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Musings and Change (again…)

“I think people miss your Musings babe.” Hum those are the exact words Tracy uttered to me last night just before I dozed off to slumber.  It’s difficult for me to imagine that anyone anywhere has any interest in the ramblings of my mind.  But as I have taken a bit of a hiatus from photography, I look upon my web site stats to see if anyone looks at my imagery and sure enough, more people visit this page than any other. Grrrr!

It’s not that I don’t have things to talk about, it’s just been that I have not wanted to share my thoughts and feelings over the past several weeks. And pouring my thoughts out on ‘paper’ has up to this point been pretty anonymous. Ha! A while back a woman decided to Google my full name and came upon my site. Kitaoka is anything but a common name even among Japanese. I came to discover that her father who was the only Kitaoka in the Manzanar relocation camp knew my mother.  My dad was in a different camp, so when she wrote to me, she wondered why her dad did not know of another Kitaoka.   As I review my web statistics, I’ve noticed a sharp increase in Google searches for my name.  Makes me wonder, do I have children roaming around from my past I don’t know about?! (Kidding of course…gulp!)

As I said in my last Musing below, life has been changing for me and as such so has my focus for photography.  All of us change, no matter how we may fight or dread life’s inevitable movement. I personally don’t find my past work that interesting and perhaps that is why I always want to move forward with my work. I am seldom satisfied with where I have been artistically. There are photographers who live happily on their past images, but that is not my style or passion. This weekend is one that I have always valued for subject matter, Memorial Day.  For the past three years I have attended and attempted to capture the feelings and honor men, women and children share when each of them takes time to decorate the gravesites of fallen military at Golden Gate National Cemetery. It is a somber occasion that I feel deserves to be chronicled, since so many of us simply view Memorial Day as another three day weekend, one that officially christens summer.

In sharp contrast to the flag planting, Carnaval in San Francisco’s Mission District also happens during Memorial Day weekend. The celebration of Latin heritage is a great balance to the somber mood of the flag planting I cherish.  A Ying and Yang if you will in events.   For the first time in three years I will also attend Memorial Day Services on Monday. In part to honor Tracy’s step son’s journey into military service in Iraq later this year and in part to honor my uncles Harvey (USN Aviator, Korea), Hank (USA 442nd, WWII) and Joe (USA 442nd, WWII) who served in the US Armed Forces along with my own father’s US Army service (Tank Commander Korea).

I am trying to put my own life into context and as a result will begin to do the same with my work. I hope to surprise those who Google my name with a visible change to who I am becoming.

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Hey Mark: We may have met a long time ago, but I always referred to Harvey as Uncle Harvey and his wonderful wife as Auntie Kazy. I was telling a co-worker about Harvey being the first Japanese-American carrier based pilot for the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict. That’s how I got to your blog. Well, I won’t tie you up too much right now, if you want to shoot me an e-mail because you are my adopted “cousin”.
your friend, BOB