William Stafford: ". . . the sun endlessly
examines things, nothing too large
or small for long, long attention.
. . . I would view
like that—all: rich, poor, young,
old, near, far."
I saw the following in an editorial this morning, and I thought it was very funny: Writing about the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference and its decision about who to invite to speak, Kathleen Parker wrote: "Also necessary is one's ringing support of Trump. Those who entertain subversive thinking, also known as thinking, aren't invited." (Italics in original)
I'm working on a project right now, and so I haven't posted here. It will take some time for me to finish the project, so I probably won't be posting as much for awhile either. Both images are for the project—one newer, one older. And they represent different styles of photography—something else I'm working on and thinking about.
A few days ago, I visited the manatee viewing center near Tampa Bay Electric Company in Tampa. The manatees come there because the water is warm (from the plant); they were mostly hidden under the water. But the plant itself is something to see:
All color and form
Complexity and power
For good and for ill
Buddhism tells us that the only thing that is always present is continuous change. Perhaps clouds are the clearest demonstration of this: watching them even briefly, they never stand still: always changing, changing. Yesterday I was at the bay and noticed this again; patterns emerge, dissolve, new ones emerge, clouds constantly move one direction or another—just as do our lives. One image can only imply this, and yet looking closely, the movement is there . . .
Looking back, I re-discovered this image. When I looked at it, long and carefully, it looked mysterious and, if not beautiful—and certainly not "pretty," a term I abhor when applied to my images—at least fascinating. I was in North Carolina, in the fall, and yet to me this looks almost spring like. I wondered what others might see in it?
"(T)he truth of the matter is that we're not separate. We are all expressions or emanations of a central point—call it multidimensional energy. We can't picture this; the central point has no size, no space, no time. I'm speaking metaphorically about what can't really be spoken of in ordinary terms." Charlotte Beck
Some might call this point the Tao, some Brahman, some Christ, some God.. I think all of these are various attempts to point to what she is pointing to, and all are metaphorical. As Zen might put it, such attempts are all fingers pointing to the moon; they are not the moon. The "moon" can not be expressed in language; it can only be experienced.
I'm going back to Santa Fe this July for a workshop. That led me to look at some older images from when I was there before—like these doors in a small garden in that city. The image in turn brought to mind a wabi-wabi aesthetic (as it is described in Koren's Wabi-Sabi): things that are likely to go unnoticed, and which are impermanent, imperfect, irregular, unpretentious, simple and use natural (from the earth) materials .
Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India are here, making what they call a "world peace mandala." Many world religions are represented on the mandala with a dove of peace at the center. Sand painting is an old art form in Tibet; it takes many hours to create one, and then it is swept away—showing in another form the Buddhist teaching that all is impermanence. Thus, here is an example of Tibetan art alongside the Japanese art I've been aiming at recently.