Sunday, May 12, 2013

Learn from the Mountains...

Seize the mountain spirits,
Make them divulge their secrets.
Only with strength is discovery.

Discover - Daily Meditation
Deng Ming-Dao

   When I finally picked up the camera again in 2005, one of the first places I went to photograph was Chocorua in New Hampshire.  The name is a Native American word for "God lives here".  Mountains, in virtually all cultures, are holy places and infused with a special spirituality.

   When I visited a Taoist monastery in China, I had to wind my way up a steep mountain road to reach it.  Pilgrims, with better knees than mine, took the 1,000+ stairs to the top!  I was reminded of that this past summer when I climbed the 300+ (piece of cake by comparison!) stairs to Mont St. Michel.

   There is a reason for all this; why holy places are often placed on mountain's not suppose to be easy!  The search for enlightenment and greater spiritual understanding must involve determination and effort.  Contemplative photography requires this as well.  One must plod along, allowing the landscape to draw you in and and gently guide our efforts.  We can't expect to flip some imaginary switch and have instant enlightenment...miraculously insightful revelations from our work.  They will come with time and effort.

   So, look to the lesson of the mountains...the higher you climb, metaphorically speaking, the clearer your view will be.

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