Jennifer’s doppelganger

japan, door, snakesSlithering black snakes
guard doors at Nijo Castle
for hundreds of years.

 

Yesterday afternoon I had a very odd encounter with a women on the train. Now, I’ve had odd encounters in the past, but this one was a little embarrassing (for me).

I was heading to the dealership in Allston to pick up my car that was being serviced and was forced to take the train. The MBTA B-train is always packed with students because it runs straight up Commonwealth Ave toward Boston University and Boston College. As the train pulled up, I could see through the windows at what appeared to be a familiar face in the crowd: my friend and former MassArt alum Jennifer Feller.  I smiled and she smiled back.  I began moving through the packed car toward her and I was about five feet from her before noticing that the Starbucks cup she had in her hand read, “Taylor” in black magic marker.  She continued to smile and I walked straight on by her to the back of the train––It was Jennifer’s doppelganger!  I guess that can happen to anyone, especially when you haven’t seen your friend for close to two years. After retelling the story to my wife, she laughed out loud and said that I probably made Taylor’s day.  Taylor if you’re out there reading this, Hi, I’m married.

I called Jennifer today to tell her this awkward story and she had a good laugh.jason landry, japan

Eight years ago this week, 14 women from MassArt (including Jennifer) and the token male, me, embarked on a two week journey to Japan and China.  We toured castles and temples, gardens and tea houses. We ate a lot of food and took a ton of photographs.  Some people got sick, and some people got sunburns.  We climbed a section of The Great Wall of China and got attacked by bugs. I signed a lot of autographs for school children in Japan––I was a rock star for about an hour.

While in Japan, I began writing haiku’s.  Why haiku’s you ask?  Since the time zone is 12 hours different than what I was used to, my inner clock was off and I couldn’t sleep.  I would stay up at night dressed in my Japanese onesie taking self-portraits in the mirror or would write in my journal.  The haiku’s were zen-like meditative moments for me.  After visiting the temples and zen gardens in Kyoto, I felt very inspired. I became centered and one within my onesie.  I hope I get a chance to return there someday.

Traveling and learning about different cultures has always intrigued me.  Study abroad programs should be mandatory in all schools.  You learn so much more than any book can teach you.  I hope all my travel mates are doing well wherever you may be.

Nikki Segarra and The Mariner’s Descendant

I like to post interesting literary-themed photographs on this blog.  This one comes from Nikki Segarra.  The photograph titled, Namesake is from her series The Mariner’s Descendant.  Photographs from this series will be on display at Panopticon Gallery in Boston beginning on February 28th, 2013 in the exhibition The Things That Seem and Those That Are: Reshaping Photography through Alternative Processes.

nikki segarra, namesake, photograph, salt print, alternative process

Nikki Segarra, Namesake

Nikki Segarra’s artist statement reads:

“A consuming fear of water, seemingly inherited by my mother piqued my curiosity when I realized that I come from a lineage of mariners.  Hundreds of years and dozens of lives spent on the New England seas, and though I spent most of my life 1300 miles away, I found myself instinctively returning to the same shores that my ancestors have known.

Boxes of evidence and family records of ancestors who drowned, men lost at sea and the wives they left behind, have inspired an inquiry into the relationship between my fear and their lived experiences.  Drawing from the concept of Lamarckian inheritance, I question whether one’s thoughts and fears can be predestined through genomic imprinting.

In these photographs, I play the role of a mariner’s wife, stepping in the shoes of the past by assuming a role so common among my ancestry.  I use the landscape to construct imagery that is indicative of my emotional response as I try to understand ties between my fear and my inherited past.”