“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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been around dogs my whole life. Growing up I was raised and bottle fed with an Old English Sheepdog, named Duffy. Somewhere supposedly there’s a picture of us, plopped down one on each of my mother’s knees, her arms around us; child and puppy sucking down bottles of formula. I have this vague sense that I may have seen this photo sometime, I can’t tell if’s just the memory I’ve been told about so many times, that it feels real. I want it to be true with it’s tinge of happiness and domestic serenity.
Duffy was born practically the same day as me. He became my guardian, playmate, best friend, confidante in a house of adults: complex, occasionally violent, always enmeshed, fits of rage and love, passed like squall fronts.
And the hours of silence. Gleaming silent floors, tables. Whispers behind doors. So despite all that, I knew, loved and deeply understood that dog. And he me.
Every dog has its own personality. Some way that they inhabit the world. The soul that shines through their eyes. The many years and past lives of their experiences, how they have been treated. Lessons learned.
Some of the dogs in these photos are rescues. Some not. I try to allow the spirit of the dog to shine through. Gently these beasts allow themselves to be revealed much as a person might allow. It seems to me though, these four legged friends open their hearts more easily. All they want is that most basic of things, as E.M. Forster had it, “Only connect.” Don’t we all?
Perhaps that’s it. The dogs are a mirror. A gift with their open hearted natures, which hold nothing back.