I'm always amazed at the little signs you sometimes find at famous places telling you to "Stand here for the best view". It also amazes me how little time the average person spends at any given spot preferring a more "hit and run" approach. It's as if they were on some kind of wild scavenger hunt and the person who collects the most photographs wins! Anyone who has been following this blog for any amount of time knows that "hurry up" is not a concept a contemplative photographer understands or appreciates!
While I was in Paris this summer I found myself continually referring to my heart's GPS...it was often at odds with the day's agenda of tourist stops. After all, I was traveling with a group of friends none of whom were contemplative photographers - or photographers of any sort in fact. They were there, as most tourists are, to see the most they could and they all carried their guide books like sacred texts...Rick Steves would be proud; I, on the other hand, was just amused. I suppose you can't help but be influenced by the tourist guides...after all, can you possibly visit Paris and NOT go to the top of the Eiffel Tower? The answer to that is,"Yes you can!" and I'm here to testify that it is perfectly alright!
|The Pilgrim's Scallop Shells - Musee de Cluney|
Finally, I am adding a link to a Sounds True podcast from my favorite contemporary philosopher, the late John O'Donohue...The Sound of the Heart Beat. At first hearing, the relevance to my brief time as a" Flaneau" in Paris didn't resonate with me but like most of my experience as a contemplative photographer, sitting and reflecting over time brings a clarity that is sometimes startling. For now, just listen to the podcast and enjoy!