ॐ... (НеОн) 
Unexpected Guest (Джинс) 
わびさび  (RDD) 
Child's Play. Ahoy! (ТЕТРА) 
わすれもの (Темный) 
My name is 龍 (Каннабис) 
Condiments (ТехноБамбук) 
Rainy Days (Каннабис) 
Afternoon Delight (110B) 
森林浴 (111)
How Many Ninjas Are There (RFT) 
Persistence of Time (PoluchOtky)

An Ensemble ... Of Guilty Pleasures

ॐ... (НеОн)
A contrast of size. An elephant, the largest land animal hidden behind the smallest of the line up, NeOn 3D. Yet within it's diminutive package are qualities of an immense proportion. 

ॐ... A sound that ends in Silence- a state of Infinite Consciousness
                        All Encompassing

The equivalent of "幽玄" (Yuugen), towards the end? 

A meaning/ feeling that radiated across culture? An innate desire for a feeling within the human psyche?

Maybe. The truth is I don't know either.

Unexpected Guest (Джинс)
The title probably failed to convey a sense of "realization" in the first place.

Well, I concede, it would be hard to. A piece I was mulling when it was first announced. It didn't really register with me... Unusual as I have so far wanted every single Shirogororov/ Sinkevich collaboration ever produced.

Yet over time much has dawned on me from its initial apparent simplicity.

Utmost balance in every aspect of this asymmetric blade form with a "no-frills" package that somehow combines into more.

In retrospect, I must say it's rather aptly named. Jeans. Mundane, utilitarian apparel but worn and washed, after awhile, they just feel so good and practical. Don't peer into the wooden pebbles for more answers. There's really none. The profundity if any can only be gleaned from the usage of this one

わびさび  (RDD)
Wabi-sabi? The pair itself is anything but.

Seeking to experience that moment when a few random mental cherry blossoms hits an immaculately raked garden here.

Collecting knives has often become the framing of perfection in immortality. We buy, we keep, we polish, we maintain. A tribute to prevailing aesthetics.

No, don't get me wrong, this is a great design and a pair of very sharp functional tools. Any sane mind would want to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible.

But the mind today celebrates the cracks in this old wooden box. An old pendant made with a pebble picked up on a foreign lake shore many years before. Chipped.  Faded writing within varnished coatings. Time is patient, all things return to dust at some point. 

A balance, to calm the mind from the fast paced world today... and appreciating the melancholic marks through the passage of time. Will I resist to clear up the liver spots of aging on these two in another couple of decades. Or will they have been forgotten like so many things in our transient life.

Enough rambling.  The tetsubin has cooled sufficiently. It's time for tea.

Child's Play. Ahoy! (ТЕТРА)
 There is always a kid in each of us. Sometimes the object in hand is never seen in light of what it really is..

 The big playgrounds of yesterday doubling as a pirate ship in the eyes of a kid. A rolled up newsprint is the captain's telescope and that imagined curvy sword at the hips commandeering all his little friends.

No, not the safe padded places kids have today but the ones with glistening tiles and sandy pit which has claim many a bloody knee cap from those that dare venture into it's arena.

Today, the Tetra fulfills that role. The captain has his sword.

わすれもの (Темный)
In just the same manner where many things are kept alive within the memory, many quietly disappeared into the dark dank recess of the mind with time. Like a forlorn object in an obscure corner of an old building, to hear and watches countless pairs of feet passing by each day through a slit of discolored glass. Yet not one cast a glance in its way.

わすれもの, Wasuremono - "things left behind" or "forgotten article"....

I don't think it is forgotten but it was from a time long before many took notice. Even lesser is known about a particular story behind that spawn another generation of this knife.

For now this is marked as 100/100 but is it really just the 99th piece? ...sitting patiently, waiting for a passerby to stop and listen to it's story.

My name is 龍 (Каннабис REAL)

Everyone has one. A name.

Yet, often, it is more. A shape, a logo, an emblem...

The second of my Shirogorov/ Sinkevich collaborations. But the first one in my collection having the signature indented club-shaped pivot of the designer.

A mark, a name, a social media account to tell the world who we are. But really, who are we?

Yes, over here Cannabis is a knife. And my REAL name is Dragon. An identity.

Condiments (ТехноБамбук)
There is always that special one in the midst, adding significantly to a collection. Else it is just a random gathering of artifacts.

One of 3 knives ever designated as grail knives on my list and so far the only of those 3 in my possession. Technobambuk.

The hardest out of all 10 pictures to give a title. Twin bug eye pivots and the lines in between, bears a resemblance to the robot character, Johnny 5, in the movie of the same name. Techno? Yes but as a title? No. There are enough jokes about an animal with this knife as well. So "iPanda" would not suffice either.

Then I pick up my condiment shakers. salting and peppering my food while I mulled. Yes! An adjustability... that is what my condiments provides to the palate. So is the handle on this to suit the liking of the one holding or using it... straight, bent, more bent.

Rainy Days (Каннабис ICE)
We have all heard of the saying "Saving up for rainy days..."    A virtue indeed. But we often forget "to live for today" after the rain has been accounted for.

Indeed a rather hard thing to balance at times.

For when do we get out there to satisfy a little craving without being overboard, acknowledging the grayness in life especially if you are an Existentialist like me.

Glad I had saved extra when this little rare bird came along. Well, it did rain on the day the mailman came knocking at my door...

Maybe an alternative title, "Balance" might be better suited here.

...Soliloquy of  a confused Minimalist

Afternoon Delight (110B)
Seen just as it is. No twisty philosophical meaning or word play here.... It was  truly an afternoon of delight when this knife arrived.  The first of my collection.

I can still remember well, the smell of this tea. Light crisp with a "pumpkin" aroma. An April harvest of high altitude Oolong somewhere from the island of Formosa, Taiwan.

Looking back, recollection of my rather ignorant state of knife collecting then as I open it up.... Truly awed by my first ever Shirogorov

Today I can probably tell many a hundred more things about these blades but the delight of reminiscing that particular afternoon, priceless.

森林浴 (111)
Shinrinyoku,  Forest/ Green Shower.

A leisurely walk in the forest to promote health and well being.

It would be rather difficult for many people to understand how difficult it is to do that around here, on a crowded little island where concrete has largely overtaken the jungles. Yes, Singapore lives up to it's name as Garden City with lots of trees and grass. But manifested in "gray" sanitized and sterile orderliness everywhere.

Few tiny spots of natural green are left and fewer are those that hold tales from a forgotten time, like the stone step upon which this grandpa 111 laid. Steps built upon the toils of wartime labor. Structures that have now being returned to the guardianship of the forest. But for how long more before "progress" claims it once again...

This came after everything was written on this page.

A Shadow play. A spontaneous manifestation as I popped the light switch while getting to the kitchen for a hot drink to nurse the terrible flu....

Just just like a a scene out of some Japanese movies in the 60s. Speaking of which, reminds me to put on and watch a re-run of Akira Kurosawa's,  RAN.

Life can be a little strange at times.. The American tanto designs and compound grinds has never been a thing for me in the past but slowly this flickering 3 am shadow.. is looking  more attractive...


Persistence of Time :- Salvador Dali

Indeed a persistent pursuit. The PoluchOtky collaboration. Finally. The knife that started off this whole collecting affair.

Time does funny thing to the mind. From ignorant mesmerizing thoughts to having an understanding of things.

The object itself doesn't change but knowledge has changed the perspective. An even better appreciation now. Like well aged wine.

A melting time piece, just like Dali's work in my interpretation. Melting and fusing the temporal divide of then and now... with knowledge. If I was a true Minimalist, this experience would have been non existent as all I would have done is only to keep looking at pictures. The people that came along, the friendships and right up to this very knife that needed a "tripartite" arrangement with help from a mutual friend in order to get it, would not have been a part of the experience whether further friendship and bonds are built up.

added on 30th April 2018

Just what exactly is it?

No, I have not been formally schooled in any of it.  It has always been a life of the sciences. A cold logical approach in the makeup of my worldview... one often equated in grayscale within the confines of the mind. When people talk about food, my mind turns to adenosine triophosphate, how glucose is broken down to form these units of energy to be utilized in the body.

Yet, none of us can escape the thoughts and emotion evoked from our daily interactions with things. I don't believe the primal part of our brain from which stems much of the feelings and emotions can ever be fully understood. Or archived in binary terms of ones and zeroes. It does not mean there is no rationality to it, just that we may only be able to fully pinpoint where they all originate someday. We can further construct a platform to try and understand the mechanisms behind but an all encompassing explanation will always elude us.

Direct observations seldom if ever offer the whole "story"... it is very much boxed within those neurons firing out a thought process that only lies with the maker/ artist. No one, other than the creator of a work will ever be able to truly "see" the work as it was meant to be. Even when explained, we each concoct our own little biased interpretation and imagery of what we see/ feel and make up a heuristic jumble. Never truly inside the head of the artist.

These emotions are further complicated by languages. An inferior form of communication. Words, spoken or read, in certain ways will never reach the inner depths of the mind. Further diluted by the fact that every language lacks words to describe things/ feelings felt in other cultures. We don't have enough words... only incessant noise made up of letters/ characters we read each day.

I decided to be an artist for a day-- hoping to understand the "rationale" behind a creative mind. Yes,  using the work of others and aided by the convenience of modern technology in capturing and creating a virtual gallery of "work". Or if the entire article is seen as a picture, then I'm merely painting with words to capture the imaginations.

Devoid of colors to reduce the distraction, it is broadly an attempt at capturing the beauty and impermanence of things. What we may view as important at one point, through the passage of time, can they take on a new meaning later? Things we so carefully keep, yet at the end of the day, what are those that we really cherish? Even as we smile at the thoughts brought on by the many objects in our lifetime, it is really just the memories encapsulated within the brain. How many more knives, bikes, tattoos do I need as memory markers in my life...

...I wonder.

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