Much of what I have read these last few years has been about finding stillness, quiet, peace—and about Buddhism which teaches that compassion and Christianity which teaches that love proceeds from these sources (and certainly what we need desperately is more compassion and love). But the emphasis in so much of this literature begins from finding such stillness in "nature" or the "wild." However, for many of us, our reality lies among monstrosities (as pictured above) and such quiet and peace is hard to find in our everyday world. Maybe that is the way it has often been for many people—perhaps Jesus frequently withdrawing to the wildnerness and the Buddha's retreat into the forest are symbols of that need. But today it is not easy for many of us to "retreat," and so we find it difficult (in fact, more and more difficult) to find some peace. Traditions of meditation also teach that one must learn (through meditation, usually) to find such quiet right in the midst of the chaos of our lives. I wonder though if in reality that works for many of us. What are the alternatives to such withdrawals from the ever humming busyness and cacophony? I haven't found any in my study so far. True, photography (and perhaps other artistic pursuits) can provide moments of focus in which the hubbub is stilled for a few seconds even in the midst of the noise but I wonder what other possibilities might be out there. And I believe this is more and more a pressing needs as our world (social, political, moral and spiritual) presses chaos and confusion, anger and grief more and more deeply upon us.
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