Thursday, July 18, 2013

Journaling and Contemplative Photography...

Photo by Joel Montes
   Can you be a contemplative photographer without journeling? Well, yes, of course, but frankly I just can't imagine why you would want to.  After all, the primary purpose of contemplative photography is to reflect on the images you make and it just makes sense to write it all down!

   Journaling has been a daily ritual for me for 40+ years.  The simply act of writing each morning is how I like to begin my day and when I can't do it, which happens from time to time, I feel...well, incomplete.  As if I'd put on only one sock.  You can get through the day that way but it feels unbalanced.  The fact that you may find interesting, or amusing if you wish, is that I do not keep my journals.  When they are filled up I re-read them and then throw them away! Yes, you heard correctly...I chuck 'em!  It's part of my Taoist practice to wade through the day to day dramas of life, reflect on them and then let them go.  I move on.

   My journaling on location, even the little sketches I make, are kept only for as long as I need them and then they too disappear.  I'm not quite sure why this is true for me.  I know others who save volumes of their journals forever.  For me it is the mere act of physically writing that is important; sometimes in a kind of "stream of consciousness" way.  It is process rather than product for me.

   So, write or them or chuck ''s up to you.  Here is an excellent blog post on journaling you may find illuminating...

1 comment:

kimmanleyort said...

So interesting that you don't keep your journals. I love that philosophy of letting go.

I am one who finds it almost impossible to journal. I have stacks of unfinished journals, meaning the first five pages are written on and then, nothing.

You might be surprised then in knowing that today is the last day of a 6-week journalling class I took. Today, I don't love journalling any more than previously but the interesting prompts have proved to be very enlightening.

I do think for me that journalling on my photographs might be the best way to go. You and Christine Valters-Paintner and my journalling class (Susannah Conway) have inspired me.