in remembrance

Death of a loved one disturbs the relationships that sustain a person’s sense of ‘identity’ and the high level of binding and cathexis concentrated on the person who is lost is suddenly disrupted . . . there is a close link between the doctrines of egolessness and suffering.

De Silva, Padmasiri. An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology. Landam, MD, 2000.
Poudre Canyon… f/7.1 1/200s 28mm 4500 ISO

Through this lens of Buddhist thought, I begin to feel a crumbling of a child’s self with an understanding of how my father’s absolute and final absence from our lives disrupted the multiple relationships between my father, mother, sister, and me.  Besides the sudden severing of the identity I was forming via my father, the connecting emotional threads between those of us that were left, although still intact, were unknowingly stretched and pulled by our own individual fears of egolessness.

My father’s death left my mother, a young woman deaf from infancy, with two daughters and pregnant with her first son.  I do not recall whose idea it was to wander outside the house early that morning as my mother slept.  I can, however, imagine my young self following my older sister as if an invisible thread that tied us together tugged me along as she, with her five-year-old world view, undertook an emotional duty to find our father.  Did we believe we could find him fly fishing in the creek that ran alongside the house? Or was there something about the water that enticed us into abandoning our search?  I can recall to this day the cessation of anxiety and arising rapture that coincided with my surrender to the inevitable. Two young men, I am told, rescued us both from this search for our father.

Koeford, BC. A Meditative Journey with Saldage Homesickness for a place, a time, a person that cannot be

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early morning readings

…he also is as though covered by a mist, a cloud, a darkness that hides everything he does and hides everything that takes place within him.

Trans: Ira Progoff. The Cloud of Unknowing
Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/8002 85mm 160 ISO

And ‘when I speak of darkness’ the author of The Cloud of Unknowing says, it is ‘not the kind of darkness that is in your house at night when the candle is out.’ It is a darkness of a quite different kind. ‘I am referring he says, ‘to a lack of knowing. It is a lack of knowing that includes everything you do not know or else that you have forgotten, whatever is altogether dark for you because you do not see it with your spiritual eye. And for this reason It is not called a cloud of the air, but rather a cloud of unknowing that is between you and your God.'” (IV:18)

early morning readings

Nikon D750 f/4.5 1/1600s 85mm 320 ISO

“…Visual transmission through images speaks directly to intuition and feelings, circumventing the verbal mind. Drawings offer spaces for imagination to wander, evoking meanings too complex or subtle to know intellectually. This state of mind, in which one can receive information through images, points to one of the closest parallels between the contemplative and creative paths. Aesthetic appreciation and receptivity to spiritual teachings are both practiced with an open-ended state of mind, a state of comfortable not-knowing. We draw and meditate in heightened awareness of what is happening in the moment, opening the space for new ideas, and allowing change to happen.”

John F Simon, Drawing your own Path. pg.150

emptiness

Emptiness of Entityness… Nikon D750 f/7.1 1/80s 85mm 100 ISO

The emptiness of entityness (one of five types of emptiness discussed within Buddhist philosophy) is illustrated … with the example of a cairn and a human being. Both exist and are mutually exclusive…a cairn when viewed from a distance can easily be mistaken for a human, whereas upon closer inspection, there is nothing whatsoever that is human about a pile of stones. A human is utterly absent there. A rope mistaken for a snake would seem to be another example of the emptiness of entityness.~D. Lopez, Jr. (The Heart Sutra Explained, p54.)

I am…

Breathing in 

My body is the earth’s

Ocean sand….absorbing

Breathing out

My body is the ocean’s

Continual waves…reoccurring

Breathing in

My breath is the wind’s

Whispered currents…sustaining  

Breathing out

Wind is my breath’s

Invisible streams…meandering

Breathing in

My eyes are the sky’s

Roaming clouds…transforming

Breathing out

Rain is my eye’s

Tear drops…returning

Breathing in

My being is water’s

Impermanence…renewing

Breathing out

I am life’s

Consciousness…awakening.

silent sunday

Sony NEX-5N f/6.3 1/2500s 210mm 100 ISO

As the winter winds travel across Wyoming’s landscape

the swirling snow releases its memories of you, lost …

somewhere… on Casper Mountain.

Its frigid touch awakens me to your

aloneness – in that wilderness of blinding snow

cries – deafened by the river of winds,

calling – out in hope for

a human form – to emerge out of the whiteness

the warmth – of a human hand

the sound – of a voice, comforting you

accompanying – you home.

As I become hostage to this winter’s swirling thoughts

the river winds tear into my soul

releasing tears arising from

the darkness of grief’s aloneness, seeking

a knowing to emerge out of ignorance’s darkness

you found – peace

within – a loving presence

embracing – you

accompanying – you home.

Lawrence John Anderson, January 11, 1957 – January 20, 1980

2018 photography review, december

Olden memories

so brisk

in their fading,

this moment soon to follow —

shadows on the snow ~bckofford

within the present is the past and the future

Thank you for joining me as I wandered through the photographs posted on this blog throughout 2018 and shared the contemplations that accompanied them.

May each of your steps throughout the new year be accompanied with love-filled companions and joyous moments.