Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In Their Own Words: John O'Donohue

When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.

 - John O’Donohue

The Poetry of Place: 3 October 2014
   "The quality of our looking...." what a thought provoking phrase.  What determines the quality of our looking?  I tried to come up with a formula:

Q = a clear mind + an open heart + sufficient time - expectations

  This equation simplifies things quite a bit but it gets to the essence of the contemplative photographic experience for me.  There is no better illustration of this than the pond abstractions I'm discovering.

   I  had no idea, when I first experienced one, that I would so completely fall in love with the idea.  The abstract expressionist renderings in the water were a revelation for me.  It allowed me to see Nature as the ultimate artist creating masterful canvases for me to enjoy.

   I've even taken the idea one step further and added a painterly effect to the image; subtle brush strokes.  I can see these printed large, on canvas.  This is something I would never have attempted just a few months ago.  The pond experience is opening all sorts of new paths for me to explore.  Perhaps I should add "+ an open mind" to my equation!

   Soon, too soon for my tastes, the pond will be blanketed in white and the abstract compositions in the water will end for a time.   But that just opens up new possibilities to explore if I just keep my contemplative equation in my mind.  My experience at the pond this year will certainly be enhanced if I also keep John's words in mind..."when our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us."  There can be no better advise in my opinion.



kimmanleyort said...

I love that equation, and you surely had it while receiving this image at the pond.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you, Kim! I was so pleased to discover this element of the pond.