lens artists photo challenge: splash

     

Even water could not live on– 
So lonesome is the mountain 
Of the leaf-scattering stormy wind. 
~The Sarashin Diary (Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)

Snowy Range…   Nikon D750    f/5.6   1/3200s  145mm   2800 ISO 

Visit Patti at  P.A. Moed to join this week’s lens-artists photo challenge: splash

pond reflections

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North Shield Pond…   f/4.5    1/400s   85mm   250 ISO

Teachers often ask students to make many drawings of the same object with a variety of materials. The impact of choice is made clear when a student compares the different feelings they get from drawings in charcoal, ink, pencil, and colored pastel. By setting tight limits on what can be drawn, the mind is focused on what it feels like to work inside and outside of expectations. Making art with physical materials presents no shortage of limits–years of practice may be required to master the techniques of media like oil paint or the variabilities of wood or stone carving. Mastering our inner resistance, our fears of criticism, and doubts about our talent may take equally long. ~J F Simon Jr, Drawing Your Own Path

early morning readings II

In this world, time is like a flow of water, occasionally displaced by a bit of debris, a passing breeze.  Now and then, some cosmic disturbance will cause a rivulet of time to turn away from the mainstream, to make connection back stream. When this happens, birds, soil, people caught in the branching tributary find themselves suddenly carried to the past.   ~A Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams

Reality in itself is a stream of life, always moving.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Sun My Heart

Cartier-Bresson’s photograph of children playing in the rubble of war…may become a metaphor or symbol of hope. The image over my desk of a grieving mother and child after an earthquake in Armenia, made by my photographer friend Mark Beach, symbolized for me the sorrow and tragedy that is part of life.  An image I once made of the source of the mighty Susquehanna River–a spring flowing into a bathtub in a field that serves as a water tank for cows, then spilling over to begin a stream–reminds me that the restorative juice “river,” with which I am associated, has many small sources.  ~H Zehr, The Little Book of Contemplative Photography

i awaken to…

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a metaphysical search…Nikon D750  f/7.1   1/25s  135m 100 ISO

I awaken to the mourning dove’s appeal for the sound of another, and find the passing dream state, like many before, was spent wandering through a petrified forest unlike any created by the ancient uniting of Gaea, Mother Earth, and Uranus, Father Heaven. It was filled with a longing, a seeking; it was a series of moments of futile endeavors.

As I walked upon moonlit pathways, edged by shadows of hidden yesterdays as well as shrouded by entangled memories, I encountered afterimages, echoes, phantoms, fragmented sequels, refrains, and vague specters.  Now and then, it felt as though I had stepped on a “mind-trap” and suddenly became entangled inside an invisible emotional net that swirled me around and around from one apparition to another.  Each apparition messaged that I have gone around and around in discursive circles once, twice, a thousand times throughout my lifetime of nights.  I say to myself, “I’ve been here before.  I’ve re-imaged, revisited, and reviewed past dreams as if I were an author rewriting a long ago discarded novel about an outcast.”   Within this uncertainty a voice urges compassionate reflection.

Within stilled and silent reflection is an awareness of the emergence of a cluster of physical sensations from my stream of experiential consciousness.  Together with the awareness of this particular cluster of physical sensations is the identification of a feeling I have labeled as “homesickness for a place, person, or time” and the creation of a story about an “I” who is an outcast.

TWO TRUTHS

From this point, I ask of myself, “What are the defining characteristics of a person who is an outcast?”  I question if I have had these characteristics since the moment of my conception.  I then discern if my relationship with all living beings, from my spouse to the robin outside my house, is limited to and defined by these characteristics.  In other words, have I always been an outcast, and does every living being relate to me as an outcast?

I come to the conclusion that the answer to both of these questions is no.  I now hear an encouragement to release the story line that arises from a false identification with “I am an outcast.”  In conjunction with the release of this story line is the subsequent letting go of the construct of an unknown person, place, or time.  Within the emptiness that accompanies this release arises a consciousness of feeling – sadness intertwined with loneliness.  To find that to simply acknowledge this particular cluster of physical sensations with “sadness and loneliness is arising” and to resist the urge to identify with these feelings releases me from the wellspring of suffering within the label of “outcast.”

I am now free to concentrate on that discernment of myself as being freed from this metaphysical search, and to focus on this inferential understanding and to concentrate on discerning the impermanence of sadness and loneliness. This is the discriminating awareness that arises from meditating.

Thus you must train yourself:  “In the seen there will just be the seen; in the heard, just the heard; in the reflected, just the reflected; in the cognized, just the cognized.” . . . when in the seen there will be to you just the seen; . . .  just the heard;  . . . just the reflected; . . . just the cognized, then  . . . you will not identify yourself with it, you will not locate yourself therein.  When you do not locate yourself therein, it follows . . . this will be the end of suffering.         ~ The Buddha

Excerpts from B Koeford, A Meditative Journey with Saldage