Friday, January 30, 2015

Reflections on the Tao: Changing Direction

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
- Lao Tzu 

   I've always enjoyed this quote.  It shows the humor that infuses a great deal of Lao Tzu's writings.  So much of religion and philosophy is so deadly serious; Lao Tzu appreciated the lighter side of life.  But this quote has a serious implication as well.

   This year marks the 10th anniversary of my return to photography and so much has changed over that time.  I was much more "serious" in the beginning.  Fine art black and white photography was my path...all else was unimportant.  But slowly, very slowly at first, my eyes opened up to the contemplative possibilities of the photographic image as well as the world of color photography.

   I changed direction several years ago and I am very thankful that I did.  What I learned was that what I needed from my camera work was a more inward and self-reflective journey.  I had to put aside my ego that kept shouting in my ear, "It is all about exhibits and sales!" and listen to my soul who said in a much quieter voice, "Oh no it isn't!".  I couldn't be happier.

   I will be having an exhibition of my pond series late this summer and that will be wonderful but what the pond has given me is worth far more that any ego boost, or sales, I may get from the show.  That is the real gift changing directions all those years ago has given me...the permission to just enjoy my life with my camera and not constantly be chasing the next show or wondering how to market my work.  That is a wonderful and liberating feeling indeed.


kimmanleyort said...

Wonderful image to reflect your theme. We should always be willing to change direction.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Kim and as you will see tomorrow, I am about to do just that!