With the perspective of personal responsibility to lessen resource and emotional stress upon the medical profession, to protect those I love as well as those unknown to me, and to lessen the burden upon those whose actions ensure continuation of my basic needs, I have chosen to comply with the state’s “Stay-at-Home and Safer at Home” orders.
Six months ago, one well-being behavior was to engage in early morning mediative walks; yet, as the days have flowed into each other there has been a lessening of motivation to engage in any “masked” walks as my attention has been drawn towards managing the anxiety that arises with an awareness that only a few cyclist, walkers, and runners choose to wear masks and it seems as though any attempt to engage in social distancing is a one personal endeavor.
This morning as I pondered how to connect the many sources of inspiration with images, I found that Tina’s (Travels and Trifles) Lens Artist challenge: inspiration inspired me to gather up the courage to pick up my camera and walk…Thank you Tina.
Over the years, haiku has been an inspiration:
My shadow beside me
Watching the moon. ~Sodō
(Jonathan Clements, The Moon in the Pines)
The words of Thich Nhat Hanh inspire me as I become aware of my in-breath and out-breath and the suffering that may arise from actions, speech, and thoughts.
When conditions are sufficient, a cloud transforms into rain, snow, or hail. The cloud has never been born and will never die. The insight of signlessness and interbeing helps us recognize that all lives continue in different forms. Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is in transformation ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Nature inspires me to embrace impermanence and eases my anxiety through her amazing beauty.
Photography inspires me to open my eyes to the wondrous gifts life offers within each moment.
if one comes across a person who has been shot by an arrow, one does not spend time wondering about where the arrow came from, or the caste of the individual who shot it, or analyzing what type of wood the shaft is made of, or the manner in which the arrowhead was fashioned. Rather, one should focus on immediately pulling out the arrow.
~ The Buddha
Life is short; it must not be spend in endless metaphysical speculations which will not be able to bring us the Truth.
Andres Hedman, Consciousness from a Broad Perspective
“The Buddha’s teachings can be read on many levels … at a fundamental level, all the storytelling was a way of conveying ethical values. One of them is the peaceful coexistence of all life forms, which is very germane today. We’ve wandered dangerously far from that principle in the era of climate change. Referring to the seated Buddha sculpture in San Francisco, which is inscribed with the message that all things are connected by causality (in contrast with the deterministic belief that our fate is out of our hands)… What [the Awakened One] saw when he woke up is that things don’t happen by chance, that everything is connected by causality … and if nothing else, Covid-19 is waking us up to the fact that we are all connected.”
I find myself being drawn again and again to how the yellow caution tape forms a number of barriers around play areas within a park near my home. The tape intensifies the overwheming silence and emptiness contrasting with the news blitz that feeds powerlessness, sadness, anger, confusion, mistrust, division, anxiety, etc.
The empty playground also beings to mind the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The story is a familiar one, but what most of us probably don’t know is that it has its feet at least somewhat planted in an apparently true event that took place in the real-life town of Hamelin, Germany in 1284.
The earliest accounts of the story don’t include the rats, which wouldn’t show up until around the year 1559, but they do include the piper, dressed in his “clothing of many colors.” there is not enough historical data to ascertain for certain what happened in the town of Hamelin in 1284, there is little doubt that something occurred there which left a heavy mark on the town, and on world folklore. Theories advanced over the years include that many of the town’s children died of natural causes that year; or possibly drowned in the nearby river; or were killed in a landslide, thus explaining the recurring motif of the rats being led into the water, or of the mountain opening up and swallowing the children. The pied piper himself is considered a symbolic figure of death.
One other explanation is that the children may have died of the Black Plague, which could be why the rats were later added into the story, though the Black Plague didn’t hit Germany until the 1300s, making its arrival probably too late to be the source of the legend.
Other theorists hold that the story of the pied piper actually refers to a mass emigration or even another Children’s Crusade like the one that may have occurred in 1212.
Our first clue about what really happened in the town of Hamelin comes from a stained glass window that stood in the town’s Market Church until it was destroyed in 1660. Accounts of the stained glass say that it alluded to some tragedy involving children, and a recreation of the window shows the piper in his colorful clothes and several children dressed in white. The date is set by an entry in Hamelin’s town chronicle, which was dated 1384 and said, simply and chillingly, “It is 100 years since our children left.”
Grammarist point out that the phrase “pied piper” usually has a pejorative connotation, pointing out that, “When it is time to pay the piper it is time to accept the consequences of a thoughtless or rash action” or to “fulfill a responsibility or promise, usually after the fulfillment has been delayed already.” Both of these meanings probably tie back to the legend of the pied piper.
Even the words “pied piper” have entered into common usage to mean everything from “a charismatic person who attracts followers” to “a leader who makes irresponsible promises” to “one who offers strong but delusive enticement,” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary entry for pied piper meaning. “Pied piping” is also a phrase used to describe a certain phenomenon in linguistics in which some words “drag” others along with them when moved to the front of a sentence. (cited: The Chilling Story Behind the Pied Piper of Hamelin)
Now that I have got this obvious allusion out of my system, let’s move on the the composition elements within the above photograph:
Rule of Thirds
Rule of Odds
Leading Lines from right to left
Triangle created by the placement of the “triangle” snow pile with the two subjects
Miriam (The Showers of Blessings) a Lens-Artists guest host defines reflection/mirror photography as using “… reflective surfaces to create an artistic echo of a scene. This type of photography can add an interesting spin to locations that are hot spots for photographers such as oceans, lakes, puddles, and even rain drops.”