A friend recently asked how the blog was going and whether I thought I'd keep it up. Good, I told her. It seems to be an integral part of this prayer practice -- yes, there is being aware of the moments of light I encounter each day, but there is something essential about picking a few of those moments and sharing them in image or words. Or, to use Mary Oliver's words: "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."
First there's the paying attention, watching for the sparks that make me go "ooo -- look at that." And usually the "that" is something fleeting, unique to this moment. I'm finding I want to record images as I discover them, as the world has composed them, with the particular combination of light, shadow, object that happened to catch my eye.
Perhaps that's why I like these "wind/leaf compositions," both seen in the gutter of a Kalamazoo street yesterday.
It was a cloudy day, so there's not much light sparking, or even shimmering. The spark comes more from enjoyment in the moment of this particular but fleeting combination of leaves, road, shadow.
I'm finding that part of the fun is the sense of discovery. What will catch my eye today? What will astonish me? Can I take a moment and receive that, with thanks?
And then there is the anticipation as I load the photos into the computer and look at them on the bigger screen. What did I find? What was I able to catch in an image? What is the story I want to share today?
And sometimes the astonishment comes with what technology is able to do. I was able to figure out how to recover the photo I accidentally deleted the other day, so here it is -- a different combination of leaves, road, and light.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"