Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 115 :)

Posted on January 27, 2011


I've been asked recently if i'm happy. The answer: Yes. Really? YUP...

Growing up different is tough, but the lessons learned are invaluable. Chronic-physical pain has a temporing power like the forging of iron; a violent reminder of what strength is and how it must be paid for. I have never stopped being fascinated with life; the world is more beautiful than a mere plastic bag in the wind. Happiness: the sea against the sand; a constant, surging restructuring of life, excitement and all its fractalled randomness... with a LoLcat on top.

This blog isn't just about agnst. My life isn't all about pain.

Here's a pretty normal day for me:

  • Wake up a bit opiate-groggy, to find a love note from my parter on the kitchen table
  • Take to the first floor of our 3-flat to drop down at my desk
  • Share coffee with my father/boss over a little edgy sitcom banter to warm-up our minds
  • Do graphic design, web-work and get some art-work done, blog?
  • ice/lidocaine/analgesics/lunch when necessary
  • Teach judo to special needs kids and am thankful for the chance to share the purest smiles         and most genuine laughter on earth
  • Return home to the arms of my partner and a warm meal
  • reassess, regroup and medicate, goodnightkiss*
  • *insomnia optional

    Although I am certainly of my generation in some regards, I know that I don't really fit in to the crowd—> I am 27, married and live in a multigenerational household (with my parents in the family homestead) and work part-time in the famliy bussiness. I have three part-time jobs actually, and have multiple volunteer/community commitments as well. I was able to get my bachelor's in 4 years without loans and have surprisingly put what I learned at college to use EVERY DAY.

    My current situation is somewhat unbelievable to the Greatest Generation. By my age, they had the secure job, three kids and more than one good suit. They would have already bought the house and the car in that neighboorhood with the good school. We still live in that same house. They didn't spend half of their paychecks on medicine. I'm sure they'd still rather have a jet-pack than an electric car, but when you've been rocketting along on excess, it's hard to settle for the future that has been wrought.

    Fight the Future -------------------

    My grandparents, imprisoned, looked out into the cloudless desert sunset and knew that somewhere beyond this cage was a land of the free. Somewhere there was a place for them to call home. Whenever I doubt myself or my direction, I look back to the past and remember. With a little gaman, we'll make out alright, just like they did.

    ---------------… Save the Past

    I'm happy with where I am though. As much as I have studied, conducted interviews and created artwork about the 40s and 50s, I like the present and anticipate an even stranger, more wonderous future... possibly with jetpacks 🙂


    Palliativity 114: Hapa, Unapologetic

    Posted on January 20, 2011


    It's always our eyes that betray us. Growing up in the Midwest of America, it's hard to explain the exhilaration of seeing a face like mine. The room goes dark in the recognition of a shared lineage, diverse and entangled. We, those forged in no-one's image, embody the terror and thrill of the unknown. Our genetics reunite a world divided, a metaphor made flesh. The strange shall inherit the earth. A brief glimpse of post-humanity, a preview of the future:

    Hapa, Unapologetic

    In my freshman year at the college dining hall, I sat with a group of friends I didn't normally join for meal time. I was making introductions when a girl sat down who I had seen around campus:

    √ wavy black hair
    √ high cheekbones
    √ olive skin
    √ almond eyes

    As the table conversation continued, the two of us subconsciously began scanning each-other. I've grown accustomed to a world where all my relationships and interactions are interracial. But how to approach and breach this silent contract of ethnicity? I mentioned the Internment and her eyes lit up, "My family was at Gila River."— "Mine TOO!"

    For a time, the world around us drifted and the table-mates could only listen on in fascination, trying to decipher the language and etiquette we were inventing on the fly. Her memories of childhood and the search for identity echoed and resonated in ways that words can never capture nor tame. Our hearts fractured and broken, molded to a world scared of our existence. Stories and laughter with the somberness of history.

    When all-to-soon it was time for class, the two of us parted. We never spoke again. I am still trying to figure out why. Fear? Is that what it was? The knowledge that we weren't the only one came abruptly and with a force. Like a child's first look in a mirror, when they realize that they are seeing themselves— that there exists a perspective outside of their own line of sight. We were not alone and yet we ran away from one another.

    • ± •

    I spent hours as a child staring into the mirror trying to understand what others saw in me. It was not until much later that I could embrace those features and know that only I can define what my face will tell the world. This is my story.

    Thank you for joining me.


    Palliativity 113: Youth

    Posted on January 13, 2011


    Youth, the power of a generation sailing at the deceptive speed of night. We awaken to realize ourselves a year older, and yet we haven't even crossed the break-wall; that sheltered cove. Youth—

    "We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors,
    we borrow it from our children" -David Brower

    I don't understand the phrase "family-time". I can't imagine a life disconnected; tuning out and stumbling in on a holiday's eve. It is of primary importance for the young to spend time with the elderly. Their stories are our stories. We are the keepers of our own legacies.

    The Greatest Generation is coming to a close. I miss those who are gone and am grateful for those who have shared their stories and lives with me. Their words and smiles are like the sound of a childhood wind-up-doll playing out it's tune; its clock-work soul echoes an eternal loop playing in and out of time, never knowing when or where the last note will fall.

    And yet the music plays on in our hearts, forever…


    Filed under: Blog, family, identity, Pain No Comments

    Palliativity 112: Jump-Cut — The Lost Decade

    Posted on December 31, 2010

    Jump Cut

    We are Generation Jump-cut the abrupt change of tempo; the endless burst of disruption.

    We are captivated by the fast flicker in the mirror.

    Without lift, we ride onward on pure momentum. The promises of endless possibility in the shadow of the past millenium.

    We are the sophmore slump.

    Where did the good go?

    Embrace the Collosus in the corner: Welcome to the End of the Oughts.

    Jump-cut: Continuity is not the goal. Rhythm: communication lost in the fall.

    We are Atlas's cigarette-break, the bang-brushing unreadable shrug.

    Like the single-geared track-bike, we un-invent the wheel.

    We are the Roadwarriors of Goodwill; Vintage without the Vantage.

    Y2K+X=Then. Analog turns to Digital.

    Our war is syndicated before the bodies go cold. Terror is knowing what only could have been...

    We have outgrown the old gods and harvest the blood of titans; a greasy fingerprint on the face of a world dug hollow.

    This is my 1080HD Resolution.

    Jump-cut— don't think too long. We are the break-beat, one-two punch to the soul.

    We are malapropism misfits flash-mobbing at the end of the rainbow. Though distant, we are in constant contact.

    Through viral memes we see the face of god.

    Don't blink. It's already over.


    Here's to tropes and new beginning. Here's to toasts and winter nights.
    All I ask is that we keep spinning, and give us each our chance to-

    Fight the Future, Save the Past





    Jump Cut


    The Lost Decade

    On Thestral Wings

    Posted on December 29, 2010



    I miss you —

    Those hands that held me tight and crafted hundreds of agezushi, played cards and taught me to cook, rubbed my stomach when it hurt and wiped tears from my eyes. Those hands that picked flowers in the dust-bowl sun and found hope in the desert that no barbed-wire could contain. The hands that held this family together for generations and taught me what it means to live a good life.

    You were there when I graduated college and blessed me on my wedding day. You have always been my wings. When I miss you, I only have to lie down and dream - I fetch you your green tea and your smile shines bright enough that I awaken and call for you in the dark...



    Forever, a piece of me will be sitting on your couch two years ago, holding your hand. Three gerations frozen in a moment beyond the bounds of time. We counted breaths and stroked your hair. Like Daruma, you sat and faded. You asked us where your mother was and I knew you would be with her soon.

    We dropped you more morphine and removed the oxygen. Mercy is no longer just a word to me. Dignity is as firm as marble.

    Palliativity, the culling tide.

    On Sundays, I burn incence bright and place fruit and flowers on the alter. I ring the singing bowl and with hands together retrace the steps you made to honor those who came before and pray for the generations to follow.




    Palliativity 111: New Perspective

    Posted on December 23, 2010

    new perspective

    As a child, I was obsessed with symmetry. My inner window to the world was trying to find balance and order in a universe crafted by chaos. Decals on model planes. Parts in hair. The way my mittens overlapped my sleeves in late December. Legos at least had the decency to arrive in precise bricks.

    My father gave me my first camera when I was two years old. In grade-school, I began developing my own pictures in our basement dark-room. I received my first Nikon SLR at the age of ten.

    Photography taught me what it truly means to be fascinated by this floating world.

    I learned that photography is a good walk spent chasing after your freinds/family as a result of waiting for that perfect moment to open the shutter.

    In high-school, I learned that my natural perspective is a wide-angle lens; 18mm is how I see the world. Symmetry still held on tightly, but its grip had slackened on my lens.

    As I began my digital collage art, I could see the endless possibility of combining pieces of my past experiences with those of others to create something greater.

    Through the alchemy of imagery, I play witness to a silent battle across time and space. I discovered through hours behind the lens and the computer that one must see the big picture as well as the smallest detail on equal ground and weigh one's choices wisely:

    Formal balance is dynamic symetry

    We are all greater than the sum of our parts.


    Filed under: Blog, identity, Pain No Comments