“Light” was my word for 2014. It’s an ideal word to guide you when you love to make photographs. And it has moved me in directions I’m very glad to have explored.
But there is so much more to the word than that. When times are dark, we all look for light. As we approach the winter solstice, I leave you with a meditation by a favourite poet, Mary Oliver.
I have farther to go with this exploration of “light.” Perhaps we all do…
The Buddha’s Last Instruction
by Mary Oliver
“Make of yourself a light”
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal—a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire—
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.
Now that I’ve settled back into the swing of things in my Canadian home, I’ve been compiling a long list of photographic projects I would love to accomplish before we go away again. (What would I do without lists?) This includes making prints, making books, and making a video from my Bahamas images, as well as reorganizing my portfolio and streamlining my blog. I also have ideas for several series I would like to start shooting and have identified some new techniques I would like to learn. I’ve noticed that I’ve been moving more toward 500 px and away from Flickr lately, although I still pop in at Flickr intermittently. I’ve found that 500 px has so much more functionality for me, especially since it acts as the back end of my portfolio. It is so easy and pleasant to use, plus I enjoy the quality of the photography there. This week I uploaded a few images from my winter sailing experience to 500 px and have been surprised and gratified by the positive feedback. I encourage you to have a look at 500 px if you’re seeking an easy way to set up a portfolio or you would like to sell or license your work. And if you’re already a member of 500 px, let me know and I’d be pleased to follow your work. Enjoy your weekend, everybody!
In January, we were fortunate to spend some time in the beautiful Bahamas. The light was so stunning and energizing. And so I settled on my word for the year.
To celebrate the New Year and my word, I gorged on sunrises — an obvious place to capture light.
But there are so many others. Children can be beings of light can’t they? And they don’t have to be our own to capture our hearts, do they? I cherish and honour the free and pure spirits of young children wherever I see them. That feeling is something that can connect us all in our common humanity…
I just fell for this little guy. His uninhibited street dancing during the New Year’s celebration of Junkanoo absolutely delighted me.When I get too serious in 2014, I will think of him!
Sharing with Kat Sloma’s Photo Heart Connection…