Recently I have had headache, like this pressure behind my right eye. It comes and goes. I think it might be just sinutisis. So I am having my own treatment for it, drinking lots of water and a special herb tea. (Plus a humidifier). It has always kept this at bay and I think it will this time too. I don’t like taking pain killers because they feel like cheating. I want my body to tell me the truth.
There is possibility that it is not sinutisis and it’s something worse. I am actually glad about this possibility, because this forces me to saviour every moment of the remaining time I have left in this world. We only have now.
It’s rainy season in Japan. Somehow I have to write. I don’t know why.
Recently I saw exhibition of my friend Yoshimi Yokoyama, called “Praha, Monologue”. I was so impressed. How long has it been since I felt so much about pictures? Yokoyama’s photos made a permanent influence in my life. Photography should be honest and innocent like this. ”Praha, Monologue” is a rare flower .
There was another thing about the exhibition that really moved me, it was the music, Avalon Sutra by Harold Budd that was played in the gallery. I can understand exactly why the owner of the gallery chose it.
The owner of the gallery was so kind and warm hearted. Even my 4 year old son got a crying fit, (he just wanted to stay longer, didn’t want to return), the owner just smiled and made us relax. He even sent me a warm message afterwards and asked me to visit again with my son.
I continue to insist that art is necessary for life. We cannot live with food and water alone. We maybe able to survive, but surviving can not substitute living. We need emotional impact to drive us to seek for a higher place. Art is that impact.
Beauty is actually kind of dangerous, like the title of Harold Budd’s song, “It’s Steeper Near the Roses” says. Art needs risk, like standing on incline. But if we never stand on incline, we will never get higher.
If there is one thing that I have hold on to during all these years that have passed, it is to assert that I am not afraid of beauty. I will not run away from the beautiful place. We will get tired at entertainment, but never beauty.
Good thing about growing older is that we start to care less about the little nuisance. Slowly we start to realise that we have nothing to lose. We will surely pass away. Absolutely, completely certainly, there’s no question about it. Even gods will die. We will slow down.
Freedom does not mean a plane ticket to somewhere. I don’t want to go to other place. I will choose my thoughts by myself. I cannot choose the wind I am facing, but I can choose my approach, my attitude, like in aviation world.
I am 37 years old. It feels like a fresh start.
Here is my 2016 entry to Magnum Photography Awards 2016
Food is not enough to live. It may be enough for surviving, but surviving cannot substitute living. We need spiritual nourishment to feel alive. We need a way to grow.
If this is a journey, then photography is a means of transportation for me. It is my way for getting to the other side.
I do not particularly like comfort. It’s not that I want to be uncomfortable, and we all need a sense of security too. But I do not take photos because it’s fun.
Sure, you could say it’s kind of fun. It is definitely not boring, and it’s such a great excuse to meet other people. And I like to discuss about photography with strangers. But it’s is sometimes like getting naked in front of others. They can see you, but you can’t see them; you are exposed while they are under protective covers. Especially when you exhibit your work.
How many times I have said that I will quit? Well, too many times. I should stop doing that. But somehow, I always end up returning, just like this.
Then, photography is a way for me to feel free and connected.
I wish we humans would have more opportunities to enhance ourselves spiritually in our daily lives.
This wish is my prayer. I pray for the spontaneous conversation to happen.
Last week I got news that my mother, now 78 years old got a high fever. She is in the last stage of Alzheimer’s disease. My father said she may not have much time.
Her condition was stabilised now, but I decided to visit her just the same.
I am going to turn thirty seven next month. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years, it is how important it is to spend time with one’s parents. You might meet great people in this life, but nobody will be quite like them. It is something nobody else can never do to you.
I was adopted when I was two years old. I lived with my grandma my first two years, in a small house in middle of forest. She suffered from a heart condition, so I was adopted to a new family. That’s how I met my parents, Kirsti and Eino a wonderful people who had a dairy farm by a beautiful lake. My name “Saari” means island in Finnish, and this is related to actual island in the lake.
The scenery of my childhood was a beautiful one. There were birch and apple trees by the house, and there was nice view to the lake from the yard. Mother would bring coffee and bagel she made to enjoy under the birch trees during summer. I could ski or skate on the frozen lake during winter. The surface of the lake was glittering in sunshine, and a cuckoo would cry in those endless midsummer hours.
This time may never return, but I wish to convey this memory to my son. I am forever moved by the properness and kindness of these people.
We are taught to be afraid the world. We are told not to show our tears because it’s a sign vulnerability, and that there might be someone who would hurt us. How many times have I heard a parent telling their child the words, “stop crying”? The very fundament of self confidence is destroyed, like cutting a nip of a flower.
We cannot believe ourselves in this world for this reason.
I always feel sad when I see stars on women’s nipple.
Why I have to hide a part of my body?
A friend of mine a yoga teacher, said these words. She’s my hero.
As a photographer I could not agree more. Especially in Japan, woman’s body is a victim of both ignorance and over sexualisation. Loving and adoration of the beauty of woman’s bare skin is something incomprehensible for the mainstream audience in Japan, and they are sure to complain whenever there is as much as a nipple without a star covering it.
Yet, these same people silently approve gravia idol magazines and late night TV shows. They never complain about it.
I strongly believe women’s body should be freed from this miserable era.