Today, I awoke with a burning need to go to town and visit the little apple orchard on top of the mesa at the edge of the rim overlooking the community I call home. As I drove up the road I noticed how the thoughts holding attention were those of clinging to a desire for the trees to be as I imagined them in memory and noticing that I saw the lure to step out of the present and enter the past. Just then, I turned the corner and saw the purple of the trees and the worries melted away. Grabbing my gear I moved into the grove and as I walked upon a carpet of apple blossoms beneath a canopy of light and color and strange forms it hit me! Worry mind. “I hope I didn’t leave the camera on all night and the battery is dead,” I thought and unzipped the bag saw that indeed I had done just that. But the photo gods smiled and I had power to spare. Once my power worry was answered though I still felt restless and jittery and unclear as to why or what. I paused and turned my attention inward.
It didn’t feel like a conscious decision was made and yet suddenly I was aware of the stream of thoughts running through my mind, that all were judging and borderline worrisome and were of an unsettled and disconnected sort. I did not understand why they were arising and next thing I knew I was sensing my heart and wordlessly knew that my mind was disconnected and fragmented because I was simply too excited by the wonder around me. “Oh this is what excitement can do. I think I need to just breathe,” I said to self as the story of the little boy at the airport told to me by Katherine bubbled up. “Oh I am just so excited I can’t think. I need to breathe.” So I did.
Taking a few moments to become absorbed into life simply by focusing upon the senses and paying attention, noticing the mind jump from smell, to feel, to sound and grounding into the breath knowing that it is sufficient to sustain me – knowing it as god’s spirit breathing upon the earth. When I opened my eyes I was home again, my mind was receptive and concentrated (a paradox I do not know how to explain) and I was centered and perceiving with the eyes of the heart. From that point on the photography acquires a contemplative and reverential tone. I enjoy imagining connecting with the creative god through the beauty of the creation and contributing in some miniscule way to that beauty resulting in the images I create.
This year starts a new season of spending time in gardens hanging out with beautiful friends, a new year of discovering through the camera and approaching photography as a sacred art and at the start of every year there is that excitement of what will I see, how will I see it, what will be new, and so forth right along a certain worry of seeing anything at all. Maybe my creative juices are gone – maybe this maybe that and again upon watching this mental ping pong match something decides to pause. In the space of that moment a question was asked by that which then waited to hear the answer……..all things fall apart, body parts and eye balls and each moment of seeing is precious and perfect just as it is.