FROM THE FURTHEST EDGES OF THE UNIVERSE TO YOU…

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By Tom H. Brooks 3

And this is STREET JOURNAL 73

The above is my digital artwork named

The Mechanics of Abstraction

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super-ultraminimalism
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This might be able to hold your attention for 20 minutes or so….
If not, call my secretary – we`ll do lunch…
or….you can send me a `tweet` or a `twit` or whatever the fuck those things are called later…
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MAVERICK
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“Flow, my tears, fall from your springs…
Exiled forever, let me mourn;
Where night`s blackbird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
Down vain lights, shine you no more…
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.
Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.
From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my desserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.
Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to condemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world`s despite.”
John Dowland (1596)  Musical Lyrics or Poetry (both, really…)
Lachrimae Pavan or Seaven Teares
(See my latest YouTube video, THE SEEKER, to hear this amazing music…)
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The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall…..the first book I ever felt like taking the time and effort to type the whole damn thing so I could keep it forever on my Google Drive.  I don`t know why, but I had this overpowering urge to type all 400 pages of it and I had a very strong feeling that doing this would open some new doorways for me into a world of my own writing, my own novels.  So I plod onward a page at a time, typing out this conceptual masterpiece, word by word, toward an unknown result……..come what may……
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R.I.P. Lou Reed…Sunday, 10-27-13……Now, you`re taking a Walk on the Other Side…c u there…
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“It`s very difficult to logically explain the illogical.”
“`It`s a distance that can`t be measured.`
`Like the distance from one person`s heart to another`s.`”
“Once you pass a certain age, life becomes nothing more than a process of continual loss.  Things that are important to your life begin to slip out of your grasp,  one after another,  like a comb losing teeth.  And the only things that come to take their place are worthless imitations.  Your physical strength, your hopes, your dreams, your ideals, your convictions, all meaning, or, then again, the people you love: one by one, they fade away.
Some announce their departure before they leave, while others disappear all of a sudden without warning one day.  And once you lose them you can never get them back.  Your search for replacements never goes well.  It’s all very painful – as painful as actually being cut with a knife.”
Haruki Murakami
“1Q84”
Reading this thoroughly unusual book for me at this VERY strange time in my life is simply perfect.  It creates an atmosphere of hallucinatory otherworldliness.  At times, I feel as if I am the only person in the world amongst the birds and the wind in the trees.  I sit here by the river now.  An autumn wind rattles the tree branches and a crow squawks his enigmatic call.  I am one with it.
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“…the place where he is meant to be lost…”
Murakami
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“No one knows for certain what it means to die until they actually do it”
“Time Now For Ghosts”
Murakami

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10/31/13  4:30pm  Tokyo, Japan,  Halloween
“Winding Lives
Fate and Straying”
I just saw this perfect example of Japanese bad English on a girl`s shirt as she walked by.  I stand here in Shinjuku after another seemingly fruitless job interview.  Somehow though, the shirt seemed perfectly appropriate to the moment.
  I am about to board a Chuo Line train to Koenji, one of the main locations in Haruki Murakami`s masterful book, 1Q84.  I don`t know why, but I am irresistibly drawn to this place he speaks of with such familiarity.  It`s a cool autumn evening.  Come what may…
*   *   *
Koenji turned out to be a nice, quiet neighborhood, in turn both hip and funky in some parts and somewhat mystical in others.  I met a nice artist girl named Asuka Ishii by visiting her gallery.  Koenji was totally worth the trip and I will definitely visit again.  Now, to Shinjuku for Halloween party time viewing…
*   *   *
Halloween in Japan is absolutely NOT as drunken-crazy as in America – BUT – it still defies description.  I`ll leave it at that and just let you wonder.  You have to see it for yourself…
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Tsukijishijo station off the Oedo line for a taste of OLD Tokyo…
Fish market & old buildings…
Hama Rikyu Gardens
Also, hit up the beach in Odaiba and the incredible haunted island with the gun battlements from 1853…
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Dias de los Muertos…….(My slideshow is on YouTube at tomhbrooks3)
My incredibly ridiculous bike ride of epic proportions from 11/1/13.  I went southwest along route 357 until I reached Odaiba and then I cut up to an amazing park, went over Rainbow Bridge, went north through Chuo-ku and passed throughout the old buildings of the fish market and continued curving to the east again until I hit route 50 and made my way home.  It was one of the best rides I`ve had yet in Tokyo.  This city is endless and I will never tire of exploring it…..
In retrospect, I don`t think this ride was any longer than any of my epic Los Angeles or New York City rides, probably shorter, in fact, BUT…..this city is so incredibly DENSE.  It seems as if I`ve passed through at least 111 different worlds today.  That is definitely what distinguishes the Tokyo city adventure from the American city adventure.  Actually, it could be comparable to my trips from Staten Island to Coney Island through Brooklyn – different neighborhoods every few blocks.  LA trips along the ocean are more or less the same general scenery, but THIS was a whole new ballgame, and I won the game, baby, let me tell ya…..
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Check out the art work of Yayoi Kusama
and the architectural masterpieces of Ando Tadao
(Google images and Wikipedia will give an overview…)
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Go to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture
and also travel to Kagawa and Tokushima in Shikoku Prefecture…
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I was watching a promo video on YouTube for Lucha VaVoom in downtown Los Angeles at the Mayan Theatre.  It`s like Mexican wrestling and burlesque dancers and drinking tequila….
absolutely ridiculous and, at the same time, spectacular.  I always wanted to go see that show and I never got a chance.  You snooze, you lose…..that cliche holds true…
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The best Mexican food website EVER….
just looking at it makes me hungry…
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Visit the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art in KIBA…
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“The good aren`t always right; and the bad don`t always have it wrong…”
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SHOW ME A SANE MAN AND I WILL CURE HIM FOR YOU.
This has been today`s psychology lesson, brought to you by the great
CARL JUNG
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This has best represented our existence since the beginning of time and philosophical thought:
                                    ?
Exactly.
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11/12/13  I`m working in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo (Hakusan Station near Korakuen and Tokyo Dome)
{this is just so I remember these crazy names and this excellent date}
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“Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume you are.”
Nolan Bushnell
Founder of Atari
and mentor to Steve Jobs
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“Stay Hungry.  Stay Foolish.”
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Reading the biography of Steve Jobs on my iPhone seems to me a strange and beautiful irony.
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“TAXI SMASH FACE”
Tim Hudock
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Music: There are songs that stay with you throughout your entire life…
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Well, I`ve started my new job at the company called *** and it makes the last one look like being on acid on the 666th level of the ABYSS.  This new one is a thousand times better.  But fuck the babbling work talk.  Tonight, I want to write about a 9-year-old boy named Aoi.  Today was very likely the last time I will ever see him.  You see, I`m just TRAINING at this particular school – just passing through in other words.  Next week, I`ll be somewhere else, only to be moved still again to another location somewhere in the vast Tokyo metropolis.  In any case, this kid was a first-class little character that touched my heart in some strange way.  Perhaps he was a young kindred spirit; we had a kind of instant connection that just doesn`t happen very often in life….with ANYONE.  It was the first and last night to meet young Aoi.  This is a name that can be for Japanese boys or girls; more commonly in the latter.  It can mean `BLUE`, but I didn`t see how it was written in Kanji (not that I`d be able to read it.)  He was a good-looking, smart young fellow – smart as a whip, really.  He was strange and eccentric, but not in a lunatic kind of way – just odd, different.  He had intelligent eyes and a curious mind.  He`s participating in a spelling bee this Sunday and if he wins, he gets 10,000 yen towards a trip to Hawaii.  His mom, his dad, his grandma, his mom`s sister – all of them – are doctors.  He comes from a real medical family tree.  An admirable profession, to be sure, but I think, perhaps, not exactly HIS goal or disposition.  He seemed to me a little bit of a dreamer, creative, artistic and quirky.  Right when we started talking, we clicked like we`d known each other for years.  It was like talking to a miniature adult.  He was enthusiastic and humorous and talked in a somewhat manic, but intelligent manner (does this sound at all familiar?)  He lived in America for a long long time (most of his first 9 years), so his English was flawless and without accent.  In fact, he seemed more American than Japanese.  His dad was like a big shot surgeon somewhere in Pittsburgh.  We immediately starting talking without pause about Pittsburgh and a myriad of other places he`s been in the USA…San Antonio, Los Angeles and New York City, to mention a few big ones.  I asked him if he missed America or if he was happier in Japan.  Without missing a beat, he said, “I miss America.”  He said people in Tokyo were boring and Americans were more interesting and fun and different.  I mentioned Tokyo robots and he said, “Yes, robots!  Exactly!”  He likes making things, arts and crafts, reading, growing things in gardens and cooking.  He also had an amazing knowledge about animals.  This kid had `ARTIST` written all over him.  However, I KNOW that coming from a rich and prominent family of Japanese doctors, the chances are about 92% that he will be railroaded into being a doctor whether he wants it or not.  I told him that maybe he could be a veterinarian specializing in animal surgery and maybe his parents would accept that AND he could be an animal doctor that is an excellent master chef.  I told him to never lose his dream and to be true to himself.  There is so much more I talked to this amazing kid about that listing it all would probably bore you.  Let it suffice to say that I taught him more AND learned more from him than most people probably communicate to each other in 2 weeks.  Before he left, he gave me a little lizard-like dinosaur paper origami cutout that he made for me.  He just wordlessly handed it to me in a friendly and casual manner and then said goodbye.  Why do I take all this space to write about one kid?  He touched my heart somehow in a melancholy way.  Maybe I saw in him something of myself and we all know how crazy my life has been.  He was really a one-of-a-kind character and I wish him all the best.  He`s only at the school one night a week, so it`s entirely likely that I won`t see him again, but I WILL remember him.  I can`t really explain why.  When I was walking home through the dark, cold night streets on the edge of town, I found myself thinking of that kid and hoping for him to have a good life.  And I`m keeping that paper animal cutout.  I hope he finds his dream.  I hope I find mine too.  It`s never too late to keep trying…
“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone…”
                                                                          William Wordsworth
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“THE SPIRIT NOW WILLS HIS OWN WILL, AND HE WHO HAS
BEEN LOST TO THE WORLD NOW CONQUERS THE WORLD.”
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
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“God is in the details.”
A maxim embraced by the Bauhaus aesthetic (Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, especially)
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“It is better to be good than to be original.”
Mies van der Rohe
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KAROUSHI… death by overwork (the Japanese salaryman)
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If you feel that you may be lacking the imagination to believe in `impossible` things, read this quote….
“Why, sometimes I`ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass
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SEA OF THE DEAD    by THB3
A multitude of nameless silences
The errant cries of small birds
The squawk of a raven…
Angular shadows stretch across
the soil into geometric patterns of death
A forest of gray stones
in marble and granite
Monuments for those lost to this world
I hear your muted voices
speaking to me through
the open window of timelessness
The wind rattles and hisses
through the cool green shade
of the ancient bamboo grove –
– it has stood here wordlessly
for countless and untold years
while the vast city grew up around it
Time has forgotten this place
but some of us are still listening
to your cryptic whispers in this sea of the dead
Although you had no choice,
I pay my quiet respects to these brave souls
who have crossed over to the other world
With no regard for past, present or future,
your silence says so much –
much more than mere words ever could
As your ashes disperse into the soil of this earth,
you become one with the dust from whence we came
Speak to me;
I am listening…
THB3
(Written at a graveyard/shrine in Chitose Karasuyama in western Tokyo on 11/22/13
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It seems that I have a fascination with death and the world (worlds?) beyond….
I have always loved hanging around graveyards, the quietest parks in town.  I think, perhaps, I identify more with the dead than with the living…
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Friday night, 11/22/13
Although I`m enjoying myself as I always do when I`m alone, I truly feel as if I don`t really belong anywhere, no matter where I go or what I do in Tokyo.  It is an ocean of anonymity…
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I only know my way around this crazy city of Tokyo on foot, skateboard or bike (and even all that is sketchy and random).  When I`m underground in a train station, however (and I HATE to admit it), I`m just fucking LOST…
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I`m sure everyone has heard of golf-pro shops.  Well, get this; I just saw an “S&M-pro shop”….
SPEC-FUCKING-TACULAR……
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“The truth is what those in power wish it to be.”
“The exile does not choose his Babylon.”
`Dr. Narcisse`
Boardwalk Empire
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“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Lee Clow & Steve Jobs
Apple “Think Different” Campaign
1997
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This fucking train line (Toei Shinjuku Line) I’ve been taking to work every goddamned day has like one of the highest suicide rates in the world.  It travels through a huge swath of western Tokyo where there are no safety rails whatsoever & these little bastards are throwing themselves onto the tracks like lemmings.  Henceforth, I shall call this line the ‘Toei Suicidal Death Line.’
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One thing I`ve learned in life; somebody, somewhere, is ALWAYS complaining about something
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11/30/13
RIP Paul Walker; After 5 or 6 Fast and Furious movies, you were killed with cruel irony in a fiery car crash.  At least we know that you weren`t driving.  Good luck in that eternal street race on the other side….
“I live my life a quarter-mile at a time…”
“What`d you put in that sandwich?”
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“So which car do you want?”
“ALL OF THEM.”
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“Nature loves simplicity and unity.”
Johannes Kepler
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The Pedestrian
 
A man walks endlessly through the vast sprawling city.  He is continuously alone and anonymous.  He moves along aimlessly, wandering its boulevards, thoroughfares, side streets, empty lots, parks, structures and back alleys.  He meanders both above and underground.  He is constantly amazed and wide-eyed at everything that catches his eye from the most obvious to the most inconspicuous details.  He soaks it all up like a sponge.  He takes in every little observation with a shutter click of his mind`s eye.  Nothing escapes his notice.  He strolls from the fringes to the center and back again.  He goes from the furthest edges of industrial wastelands and forgotten ruins to the very heart of the city, the beating throbbing heart of its economy, the engine that drives it ever-forward.  He has no destination in mind.  The journey itself IS the destination.  His only goal is to SEE, to learn, to explore.  In this roundabout and haphazard way, he comes to know the heart of it, its soul, so to speak.  He becomes one with the city.  It is like taking a walk inside himself, through the labyrinth of his own complex mindscape.  There are no accurate maps for this uncharted terrain.  Where his mind and the landscape come together is the nexus, if you will.  There is no name for this location and if you are lucky enough to find it, it is the place where one finds epiphanies…revelations.
There is no end to this, nor would he want there to be.  There is an old saying; “The longest journey begins with but a single step.”  He has taken that first step and many, many more since.  And, his journey has just begun.  Where it leads….?  Well, only time will tell….
THB3
Wednesday 12/4/13  1:00pm
Kyodo, Western Tokyo
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Where I am right now – this is MY WORLD – other people just happen to live in it…
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An old Shinto shrine, in the middle of what has become the city streets; they just built around it.  A strange sight, indeed…
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12/10/13
I had an excellent conversation this morning by the train station at Sakurajosui.  I talked to an old Japanese man who called himself Henry, of all names.  He was a first-class character, indeed….
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“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”
Steven Weinberg
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12/11/13
You know, it turns out ravens like BBQ Cheetos.  I fed a whole flock of `em during lunch at the lake in Sakurajosui today…
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“If I mean to save my life, then I have to come within an inch of destroying it.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions
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I NEVER INTENDED FOR THINGS TO TURN OUT THIS WAY.
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“…one of those rare people in whom mind ultimately wins out over matter.  Age doesn`t diminish these people.  It makes them old, but it doesn`t alter who they are, and the longer they go on living, the more fully and implacably they incarnate themselves.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions
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“And it seems no less evident that the various sensations or ideas imprinted on the sense, however blended or combined together, cannot exist otherwise than in a mind perceiving them.  Secondly, it will be objected that there is a great difference betwixt real fire and the idea of fire,  between dreaming or imagining oneself burnt, and actually being so.”
George Berkeley
The Principles of Human Knowledge
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“I am a ridiculous man.
 God has played many jokes on me.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions

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THB3

 

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