What’s in front of us…

Not paying attention keeps us in an endless cycle of wanting. We move on to the next thing because we aren’t really taking in what we already have…

Sharon Salzberg

When I made my first “Books and Blooms” image, I didn’t have any specific goal in mind. I didn’t even know it was going to be a series. I just intuitively put several things together that I love and value and started to take pictures of them. I began with the appearance of blooms in my garden and will continue as long as I have them.

Now that a few months have passed, I have been given a deeper appreciation of what I have gained from this series. It really has to do with making the time to pay attention to what I already have. The flowers, the books, the pitcher collection…it has been a way to tap into the  beauty and details of all of them. The lines, the shapes, the colours, the words, the feelings, the messages…I look, I look again, I look more deeply…I see something new and different. I am filled up and feel complete.

Sharon Salzberg, one of my favourite dharma teachers, has noted that “inattention creates an escalating need for stimulation.” And I find that so true for me. When I’m not really taking in what is right in front of me, I tend to search for something more, for something different.

And social media is right there to offer it up to me. It is so easy to be entranced and distracted by the amazing and inspiring images I see on a daily basis. And while I will always seek to have my eyes opened to the world around me and to new ways of seeing and knowing through different social media platforms, I also want to really live in and appreciate my own world.

So while I don’t plan to give up social media entirely, I have cut down the time I spend on it so that I can focus in on my here and now, where I have plenty to explore and much to learn.

Photography is still my vehicle for slowing down and paying attention, and I love being part of the large community of kindred spirits out there who feel the way I do about it.  My participation in that will not change.

But as for “not taking in what we already have,” Books and Blooms has proven to be a great antidote to that, and also a guide to a new way of going forward.

 

 

 

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I need art right now…

 

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I know I need art right now. More than I ever have in my whole life. I need art to cut through the noise. …I need it to paint new worlds that help me understand this one.

Courtney E. Martin

Resonances…

watery-abstract

Watery abstract of the Mississippi River, Almonte, Ontario

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking.

I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Joseph Campbell

The window through which you look…

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There is a beautiful complexity of growth within the human soul. In order to glimpse this, it is helpful to visualize the mind as a tower of windows. Sadly, many people remain trapped at the one window, looking out every day at the same scene in the same way. Real growth is experienced when you draw back from that one window, turn, and walk around the inner tower of the soul and see all the different windows that await your gaze. Through these different windows, you can see new vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity. Complacency, habit, and blindness often prevent you from feeling your life.

So much depends on the frame of vision — the window through which you look.

John O’Donohue from Anam Cara

Only the shoreline…

roling in

The visible is only the shoreline of the magnificent ocean of the invisible.

The invisible is not empty, but is textured and tense with presences.

These presences cannot be named; they can only be sensed, not seen.

John O’Donohue