Earth Language News-mail [Time to Turn] January, 2010

[Turn came to me physically], [Dadaism and EL], [Tying], [EL website in 2009], [Into nature], [In your hands]

Thank you very much for your interest and support of EL.
The Turn of this mail title means the change of the relation between Earth Language (EL) and the founder, myself. I'm going to be free from the EL as my duty; and EL is going to be free from me. This is not only for annual greeting and updating; but also I'd like to share my decision with you. Thank you for your time with me.

winter grasses
eyes are watching
from underground

[Turn came to me physically]

EL has been raised by much cooperation from many countries. But if only saying about myself, a couple of my characteristics helped this long time devotion. One is of seeking truth and beauty in the universe; and the other is a kind of responsibility for this era. "Even if you were born on Pearl Harbor Day, you are too conceited to feel responsibility alone" young mailers have blamed me. But nothing can happen without the first one. As a person having an experience of a big war in her infancy, it was natural to think about the way to live in peace on earth.

I really enjoyed setting the symbols, learning through the art of nature. But without spreading, EL can't completely do its duty as a communication method. Truthfully, I had forced myself to work for spreading EL as the founder's responsibility. (Below you'll see the update of EL website in 2009.)

But I had to stop it because my optic nerve revolted against too much using. I realized that my custom of computing for hours couldn't be kept for so long.

EL has the potentiality to open communications beyond cultures and physical conditions, with only one symbol-set; and work for all kinds of necessities such as sending messages, phonetics, hand/body signs, Braille, also showing classifications, rationally simplifying, creating logos and personal ciphers, etc. Not so simple as the principle of relativity, but only 91 symbols can express all about the universe, while helping all kinds of communication that can't work between mother tongues; and the system is still simpler than other languages.

However, these unprecedented amounts of functions actually impress people as "complexity," and become the neck of popularization. I've been afflicted with the problem for several years. By floods of information and images, people on earth are now speeding up to be too busy and flee from complexity. In fact, I'm not the exception...

[Dadaism and EL]

Relating to this dilemma, recently an Italian student of graphic design in London, Matteo Pelo sent me his thesis titled "Alphabet of Images." It gives a lot of space to EL as a representation of constructed universal languages to bring the ideal future, including the article interviewing with me. The point of his thesis is something like this:

The movement of Dadaism has denied and broken readymade rules, structures and common sense, since WW1. Dada has also broken the value of traditional languages and grammars with their structures. On the other hand, reacting to big destruction by world wars, seeking an ideal society, Esperanto and Earth Language were born. However these languages have their steady structures, so they can't survive nor take over the world; they can't invite a peaceful world in the flowing of Dada. Everyone wants to be free from structures and wants to express themselves in their own style. Now only Isotype, which is just pictograms without any grammar, has revived being used as icons. That is because Isotype doesn't have any structures, ideal direction or will.

(I put this thesis as a PDF-file in the EL site after getting his permission. In case you'd like to read more, please download it from the English contents page. Although there are some mistakes in the introduction about me, I uploaded it as it was.)

Indeed, I started EL imagining a rounder global society in the future and structured EL to be able to hold the new world. However, as Matteo says, calling for people to join in developing EL for the purpose to bring about an ideal society might be unnatural in the sequence. People today are living in their separate ways. EL is just a communication method. Just like personal computers have spread, everyone could feel freer to use and enjoy EL more if it's without any purposeful direction. I might work with too much effort for particular things... Thanks Matteo, I learned it.

However, I do not totally agree with your thesis. I have passed through Dadaism before getting the EL inspiration. EL has the clear structure, but it holds some sense of Dada in its structure.

In nature, things are eventually going to chaos. But living creatures get their new lives in their body with each structure. After big destruction in nature, evolved new structures could be born. After the difficulty to carry on the world with local culture based languages, people must try new thoughts with the natural and global base. EL has an evolved structure with multi-method. Humans are able to appreciate beauty of structures; and this nature would not change, I think.

The structure of EL symbols has a spacious feeling, holding endlessly buried images, and has the nature to involve the user's whole body senses. Also it encourages new ways of thought as if showing the relations of the user's stimulated neurons visibly out of the brain. It helps to get new ideas. The people, who remembered their primary body feelings through Dada, Jazz or modern arts, would awake in the wonder of the EL structure with the overlay system, and enjoy breaking down and connecting images. They might not learn EL or the same new kind of structure to bring up an ideal world; but they would enjoy playing with the EL crystal ball to see and to feel symbols freely connecting and breaking images.

Of course if some people would seek their ideal society, EL can help them. Now the hungriest people for it must be minorities in endangered cultures or with physical problems such as deafness or blindness. If they really get together to realize the world with EL or that kind of method, the world could be a very different place. Also EL was structured by a collage of old wisdom that was abandoned in the past. So it can be told that EL also holds essences of Dadaism in its structure, can't it?

By the way, some Americans, whom I met in the last year, similarly said that the communication method in the future would not be a language, and it would be telepathy. I wonder if humans could suddenly change into something like Elves, Maybe sending an EL symbol might be possible; I'd like to experiment with it.


clouds open
a bunch of reminiscent strings
are released to the sky

From this spring, my stronghold will move to Washington state. Since last summer, I have been busy preparing for the move.

In that time, I found a bunch of old letters in the back of my shelf. Airmail letters asking me to stop the prodigality like EL and to return to batik art, and much older precious memorial letters that I brought from Japan in 1987. In my batik era, I used to get encouraging letters from a lot of people; and many of them were written by brush and ink or with some painting. How warm they are comparing to emails! Time has changed a lot in the past quarter century, I threw away boxes of pencil-drafts of earlier EL ideas, because the lines too faded to read. But brush and ink letters look fresh even after thirty years.

Among them, there was a beautiful hand written letter from Mr. Kato Yoshinari, who was the author of the modern language "Izumo-no-kuni Hudoki" (a local topography with legends and products: originally written in the 8th century) with annotations. I recall him when seeing him the first and the last time, as if it was yesterday. Sitting straight on his deathbed, he joined his palms together and looked at my eyes. He said, "I've wanted to connect ancient Izumo people's spirits with the future world; but now I'm going to pass away, only leaving the guide of this ancient book. I believe you can do what I wanted. I'd like to entrust it to you." Tears spilled over and over from both of his eyes.

At that period, I was walking around ancient Izumo land with his book as my guide, to paint the ancient spiritual world and to write essays. In the land, many interesting events and things looked like they descended from several thousands of years ago. Such long surviving things must lead us to truth. Why do present people make sacred fire in the Stone Age manner? Why does such a big grass rope have to be made? No living people could answer my questions, but the sky sent me the far ancestral message, "The source of a new life or a new creation comes from TYING different lives or things. The spirit of prosperity is in tying."

Coming through Mr. Kato's wish, I published an ancient Izumo story book, "Kamosu" just before immigrating to the US. But the message about TYING was never far away from me. The Western and the Eastern cultures are so different. Is there a way to tie them? How can modern people being busy to compete forward listen to the ancient voices? The key to open the future world must be in those tied knots, I imagined. Through this thought, the EL idea flashed on me as the tying-tool.

Now I'd like to leave the EL development to the next generations; and to focus on delving into the tying art, and of course often using EL symbols as just one of the users....I came into this state of mind.

Now I'm typing this little by little in the bottom of a ravine of cardboard boxes for the moving.

[EL website in 2009]

Until April, I worked hard as the followings.

1 EL translation of a part of President Obama's Inaugural Address included country names. (January):

2, The Illustrated Dictionary [Directions, Locations and shapes] (January):

3. Commemorating for the 10th birthday of the EL Poem section, also stimulated by haiku books sent from authors, hoo wrote an extra essay, "Japanese Soil produces Haiku culture and global haiku" (February); got both criticism and sympathy from several countries.

4. As a method to change the global world into sustainable way, renewed the point of EL (March)

5, Being invited, joined in Internet societies in English and in Japanese, started to inform new people about EL making image files for easy understanding. (March):

Perhaps because of too much computing, in April, I got my vision and nerve problems; and had to give up the EL project for Internet societies. Instead, seriously started exercise to cure the optic nerves. Removing glasses for it, I had to stop regular series with graphics in the EL website.

As the result of this vision exercise, I knew for the first time that our vision could be controlled by ourselves. Also I found EL symbols and body signs simply and immediately helped me for focusing on both concentration and relaxation together. This kind of systematical symbol must be widely applicable for medical and psychological treatments, without being concerned with reactions. A language is not only for a way to communicate with others, but first of all, a way to communicate with our own bodies and minds; and to know them deeply, I realized again.

6. new six pages in the EL website to introduce my experimental natural vision improvement way.:

Please feel free to try this to improve your vision and to protect from dry eyes, cataracts and glaucoma.

[Into nature]

In the poem section, there were the ecological serials of "Mandala Taught by Forest" intermittently from July, 2002. The house we'll move into is in that forest in Washington state.

I physically worked a lot last fall to prepare to live there, such as carpentry, cleaning the roofs and gutters, making trails, collecting a hill of wet leaves to make a good veggie patch for the future... I discovered how much I love outdoor labor more than sitting in front of my desk,

"Earthworm Meditation" (haiku by hoo, during working in the forest)

a pipe to tie
universe and earth;
the intestine is her brain

coiling up
to infinite,
she holds pitch dark ease

sincere gratitude
devouring rotted bodies,
to have earth for new lives

the keys
elastically turn
supporting lives on earth,

haiku from earth
washes my brain

shovel speaks
about emotion
of each wet leaf

The forest changes its face every few minutes; showing the origin of lives. The forest's lesson for hoo was started by her teacher, Earthworm.

Occasionally hoo makes haiku like above, but she recently seeks some poetic expression without any words and grammar but with only layers of visual symbols. She had experimented this way in the past, but she wants to do more purely for art using EL, sometimes even mixing with some ancient hieroglyphs, using ink and brush. Also she will try to become symbols with her whole body under the trees. How do others understand and enjoy them? Forgetting about mission duty of EL, she is going to the depth of the symbol world, living in the forests of Washington.

[In your hands]

Yoshiko will keep the EL website as its original place. From now on, EL is in your hands, if you'd like. Using the system and ideas, anyone may freely develop EL for each field; and spread it through his/her own website or you-tube kind of place: e.g. for setting up scholarly names of things in EL, making lists of EL phonetic scripts to show pronunciations of a local language (useful to teach any languages), creations with symbols, or dances with EL body signs, etc. If someone could manage a web 2.0-style discussion place for the EL dictionary, it would be great. I can't do so much to help it, but it would be my pleasure to answer questions.

Thank you for reading all.

Best wishes,

Yoshiko McFarland: hoo

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