Photography is very much a contemplative art for me, a way of being quiet and present enough to “see.” A way to become one with the camera so it disappears and becomes an extension of the body/mind in relation to the subject. For years I’ve watched Rich and other musicians who have practiced and played for so long that their instruments become an extension of their bodies and self expression. They don’t have to think about techniques, or what the left or right hand is going to do next. They just play!
I believe creativity is a natural process that expresses our originality and “beingness” in the world. Rumi said “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Photography is my favorite way to practice daily mindfulness–the way I kneel and kiss the ground! I believe a photograph is not just about the subject, it is about our relationship with that subject. I received my first Camera when I was 10 years old in 1969, a Kodak Instamatic with blue flashbulbs and was smitten even then capturing images. I studied Visual Sociology in 1990 and did a lot of darkroom work and black and white shots with my old Nikon 35mm. I am now using a Nikon D-80, and graduated from a point and shoot Canon S5IS to DSLR world! Some of my photos are just plain fun and some are spiritual moments–you know the difference when you see them. St. Exupery said:
“The essential things in life are seen, not with the eyes but with the heart”.
I believe photography is a particular way of creating the world as you see it. Here is a final quote I love about the creative process and mindfulness:
“Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure.” — Macrina Wiederkehr