Sunday, September 1, 2013

PhotoTao Card #38 - A Trusting Nature

A Trusting Nature
Trust is an absolute assurance that all is
well.  Trust is a conviction that does not 
falter.  Trust knows truth; It is simple and
- Exercise -
  When you go out to make photographs,
trust that you will make the ones you
need to make.  Do not have an agenda.
Have the firm conviction that you will
succeed even if the images you end up
with are not what you set out to make. 
Photographs made with a trusting heart
will always be sincere and authentic
expressions of self.

   I had come with an agenda.  I wanted to photograph the softly lit interiors of the Shaker buildings as I had in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.  I soon found out that that agenda needed to be put aside since interior photography was not permitted.  I had to trust that the day would not be "wasted".  I would receive the images I needed to receive.  (You can read about the rather unusual image I received here...)

   Looking at the exteriors of the buildings was one approach but embracing the landscape itself was another and it gave me much to think about.  The Shakers always chose the most beautiful locations for the communities.  I've been to several and they all have a sense of space and distant horizons.  They were open and airy and incredibly ordered and neat, just like the interior spaces.  In fact, sitting in their landscape was very much like sitting in one of their buildings.

   For the first time I connected the Shaker communities to the monastic enclosures I'd visited and stayed in.  There was that sense of being out of "the world" here as I've felt in the monasteries.  The Shakers lived a completely communal lifestyle as monks do.  And as in monasteries, there is a sense of security and peace here even though it is no longer an active village.  But I know where there is a village with Shakers quietly carrying on their lives, apart from the world, of it but not in it...Sabbathday Lake, Maine. The most real experience was closest to home.  I thought, that will be my next stop, perhaps this fall.  Here is a link to a wonderful PBS interview with two of the last Shakers living at Sabbathday Lake.  I do sincerely hope they will not be the last Shakers but time will tell.

   It was a glorious late summer day in Canterbury and to gaze out at the lovely landscape was an excellent way to spend a few hours.  For much of the time I didn't even bother with the camera...just sitting taking it all in was enough for me.  Yes, you can always rely on a trusting and open heart to make the very most of a day whether you make photographs or not!

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