Robert Adams: "Form in a picture is justified by our experience of wholeness (coherence) in life, and if we are to be convincingly reminded by art of such experience then the shape in art has to be believably tentative, as fragile as meaning seems to be in life, as problematic even as the future is . . ."
Robert Adams wrote: "The job of the photographer . . . is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intention and hope." And he quotes Czeslaw Milosz as having described hope as "trust in the light that shines through earthly forms." Hope seems rather under siege these days (will 2020 never end?!), so part of my intention with these images is to allow some of that light to shine through in them.
Next week the autumnal equinox arrives and so now sunrise comes later and further south seen from my window. And after seven months of staying in, days continue to seem more and more interchangeable—wearing many of us down. This morning it is raining so my walk will have to be delayed (although I wouldn't mourn a day when I didn't do the usual).
Again, Budbill wrote something comforting (to me, at least) about all of this:
"Summer people gone.
Kids back in school.
Fall coming fast.
Leaves turning . . .
World getting quiet . . .
Sweet Zen emptiness.
Here again this year."
Sometimes when I awaken and face a new day, I feel overwhelmed by all that's going on. And then sometimes I wonder too why I continue to add posts to this blog—what's the point? But I remember what Michael Chabon wrote about finding and trying to show beauty—maybe the point is just to make this life we live now all bearable. So—a hint of autumn has been in the air these last few days. About such moments, David Budbill wrote:
"Low clouds and gray . . .
The world gets emptier, more barren . . .
Stillness, O stillness, this damp calm of autumn, this
relinquishing, giving in . . .
sweet melancholy, welcoming, opening, acceptance,
receiving, this embrace of the quiet and the dark."
Amidst all the anger and frustration and grief, amidst this dark and sweet melancholy there is beauty and even a little peace if we stay quiet enough to hear it.
Rainy days, afternoon storms and sometimes even darkness at 3:30 PM. Meanwhile, the West Coast burns, and the Atlantic swirls. Late summer in contemporary USA.
Have a good holiday, everyone, and welcome to the end of summer (well, not here)
"We set the pace.
But this press of time--
take it as a little thing
next to what endures.
All this hurrying
soon will be over.
Only when we tarry
do we touch the holy."
Barbara Brown Taylor:
"reverence is the recognition of something greater than the self—something that is beyond human creation or control, that transcends full human understanding . . . Reverence stands in awe of something—something that dwarfs the self, that allows human beings to sense the full extent of our limits . . . Reverence may take all kinds of forms, depending on what it is that awakens awe in you by reminding you of your true size . . . nature is a good place to start. Nature is full of things bigger and more powerful than human beings . . . But size is not everything."
Because even a red-shouldered hawk in flight may evoke reverence in us.
I have a regular routine for the seemingly the same day over and over: by the afternoon I usually have finished much of the "business" of the day, so I sit and look out of my window. What often most catches my eye are the clouds: forming, fading away, reforming, wispy, puffy, every changing, moving into my field of view and out, sometimes lazily, sometimes brusquely. Sometimes they are dark and then lightning may flash. It can be quite a show. But when there is less drama the show is gentler and compared to the drama out in the rest of the world rather satisfying. I am reminded that as the Buddha so correctly taught, all is impermanence and this too will pass away. Even cacophonous politics. Say thanks for the clouds and for the eternal impermanence!