Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Begin as you mean to continue






I am a photographer; have been for a little over 10 years now, after some 30 years of thinking I was a writer. The photography came as a surprise, but I am loving it: something happens when I look through my viewfinder that helps me be in touch with the Infinite.

Earlier this year I discovered that what sets my photography apart is its contemplative quality, and I began a daily practice of pairing photos with brief meditations. The meditations, or reflections, were small, by necessity, so they could be typed directly onto the photo, and most people saw them as poems. I like the idea of being a poet/photographer, but wonder if it may not be time to expand beyond poetry -- or maybe just write longer poems!

At any rate, this blog gives me an opportunity to choose; to post a photo and write whatever I feel called to write without size restrictions. I suspect I may be a better writer on a small scale, but the only way to confirm that is to test it.

So it is my intention here to share a photo from time to time -- I can't do this daily yet, because I'm going out of town for a bit -- but I aspire to sharing a daily photo, and writing about it. The photo may have been taken the day it's posted, but may also be something I've already shot; I'll just see what calls to me. I expect the reflections will emerge out of my daily meditation practice, but I don't want to load that expectation onto the practice; my life is pretty full (a dear friend refers to it as a vortex) so I'm sure subjects will emerge when they're meant to!

This first photo was shot this evening. It's not necessarily a very significant photo, but I do feel like I've been waiting for years for the moon to rise while there was still light AND (and this is the important part) FOR ME TO NOTICE.

If there's going to be a theme to this blog, I suspect it will have to do with the importance of noticing; of being present to the world around us instead of buried in our thoughts of past and future. Other themes will emerge, I'm sure, but this one seems pretty basic. I feel very fortunate that finally, tonight, I happened to look out the window at the right moment. And I do sincerely believe that that's one of the most rewarding things we can do -- just be aware of what's going on around us. Because it's always changing: that's one of the first things you learn as a photographer -- if you see a shot, take it, because in a minute the light will change, the child will fall, the farmer will turn off his irrigation system or a truck will drive by and block the shot... and I dearly wish I were capable of following my own advice, listening to my intuition; I am usually rushing off into the future and either haven't the time to take the shot, haven't the courage to block traffic to get it, or don't feel I deserve to ask whoever's driving to turn around so I can take it -- I mean, what if there IS no shot?

So maybe what I'm saying -- I guess this isn't just an introduction; it's also a reflection -- is that it's important, not just to notice, but to respond.

In closing, I want to express my incredible gratitude to my friend Karen, who lost her beautiful daughter Katie to cancer this year. She inspires me more than I can say, and it is her decision to blog about her experience that has encouraged me to embark upon this path. So Karen, though I may never mention either you or Katie again, this blog is dedicated to you.


Unknown said...

Wasn't that moon something .... thanks for noticing and catching it!! And thanks for highlighting, "Noticing" ... Members of the Dreamgroup commented on the moon last night and about being in a space like no other they have where expressing Self is so comfortable....Your blog supports and invites this space...With your permission I'd like to email it to the Dreamgroup. Joanna

alisondenali said...

Hey mom
I'm glad you're starting this blog. I hope it helps with everything, and I'm sorry you're coming out here and can't post pictures for a week or so. I started writting on livejournal a little again, if you want to go check.
The picture was beautiful. Makes me miss home. I love you.

Unknown said...

This is beautiful. Keep it up!
Blessings to you and your whole family, far and wide.

Unknown said...

I mean, far and near!