Monday, May 6, 2013

In Their Own Words - Joan Chittister

We are no longer at the mercy of the self.
It is time to taste the essence of life rather
that concern ourselves with it's accessories.
It has taken almost a lifetime to love 
a sunset...but it has been worth the wait.

   One of the great pleasures of being in the autumn of one's life is the new relationship one has with time.  You find that you will take the time to marvel at simple things, like a sunset or a spider's web.  Perhaps that is why contemplative photography has come to mean so much to me and why I think it's a perfect pursuit for those of us who have retired from our careers.

   Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun who writes wonderful and inspirational books. One of my favorites is Monastery of the Heart.  I've just finished reading, The Gift of Years, while I was on retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani.  It is an insightful and heart touching collection of short essays on the grace of growing older.  I wouldn't say, however, that one should wait until they retire to read it.  It touches on issues that can enrich all of us, no matter what stage of life we are in.

It is this spiritual eyesight, the 
ability to see into the inner meaning 
of things, the spiritual value of
things, the essential core of things,
that must carry us from this point on.

   Sounds very much like a mission statement for the contemplative photographer!  At the core of our practice, we seek to perfect our spiritual eyesight that speaks directly to our divine DNA.  We seek the outer manifestation of our inner divinity.  Don't wait until you retire to begin the pursuit...the sooner you begin, the sooner you will arrive and I will tell you from experience, it is a wonderful place to be...

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