Yomogi Sosi – Who might you be?
One day, a single weed popped up along a route I often took to school.
Rainy season had just begun, and the weed was shooting up, taller each time I saw it.
I looked forward to monitoring the progress of that weed day-in,
day-out as I passed by each morning and evening.
I wondered what landscape the weed saw – roots burrowed in the ground,
spending its entire existence in the same place, unable to take a single
independent step – and what it looked at.
Lowering my camera to its level, lying flat on the ground, I peered through the viewfinder.
Captured in the square frame, looked at, the weed was in turn looking.
The weed’s name was himemukashi yomogi – Canadian fleabane.
Having encountered this specimen of yomogi I started noticing other weeds unobtrusively
growing wild about the place. From the rainy season into summer,
I set out to check out different paths, eager to encounter their tiny presences.
After a while, I noticed that the yomogi had fallen over. I continued to photograph it,
whatever state it was in. Then one morning, it had disappeared without trace.
That weed fulfilled its life, albeit short, and even now, as if searching for its reincarnated form,
I find my eyes drawn to other yomogi, on other, different paths.
Memories all mine, of which no one else knows: sometimes they threaten to melt, mirage-like,
in the heat of that hot summer, yet our conversation, like a series of trysts, is captured on film,
crystal-clear and evidence-like.
“Kuu”, translated into English as emptiness, is a basic concept in Buddhism.
Emptiness teaches the lack of substantiality or independence of things,
and stresses the idea of no independent origination, that the present
state of all things is the result of a previous state.
Everything is interrelated and interdependent. Emptiness includes the teaching
of impermanence; everything is always in a state of change.
In other words, everything is an ever-changing process.
The world may be even beautiful,because all phenomena in their own-being are empty.
At the age of two
I and Thou
When I was little, I thought the only “I” in the world, was me.
On reaching primary school and finding myself surrounded by other children of the same age,
I was astounded to notice one day that a friend I’d made also thought of herself as “I,” and
possessed her own “my world” of which she was the center. From that day on, doubt about
what “I” actually means was planted in my mind.
Engaging with the world through travel, I found the world became you and talked to me.
Perhaps there is indeed only one “I” in the universe.
Infinite Is dwelling in a single I, those infinite Is various aspects of the single I.
When egos engage, to each the other becomes you, and thus a connection is forged.
This series was produced with inspiration from Martin Buber’s I and Thou, and Eastern philosophy.
I may have been your great-grandmother.
Your face, passing by me, I know it.
At a certain point in time, I began to think there are no unrelated people in this world.
As we engage in our lives, each of us who live as individual existences will,
at a certain moment, come across each other suddenly.
When we do, all proper names will be stripped away and we all become “I,”
just one of the number of people in the world. At the root of life that breathes in the
depths of each of us, we will feel that we are all directly connected.
When in a large crowd of people, “I” vanishes.
Within the “countless I’s,” the “big I.”
I was born