Portraits in Meditation

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Thanks to Samara of @blueislandmedicine for braving the October chill and encountering your ideas about coldness with a fresh approach.

Salutes to all the creative ladies out there digging in every single day to find strength, courage and the superpowers to carry on. It’s not easy but the choice is to live without the vital juice of life.

Our focus determines our reality.

Meditation and other mindfulness practices help us stay flexible and alive to the magic of life.

I’m working on a series of portraits of people sitting in meditation to explore the nature of stillness using my camera. Some of the exposures ate quite long, from a minute or two up to an hour.

Often we focus these days on efficiency and speed but I feel we need to ask is speed always necessary?

I believe it’s important to slow down and discover our lives as they unfold letting go of the same old stories we tell ourselves and instead encounter our life afresh.

I welcome you to join the exploration by sitting for a portrait and sharing your experiences with practicing mindfulness any form.

Bridge in Fog

The Lift Bridge in the Fog at Ping Tom Park, Chicago, Il

January 21, 2018

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.

Relationship to and Experience of Urban Landscape

Sky’s the Limit

Sometimes it’s just about trusting that impulse and making the frame work and letting go of whatever you thought you were doing.

When we can tune into the subtle impulses and sensations in the body and mind…we can make images that surprise.

It’s not about hunting but discovering.

Exhale- let go. What do you feel? Wait. What else?

What have discovered lately?

#yesandpictures

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!

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Cliff Lake Superior 

Cliff Bayfield County, Lake Superior, WI June 2017

Birch Trees on Cliff Side

Birch Trees on Cliff Side, Bayfield Country, Lake Superior, WI, June 2017 

Limited edition prints available. Contact with queries and to purchase. 

Thank you for looking. 

Matt in front of the cabin, Washburn, WI. June 2017.

My husband’s father Tom Johnson, bought 40 wild acres of land up near Lake Superior back in the late 1950s.

The land has been untouched except for clearing the smallest number of trees possible so this “chop wood -carry water,”cabin could be built in 1998 with his father and brother. The whole family is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of this land as a refuge for animals and the family to enjoy in perpetuity.

The people who own land in this area are frequently under pressure of economic development and rising tax bills on their wild land.

 

Stay tuned for more on the details of this story. Many thanks for reading!