The instinct to run has left you.  The Gods took it out of you.


Now when did that happen?  A part of your DNA remembers, still.  There was this time when that giddy adrenaline rush would conjure up from thin air.  It was unstoppable, the insane thrill of flight.  When mortality was the backdrop to your whole life, every instant.  Your place in the scheme of things was clear, your design fit that purpose.

Gravity and momentum – these were the necessary parameters, and the only ones you needed, all that separated you from joining those swallows up there.  Just enough to keep you from blowing apart.


Nature freaks.  How’d you let them do that to you?  No more fight, no flight, and soon the word survival was itself a memory, something your ancestors worried about.  The burden of being sacred.  You contemplate the divine everyday since then.  Boredom.



DSC01569Slowly it all began to go South, and then words like “kick” and “butt” were your only recourse.  Passive aggressive behavior, predatory inclinations.  Separating the weak from the herd.  Territorial displays.

There you are now, a shiftless slacker skimming off the top of a bucolic little joke of a food chain.

Occasionally bullying the masses.  Testing their faith.

Some days you have these dreams, you’re fleeing terrified and thrilled, you’re weaving effortlessly through a strange landscape.  You run yourself to death.


instinctIt’s got to be better than this.


Photos mostly taken with a Mamiya 7 II camera and some black and white film in the deer Park in Nara City, Japan, playing around with double exposures and trying not to get trampled.

These images are all part of a unique foodie book project.

Itamae: My Life in Front of the Cutting Board is the story of Chef Avi Sternberg‘s journey as a foreigner through the hard knock school of Kaiseki cuisine, the hierarchy of the kitchen, and life as a Westerner in Japan.


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