guided meditation in my yoga classes, but I am working on meditating alone as well.
- I love traveling.
- The act of traveling, being sick, going back to work without feeling 100%, and still trying to be creative, makes me more of an introvert than I usually am. Which is why I do not have more photos from our last amazing trip up here yet…but they will be coming soon.
- My favorite thing currently is when John and I have both gotten sucked into really good books, and go to bed a little earlier on the weekends just so we can lay in bed together and read.
- I successfully developed three rolls of slide film at home and did not blow anything up and I’m pretty sure I could try this again with the same results.
- John and I have started planning a pretty major house project together and it has become this wonderful blend of his ideas and my ideas and we are both excited to start it. We have done projects together in the past, but this somehow feels like the most collaborative one yet. I have learned a lot already from it, and I am paying close attention, knowing I will learn so much more by the time it is done.
It will be a busy week, filled with a few art related things happening, as well as work and home things. I will have much more to blog about next week!
My new photo-a-day project is still happening – I have not missed a day yet! I will share photos from that soon. I just developed the first roll of film from it today (see list item #6)!
I will leave you with this:
From my journal:
Tomorrow morning we start a long journey home. Today, our last full day on this little island, we spent the hours walking by the ocean wall, we ate green tea KitKats, grocery shopped, read while sitting out on the patio, ate lunch at a chicken and waffle restaurant, had more of Julie’s awesome Yakisoba for dinner, and enjoyed our last day of hanging out here. Everything is packed already. It is only a matter of time before we are back.
To the friends that took such good care of us, thank you a million times over!
Film photos from our last day:
From my journal:
Today we walked around Kokusai – downtown Okinawa. There were street vendors, Okinawan doughnuts, fresh brown sugar being chipped off a large block, fresh pineapple on a stick, traditional places to eat, sweet beans and mochi, the fish market, crowds, malls, sales, lots of sunshine, the kids being happy, the craziness of Japanese streets and markets, Hello Kitty stuff everywhere…it was so much fun! We walked until our legs and feet ached. We did a lot of shopping, and I took a lot of photos again.
Today was great. This whole trip has been amazing, from the roller slides, to the food, and all the fun stuff we did in between. The best part is experiencing all of this with friends who love exploring and trying new things as well as we do. I can’t wait to come back and visit them again!
From my journal:
Today John and I went out to do a little exploring on our own of Okinawa City and Koza Music Town. There were a few places open, though many were still closed for the New Year holiday.
We did find an arcade where we played Mario Kart (so much fun!) and a small punk record and clothing shop. We had a good time and were quite worn out after from all the walking! I took a lot of photos of the buildings and empty streets. There is such a mix of new and run-down here. I remember noticing that when we were in Japan before on the main island, but I feel like it is more prominent here. It was a beautiful day to be out walking! And more sushi for dinner!
There was a one-block stretch of buildings that had the craziest wall murals painted all along them!
Film photos from the day: