What You Seek…

Is seeking you

Under the Duvet

This is the tail end of our cat, Minky. Every morning he has a routine. Like all of us he likes to stick to his routine.

By all of us, I mean all of us who would prefer a routine, obviously some people prefer greater randomness. And of course, that’s totally OK.

Anyway, every morning he eats his breakfast, he comes upstairs to where we’re having coffee greets us, gets a little loving and then if the sun is out he’ll lay in the sun spot but because it’s not really Spring yet, the sun spot doesn’t last very long so then he immediately goes to the bed finds an entry point, a place where there’s just enough of the duvet lifting up where he can get his head underneath and he dives underneath until all of himself is covered except for maybe just a little bit of his tail. And there he stays for many  hours.

We call him the Little Lump, a term of real affection, though it may not sound that way. But we love him very much.

And we appreciate that he does this every single day and it made me think about how as an introvert sometimes I just want to do the same thing.

Lots of you think that I’m super extroverted because I get up and go in front of people and talk, I teach, I hand outbusiness cards about my photography to people, and talk about climate change and so forth. But really what I prefer would be to be left alone in a vastly isolated and delicately beautiful place with my camera to research and contemplate and make images very quietly.

So, I understand as my cat does, the urge to crawl under a blanket and stay there.

However, I’m also quite aware of how important it is for each of us to do the work that really calls to us, the work that can help make the world a better place.

So this morning if you’re feeling like crawling under a blanket, I invite you to do that for a bit if that’s what you need. Please,  go ahead.

But then come on out! the world needs your light. The world needs your purpose, your work. All of us can take a good rest under a nice blanket afterwards.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. Please, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment or sending me a message.

I’m reminded, in closing, of something my friend and teacher Jon Blaustein said, which is roughly this: that none of us ever gets where we’re going alone.

So today as I head out to do my work, I’ll be thinking of all of you.

I hope that we can come together across the globe help hold space for each other as we do the work that needs doing. This frequently  requires bravery, risk-taking, a balance of wisdom and compassion and presents many challenges.

But we got this.

As we say in improv, got your back.

New Photos at Second Friday

I will be showing new black and white photographs printed using Piezography, a unique process which offers tens of thousands of silver tones, greater than what can be found in even platinum or  palladium process printing. Limited edition, signed en verso.

IMG_7821
The Conversation
The images are slightly elegiac; an idea of movement but also stillness – the suspension of time. Long exposures distill several moments into one. Rather than a single decisive moment, it’s photographing the passage of time itself. They are connected as well to the writings of Woolf, Proust, Oliver, Dillard, Solnit and their explorations of perception and the passage of time and memory.
IMG_6589
Solitary Man
The work also explores the time between point of sense contact and the cognitive, physical and emotional response. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” as Viktor Frankl had it.
DSCF9503
Garden Chairs 2

When We Don’t Know the Way Forward

The Budz Bridge In the Snow (from 18th St.)

When we don’t know the way forward, when we lack certainty, but push ahead anyway, thinking or maybe screaming, WTF! the way opens; we learn from failure, take those losses as a blessing however much we may truly hate it at the time.

The sheer force of doing something/anything propels us to discover and learn – perhaps we might even see that that place of not knowing is the best place ever.

Certainty is just another name for bullshit island. And who really wants to live there?

A History of Staring at Ceilings

For my entire life reaching as far back as I can remember, which varies at times in range, from perhaps the age of three or four and up, and occasionally even earlier, to those times before the acquisition of language, before the capacity to name.

I have distinct and specific memories of lying on the couch, or a bed for one reason or another: perhaps having been told to take a nap, or as an adult choosing to take a break, perhaps feeling depressed or sick, and other times savoring the beauty, the simple beauty of light as it fell through the window, or from a light on the ceiling, as it met the corner of the room, and sometimes the window.

These moments have always and still do contain an entire universe of possible emotions, a sense of deep connection to all that is; this deep feeling of potential, and at the same time a deep anxiety at the possibility of missed potential, missed opportunity.

I realize I still have that same exact set of feelings now.

The feelings vary; sometimes anxiety, sometimes joy, sometimes anticipation, the full range of human emotions.

My work arises from a desire to understand the ongoing stream of felt experiences along the full emotional continuum. This occurs via direct experiential processing, an ongoing , intuitive development of a visual photographic vocabulary.

This lexicon seeks to make visible the invisible: what do we see and how does it impact us and how are we in relationship to it?

It confronts the fundamental reality of suffering; our confusions about connection and disconnection.

My work seeks meet our experiences of suffering with an authentic wrestling with the right kind of problems; that is, those which ask questions, the asking of which and the attempts at answering have deep and consequential meaning that continue to generate profound meaning in our lives.

The work seeks to alleviate existential suffering by offering moments of contemplation of beauty and connection even in some of the most unusual places.

It’s seeks to help us turn and face our fears rather than run from them. The images arrive from a desire to find places of connection rather than being caught and confused by apparent separations encountered in every day reality.

More Thoughts on “The Persistence of Vanishing Things”

As this project develops, there’s a need to concretize while at the same time remaining open and flexible to new discoveries, flashes of insight. I keep following the trail. Finding that balance between effort and ease to find the way to the work at it’s fullest expression.

dscf4055

I think that one of the main questions is this: how are we in relationship to the landscape? In the same way in mindfulness practice that we learn to ask, how are we in relationship to whatever is going on. We do our best in this practice to keep an open, curious, non-judgmental mind.

How do we even define landscape?

I know that I tend to think nature when I hear the word landscape but what about the built landscape that we create? And the way we do it? How we build what we do and with what intent?

IMG_7821
The Conversation

Do we feel connected to the landscape or separate? And how much does it matter how our relationship with natural or built landscape is? What synergy is there? Do our environs support or deny us? And to what extent are we complicit when things go awry and we harm ourselves and the landscape? And conversely, how do we support positive change, or nurture the landscape whether natural or built?

Part of the work is in photographing the various landscape types as well as the people in them.

Further, conducting interviews and asking people where I find them about their connection to the landscape.

How is this relationship related to happiness? Are people more or less happy in various kinds of landscape settings?

IMG_4066

And what of the stories, the mythologies found in the landscapes of different places and people? What forms the sensibilities of the people who dwell in these places? In what do they believe and what is the alchemy between people, landscape and the narrative enframing their experience and sensibilities?

Further, how is the passage of time perceived in each place and how does that inform/impact not only their relationship to the landscape but their happiness or sense of contentment? When we feel rushed along how does this inform our relationship to the land, the planet? When we have a slowing of time, does this mean we relate differently and how?

DSCF8637

 

 

Holiday Pet Pop-Up Photo Booth

DSCF4131
Join us for a fun and festive holiday photo booth for you and your beloved fur family! I’ll be making portraits in classic black and white that will become your treasured mementos for years to come.
WHEN: Dec 16th
HOURS: 11-am-2pm
WHERE: 1839 S Halsted St
These fun mini sittings will give you plenty of options to choose from. You’ll receive a hand-made print on fine art paper of the very best one sent to your address after the shoot.
We give back in two ways!
1. For every photo we make, we donate the same service to One Tail at a Time dog rescue in Chicago!
 DSCF4103
AND
2. Helping local homeless people with some winter essentials. Bring one pair of clean winter socks (either men’s or women’s size) brand new and still with the tags on for our holiday sock drive for local homeless people. The socks will be distributed during Christmas week.
Free street parking.
Thanks!
S0360071

The Passage of Time

Some photos are not of a single decisive moment but actually light up with the passage of time. And sometimes that glow is beyond astonishing.

And even more, sometimes we can pause and recognize that same glow which is our own divine light shining from within. We can see this in ourselves and all the beings it’s whom we share this planet, this time.

Amazing!

#blackandwhitephoto #bandwphotography #blackandwhitephotography #chicago #chicagoart #chicagophotography #bridges #trainbridge #chicagotrainbridges #fineartphotography #meditation #timepassing #chicagoriver #thepersistanceofvanishingthings #fineartphotography #nightphotography #secondfriday #secondfridayartwalk #cad #chicagoartists #chicagoartsdistrict #chicagoartsdistrict2ndfridays #limitededition prints for sale

The Invention of Passing Time

The Invention of Passing Time
We can’t always escape to somewhere, step away physically from the noise and confusion and suffering, our own and that of those around us. 


BUT – we can always shift how are in relation to whatever is happening. 


We need not suffer in feeling disconnection. We are stardust, part of the beautiful oneness of all things. 


We are our self and also part of the vast everything. We are truly in this together.


We can pause to notice the beauty of the light on the wall. The softness of a line of shadow. The wonder of the fresh and fading flowers on a single stem.


The miracle of our own breath and the sun at such a precise distance from earth that creates and supports the conditions for life. Mine, yours, all beings. 


I invite you into this space of pausing, of awareness. Let’s be in it together shall we? Lay down our arguments large and small. Let’s imagine all those matters as possibly petty in an ultimate sense. We can always pick them up again later. 


Maybe we won’t feel so inclined to. Maybe we extend our awareness to the idea of love. 


Love for self. For others we love, we like, we fell neutral about, those who’ve harmed us. To all beings seeking happiness as we do. 


Breathing together. May be happy, strong, peaceful and live with greater ease. 


One breath is all it takes to start. 


Please share if you feel so moved.

Thank you.

Art for Introverts OR How to not feel stupid at the museum OR Learning to see

aic-with-north-lion1
Next date: Saturday April 29th from 1-3pm!

  • Do you ever find yourself going to a museum because you think you’re supposed to go look at great art and you want to feel something but then nothing happens?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself standing there in a room full of art and wondering what all the fuss is about and at the same time being a little afraid to confess that to the person standing next to you, even though that’s your friend/partner/spouse, who came to the museum with you in the first place?
  • Do you think, holy crap, these things are here but I’m not sure what to make of them! (HELP!) Very often reading the little cards pinned to the wall next to the pieces of art don’t really help do they?

Perhaps it all makes you feel a bit stupid. I’ve been there. I know how you feel.

Gustave_Caillebotte_-_Jour_de_pluie_à_Paris

And so you wander out of the museum, unsure of what to say or do, maybe head to a movie or grab a drink, relieved to be off the hook of CULTURE, hoping to silence that little voice in your head which says this would’ve been much more fun and interesting if only I wasn’t such a dope.

By the way, YOU’RE NOT A DOPE. We could all just use a little help on figuring out how to look at all the stuff in a museum or an art gallery. Seriously.

So- If this sounds like you, you’re going to love this class.

We’ll visit a museum and talk about how to see, how to engage with the work in a way that involves all our humanity, our hearts, our minds, even our bodies.

I promise that you’ll have a good time and you’ll realize you can form your own way of making sense of the art that fits rather intuitively with your own experience of life.

We’ll talk about what art does for us.

Like: how coming into contact with art can allow us to feel moved and connected with the divine.

We’ll start to see that art can help us remember what is precious to us, help us establish and cultivate hope, even in very challenging times; deal with our sorrows, and so forth.

You’ll leave this interactive class able to enjoy not only art in the museum but to see differently in your everyday life.

To appreciate the art and divinity in every moment, every breath. To see that each moment of seeing and perceiving, listening, touching and tasting is a moment to respond differently, from a place of an expanded sense of our own potential for the adventure that is our one and only life.

If this interests you please sign up now. I highly recommend this for loners, friends, first dates, non-dates, adventurers of all types. Introverts. Extroverts. Non-dualverts. IT specialists. Humans. I really hope to see you there, and please tell your friends and bring them with you.

We’re gonna have a blast. 

SundayintheParkPainting.jpg

You will need to pay your admission to the museum. Please check coats, backpacks etc. You may bring a pencil, not a pen, into the museum and a sketchbook. You may bring cameras but no flash. Depending on the size of the group, admission price may vary. Once you register and we get closer to the date, I’ll send complete details about admission fees and other essentials. You may not bring food or drinks into the museum.

  1. Looking at art can make us feel happier and more connected.
  2. Art helps us remember what we love and may have lost or fear to lose.
  3. Connecting with art helps us feel more hopeful.
  4. In challenging times art can help us deal with inevitable sorrows.
  5. Art can help us feel centered and more peaceful.
  6. Art helps us develop compassionate understanding of self and others.
Materials to bring A note book, blank, lined or squared and a pencil to write/sketch with. No pens allowed in the museum. Admission to the museum paid separately. Members enter free. Museum admission variable based on residency.
What will be provided Supporting handouts, before and/or after class.
Location

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue,

Chicago, IL, 60603-6404

QUESTIONS? Ask away!