Saturday, December 27, 2008

Housebound and restless

Lovely as all this snow has been, I don't seem to take much pleasure in it as a photographer. It's odd, because I do love other people's photos of the snow. And I do appreciate -- very much -- black and white photography, which is essentially what snow pictures seem to become.

It may be the lack of mobility: because snow is so rare here, our roads are never adequately plowed. And because our half of the sandspit has 10 speedbumps in the space of as many houses, it never gets plowed at all.

One neighbor who attempted to drive out got stuck almost immediately and had to be pushed back home; another slipped on the ice leaving work last week and broke his hip. So I haven't been out since the first day of the storm, and most of my photos have been taken through kitchen or living room windows.

All of which, despite the rush of creative juices that were flowing just before Christmas, now seems to leave me feeling restless and unfocused, longing for the peace and the color I normally find in meditation, but unable to reach that objective. Perhaps it's just the post-Christmas letdown, or maybe it's the relentlessly negative news pouring into my ears from the radio that's almost always on when my husband is home.

But what I actually suspect is that Cynthia Bourgeault and the Benedictine monks are right: we need to balance the meditative exercise with physical exercise; to stimulate the body, bones and muscles as well as the heart and mind. Which may be borne out by the fact that the best snow pictures I've taken since this storm hit were the ones I took while out walking. Observing from a safe perspective can be good, but, for me at least, it's the actual engagement with life that seems to produce the more cogent insights.

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