"Life is a coherent whole: rocks, clouds, trees, shells, torsos, smokestacks, peppers, are interrelated, interdependent parts of the whole. Rhythm from one becomes symbols of all." Edward Weston
"Objects are concealed from our view not so much because they are out of the course of our visual ray as because there is no intention of the mind and eye toward them . . . There is just as much beauty visible to us in landscape as we are prepared to appreciate, not a grain more." Thoreau
Laurence Freeman: "Average city noise today often reaches 70 decibels which is equivalent to being in a room with a loud vacuum cleaner . . . we are becoming acclimatized to noise . . . Urban evolution means accommodating ourselves to the noise of traffic, planes, subway trains, construction, fridges, leaf blowers, noisy neighbors and ever-louder muzak in elevators and restaurants . . . getting used to such noise levels is harmful. It is a form of pollution causing insomnia, depression, aggression and isolation. Noise is more than a nuisance. It is a serious problem . . .
Exposure to (the noise in modern urban life) effects us when . . . we withdraw to a quiet place . . . Arriving in a truly quiet place . . . can at first be a shock. We wait for familiar levels of loud noise and, at first, can feel a sense of absence, even of loss, when they don't come. Then we notice that there are sounds. Not noise. But sounds, natural sounds. There is birdsong, a quite excited sound when you really listen to it and full of meanings we can't decipher; and insects, the constant background sounds of summer days and nights; and the wind in the trees . . ."
Rosamund Richardson: "as Meister Eckhart said, there is nothing so like God as silence. Silence, he posited, links us to the universal, to the mystery of life around us, to the perceptions of mystics and physicists alike that there is nothing in nature that is only matter, no division between matter and spirit; matter is merely light transformed, light imprisoned, nothing made into something."
Taoism and Zen would surely agree . . .
Another time, another view of Triple Falls
"(T)he objective sciences consistently overlook our ordinary, everyday experience of the world around us. Our direct experience is necessarily subjective, necessarily relative to our position or place in the midst of things . . . the world in which we find ourselves before we set out to calculate and measure it is not an inert or mechanical object but a living field, an open and dynamic landscape subject to its own moods and metamorphoses." David Abram
Triple Falls, North Carolina
"If only people could perceive the mystery in all life, down to the smallest thing, and open themselves to it instead of taking it for granted. If only they could revere its abundance which is undecidedly both material and spiritual. For the mind's creation springs from the physical, is of one nature with it and only a lighter, more enraptured and enduring recapturing of bodily delight." Rainer Maria Rilke
The last three weeks, dealing with the American health care system felt a lot like climbing, climbing to . . . But, for now at least, that seems to have reached at least a stopping place.
Recently, I read that Constable and Turner (English painters), and Stieglitz (an early American photographer) were all fascinated by clouds. I am too, and this season of the year here produces some amazing cloud formations and movements. So above, another cloud study.
"The camera's real gift to me has been its constraints, particularly the rigid constraint of the frame. From the moment I first picked up a camera, it was clear . . . that what it does best is simplify. It excludes and isolates and helps me focus. And in the way it flattens the world and forces me to look more carefully at lines, light and moments, it has taught me to see and pay attention to the world around me. It has helped keep me awake to life, more aware of the significance of a fraction of a second than I would have been if the camera didn't measure time so precisely . . . It has been one of the great gifts of my life." David duChemin
I would add (or rather, comment) that what this means for me is that the camera helps me—for a while—to silence the constant flow of noise, distraction, busyness which constantly pounds on us, to recognize (for that "fraction of a second," at least) where and when we actually exist—in this here and this now. It does indeed "wake me up" to what I often don't even notice, and that helps me to realized how much richer the world really is.