lens artists photo challenge: surprise

Each night as I watch the sunset, I am surprised to see the the western sky’s limitless wardrobe of clouds.

I have found that taking the time to sit on the veranda to watch the sunset and photograph the impermanence of clouds offers me moments of peace during this time of uncertainty. Thank you Leya for this week’s photo challenge: surprise.

billowing clouds

stillness–
in the depths of the lake
billowing clouds
~Issa (cited: haikuguy.com)

Nikon D750 f/8 1/500s 170mm 400 ISO edited: Capture One

In response to this haiku, David (haikuguy.com) writes:

” Even though Issa is known for his comic haiku that have surprising, spiritual resonance; he is just as capable of revealing the sublime. French translator Jean Cholley translates the first word, shizukasa, as “sérénité” (“serenity”); En village de miséreux: Choix de poèmes de Kobayashi Issa (Paris: Gallimard, 1996) 33. Indeed, shizukasa denotes tranquility, quiet, calm. Of English possibilities, I’ve decided to use “stillness”–but the reader should be aware that Issa establishes a sense of deep peace before showing billowing mountains of clouds reflected “in the depths of the lake.” The haiku serves as a substitute for experience–or, perhaps, a clear window into experience–allowing the reader, in contemplation, to see that same lake, those same clouds, and to feel the serenity and stillness of the moment.” 

contemplating sunset with…40 religious leaders, part 1

Alon Goshen-Gottstein, (Coronaspection: Introspection I Tablet Magazine) is undertaking a project in which forty religious leaders are individually responding to seven questions during this time of global crisis.

Part 1 of this project includes: Rabbi Berel Lazar, Russia; Patriarch Sahag II Mashalian, Turkey; Swami Chidanand Saraswati, India

1. What have been your greatest challenges in dealing with the present Corona crisis?

2. Corona is bringing out a lot of fear in people. How does one deal with fear? What spiritual advice could you offer to people struggling with fear?

3. Corona has forced people into solitude. How should time be spent in solitude? Many people do not have experience and habits that would allow them to make the most of this opportunity. What advice could they be given?

4. Corona brings about deprivation. We are deprived of our freedom, of our habits. We lose things, and even more so- people we love. How does one deal with all forms of deprivation?

5. What does Corona teach us about our interconnectivity? What are spiritual applications that people can practice consciously?

6. Corona forces us into our own protective space, but it also calls us to solidarity. How to practice solidarity? What are teachings that support solidarity? What actions express solidarity? What can one do to express solidarity, even from within the confines of one’s home and protection?

7. Many people say the world will be different after this Corona crisis. What blessings do you see Corona bringing to the world? How can the world be different, for the better, following this crisis?

One of the most important conceptual threads that runs through the project is the recognition that for all its hardships, the coronavirus is in some way also a blessing. To uncover that blessing we may need the eyes of the other and the experience of another spiritual tradition and how it is able to find blessing even in hardship.

Skyscape photograph: Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/400s 300 mm 400 ISO edited in Capture One 20