Thursday, October 10, 2013

Charting Innerscapes....

The outer physical landscape people
wander through with all its varying
scenery is, in the pilgrim's tradition,
understood as a picture of the
inner landscape every person
carries with them.

- Arne Bakken

   The very foundation of contemplative photography is the conscious exploration of the "innerscape"...that mysterious place deep inside each of us.  It is a place we carry with us no matter where we travel.

   Just as the place we come from subtly tints our perceptions of each new encounter, our innerscape can enhance or detract from our every experience.

   Most people have no trouble charting the outer landscape; getting from here to there is as easy as consulting a map or, more likely, turning on the GPS device.  The innerscape is somewhat more difficult to chart.

   On my ferry ride back from Deer Island, Canada, I got out of the car to scan the water for whales and seals but it was the rusted ferry floor that drew my camera's lens.

   I thought the shapes reminded me of an aerial view of the world taken from far up in space by a weather satellite.  I decide to use it as an imaginary map of my own innerscape.

   Cultivating one's innerscape is as important to the contemplative photographer as negotiating the outer landscape.  In fact, the two are inextricably linked in a contemplative dance of sorts.  As the innerscape sharpens and clarifies, the "outerscape" becomes richer and more meaningful.

   Those who wish to cultivate their inner pilgrim, should begin by first carefully charting your own will only enhance your journey, wherever it may take you.

  ( My companions on the ferry found the temptation of photographing the ferry deck's "landscapes" irresistible! )

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