This week I will be traveling to Seattle to visit family, so I may not be posting for a while. Meanwhile, these are a sampling of where I am now . . .
An image that fits with what a lot of us have been feeling this week.
I've been reading again about Edward Hopper's work. I like his work, and consciously or unconsciously I have been influenced by it in my own. He wasn't a "realist" exactly, but he didn't make pure abstractions either. That fits with my discomfort with "pure" photography. One characteristic of photographs that some celebrate is the camera's showing everything there, all the details. I find that that sometimes hides what I find interesting in an image--thus my attempts to get beyond the "pure" photograph to what it can reveal about the world around us, and this requires something other than just showing . . .
Another day, a different version
gleam of blossoms in the treetops
on a moonlight night."
Wordsworth wrote: "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers". Better to use those powers
to look and really see, to listen and really hear: as demonstrated in this haiku from Buson:
"Listening to the moon,
gazing at the croaking of frogs
in a field of ripe rice. " (tr, Robert Hass)
This housing complex is newly built in my neighborhood. It is so simple, clear, characterless, sterile. I couldn't help think of it as comparable to the mind of someone who could engage in an act like the one in Orlando: simple answers, unnuanced, slogans as responses to questions of meaning and value. Turned inward, having a hopelessly narrowed view of what is. And where does one go, if one lives in this world?
Mary Oliver wrote:
"It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones;
just pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a context but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak."
Eydis Einarsdottir wrote: "As soon as I take out my camera I find that stillness within, that deep sense of peace that I crave every day . . . As I sit quietly looking through the viewfinder, my senses become heightened. The smell of the earth makes me feel grounded; the sound of the waves crashing or grass rustling in the wind . . . makes me feel so alive; and the vastness of what I see makes me feel expansive. This is what it is like to be in the Now, which is really just to be still in mind and body. My photographs . . . are not an attempt to capture one perfect image, but to capture the feeling I experience as I witness the things in front of me."