Thomas Berry: "verbal revelation cannot be a divine revelation, since any communication that takes place through language takes on the distortions of language, the particular social forms of the time, and the complex patterns of historical events occurring during that period.
In contrast, the revelation of the natural world directly and immediately awakens a sense of awe and mystery . . . It arouses, as well, a tendency to worship."
This is a bit stronger than I might put it, but it is a good corrective for our over intellectualized, overly language-tied approach to what is and what more it is (the divine), and as a call to pay attention to what is there before us, not hidden behind text or what someone says.
I'm going to take a month off from camera work; so for the immediate future I won't be out in the field taking/making new images. However, I will occasionally go back to images in my large store of earlier work in the field and (re)work with them, and may post some of them here.
Here is one such image:
Recently I went on a tour of the Tampa Theater. Built in 1926, unlike so many of its era's theaters, it has never been empty. It is (as the tour guide said) in a constant state of restoration, and is one of the last of those built by its architect, Eberson. I hope these give some idea of its complexity: gaudy, awful, and wonderful, all at the same time.
"Let's sit down here . . . have no blanket to sit on but the ground . . . Let us become like stones, plants, and trees. Let us be animals, think and feel like animals. Listen to the air, feel it, smell it, taste it . . . spirit, life, breath, renewal . . . something is there; we feel it . . . a presence." John Fire Lame Deer, quoted in David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous
This summer it rains and rains and rains: yesterday I caught soaked going to the gym, last night I was awakened to it pounding on the canopy downstairs outside my window, and this morning--again!--more rain. So much for St Petersburg being Sunshine City! Well, at least it's cooler.
"A translucent mist almost shrouds the mountains . . . and the 400-year-old cedar trees . . . stretch their old limbs skyward without a sound. I'm watching an eagle patrol the beach in the distance; its wings spread wide and its white head appears like a beacon of wordless light as it effortlessly rides the thermal air currents. Silence is spoken here. Even the deer that are dining on Rivendell's flowers come and go silently" Judith Hardcastle
Reading that reminded me of the Oregon coast at Seaside; it is one of my favorite places--partly because it is often the way Hardcastle describes the British Columbia coast in the quotation above: Silence is spoken there.
Two favorite quotes: "Don't think, just look." Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, p.66
"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons . . . Nothing is holier, nothing more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree." Hesse, Trees: Reflections and Poems
So I repeat: don't think, just (really) LOOK.
"I have asked myself whether the short time given us would be better used in an attempt to understand the whole of the universe or to assimilate what is within our reach." Cezanne