As I have announced before, on March 30th starting from 18:00 there will be an exhibition featuring my handmade dolls. If you are in Vienna or in the area, I would be delighted to see you there. It is a special event only on this date.
My father was a teacher at a high school, his subject was Japanese and world history, economics, geography, ethics, politics, etc. He used to study diligently even at home and he read many books. Many of his thoughts revolved around other people and his relatives. He really wanted to help others, and the motivation for that was pure and came from within. A huge problem was that we as a family had to do all of that with him together. But because of that I know very well that he cherished the human value. He wanted to think about others in a pure way and tried not to be like those who say polite or tender things but in their hearts did not actually think like it, only had their own advantage in mind, talk bad about others, etc. When I think about it, I see that in a way my father was very honest, of which I am proud. To me, regarding this point my father is one kind of figure of an “ideal teacher”.
A long time ago in our house in Japan, a streetcat often came to us and stayed some time. In this house there is a transparent glass sliding door separating two rooms. One time there was a loud noise which could be heard in the whole house. The cat wanted to go through and without noticing that the door was closed, he hit his head with full force. I was shocked and loudly said “Are you ok?”. Then the cat looked embarrassed and he lowered and tilted his head as if to say “I am ok, do not exaggerate!”. I opened the glass door and he carefully passed through it. With this experience he learned that sometimes there could be an invisible obstacle and ever since he always used his forehead to test whether there was indeed an obstacle and then slowly passed through. One day, the other side of the glass door was dark. The cat wanted to go through but saw his own reflection in the glass door. Being white, he could surely see his own bright silhoutte reflecting in the glass door. He was shocked because it seemed there was another cat present and so he moved back as if to evade it. I saw him in this moment but without saying anything, in order not to hurt his pride, I opened the glass door. Scared and cautious, he checked out the other room and was relieved that there was nothing there. Are cats able to recognize their own reflection in glass? I would like to know whether it is a reflection of themselves.
Yes, those are regular containers of salt and pepper. They are made of transparent and hard material but to my eyes, because of light refraction etc., it looks soft. Although there is coarse salt and pepper inside, it looks like lava. I think it is beautiful. Ordinary objects, when viewed up close, provide unexpected effects. That is good to find and is often entertaining.
Here you see a Vienna streetcar in motion, which is mysteriously cut into pieces. Please do not worry, it is only an illusion. Mirrors at a right angle on both sides of the window produce this optical effect.
I love glass and mirrors. Because of reflections, optical illusions etc. they display a multitude of beauty. As though they invite us to another dimension, mystic, magical…. This picture I shot yesterday in a building in Vienna. Each piece of glass has cut edges and therefore makes the background appear interesting.
When I was very young, I always used to say “Barana” instead of “Banana”. One day I noticed that everyone was calling it “Banana” and when I understood that it was really actually called “Banana” I was very shocked. I thought “Why did nobody ever correct me? I always said Barana, how embarrassing!”. Maybe people thought that since I was so young it did not matter that I mispronounced it. However the shock for me was so great and I had a feeling that adults could not be trusted. For me, that was a “betrayal”. Maybe that was a phase in terms of children’s psychology which held some meaning. Also adults did not want to deceive me, now I think that it is not easy to teach a child something. If one asks too much and precision of children, that might be too much for them. Right timing and right amount in terms of teaching children is difficult I suppose.
When I was about 18 years old, during harmless gossip with some friends, one of them said “Temochi butasa”. Another one noticed and said “That is actually called “Temochi busata”. However the one who mispronounced it, could not believe it because all her life up to that point she had always said “Temochi butasa” and nobody ever corrected her. We could see this was a huge shock to her and she was really discouraged. In Japanese “Temochi busata” means being in a state of boredom without something to do. Her mistake “Temochi butasa” included “Buta”, which means pig. I can imagine how ashamed she felt. Growing older, it is difficult to correct other people’s mistakes, because of politeness and thinking about their feelings. I think if social circumstances etc. permit it, then choosing good timing and conveying the correct expression in a tender manner could be better.
Picture by Yuka Simeno, This is my favourite gorilla “Chocomuffin (but I call her “Gorichan”)” with my handmade doll “Laura”.
There is an American TV series called “Criminal Minds”. This series has been on TV in Austria for a long time and I think it can be seen in many other countires as well. The big difference between this and other fictional crime series is that the investigators include behavioural psychology in their investigations. The investigative team consists of FBI profilers, who analyze and study psyche, actions, behaviour, etc. . Especially often it is shown that they try to persuade the perpetrators by touching their psyche to give up and let themselves be arrested. They often say “I understand you, I have also experienced this”. If the perpetrators hear this, they think that they are not alone and that there is someone who understands them, which makes them surrender (that is of course a fictional story). Somehow I understand that kind of psyche. When I want to be close to someone, I also say “You are not alone, I also experienced this” and with this I think I want to try and express my compassion. Also when I am sad and someone says this to me, it often feels good. However that is not always and not for everyone. An acquaintance of mine was involved in a car accident, which was not his fault. For the first time he was in a hospital and in great pain. Unfortunately I did not know about this and I only learned about it after he was released from the hospital. I had the opportunity to see him and he told me about his stay in the hospital. He said it was unnerving when people said that they also had experienced this. In the beginning I did not understand what he meant. I thought just as the profilers in “Criminal Minds” it would help to show compassion. But after much thought I think I finally understood what he felt. Maybe sometimes if someone says “I too…” it looks like others do not really recognize that person’s pain or problem but in fact steer the topic in a different direction. Furthermore it is possible that there exist cases such as the listener interpreting the pain or problem as not so severe and insinuating that those people should not complain and hold on. Furthermore, a scene of “Criminal Minds” which I can associate with real life is for example a case such as someone having problems with their child asking “Do you have children?”. If not they say “Well then you cannot understand me”. In this case the person who asks constructed a wall in their heart which a person whithout children cannot overcome. This leaves no chance for others to extend their hand and help.
Such things exist not only with physiological or psychological pain or problems, but indeed I think they exist in many different situations in life. It is very important to confront others and not to steer the conversation, not to construct a wall, and try to be face to face. Depending on the situation or the case, that may be difficult but still should be appreciated and tried with patience.