|Solitary Window - Inis Oirr, Aran Isles, Ireland|
I had little understanding, really, of how complex and multifaceted the term was...how it could mean different things to different people.
What I learned, very early on, was that if I was to fully embrace this new way of regarding the world around me I had to define the term for myself. I felt contemplative photography was a broad and gracious enough concept to allow for an infinite range of interpretations.
I didn't begin my journey empty handed however. I brought with me my love of Taoist philosophy. I've always felt there were ways to twine the two together...one illuminating and guiding the other...but I didn't fully understand how they could fit together until I began this blog. Week by week, post by post I've journeyed into the concept of contemplative photography through a Taoist perspective.
The journey initially took me along the bumpy and uphill track of exhibition and self-promotions which I quickly discovered was not my path. I needed a new direction so when I came to a fork in the road in January of 2012 I took a different and less traveled route. This blog has been a wonderful adventure for me and as I reach the 500th post milestone I am filled with gratitude for the friends I've made and the wisdom I've been gifted. It is through the Celtic Christian tradition, which I was first introduced to by John O'Donohue back in 2006, that I was able to see Nature as divine presence and contemplative photography became a spiritual practice as well as a meditative one.
In the end, I was able to fashion a concept of contemplative photography that fit my background and my interests. That is the message I wish to pass on to you today. You must make your practice of contemplative photography unique to your own soul. The only important thing is to begin...see where the path will lead you. As the Cheshire Cat advised Alice, "You are bound to get someplace if you walk long enough!"
In the meantime, I welcome you to journey along with me through my daily posts as I seek ways to:
- Clarify Vision
- Forge a relationship with the landscape
- Open the heart for soulful responses
- Remain an open-ended question
- Journey with the heart of a pilgrim
Thank you John, and I look forward to writing them and seeing where this journey will take me.
Am so glad to hear you say this - that we must "make the practice of contemplative photography unique to our own soul" - our own path... I deeply resonate with that. Like John said above, I too feel it as a personal intuitive process, but one which I am constantly honing - both my intuition and the "craft"...
Congratulations on your wonderful journey that has brought you to posting this blog and to this point in time... And thank you for the gifts of your photography "craft" that you so generously offer in helping us to find our own way...
Hope your snow has let up and you are able to get out into Nature again...
It is absolutely the only way it will truly work. Each person must chart their own course and we will meet, from time to time, in some safe harbor to share tales of our journey. Thank you for following my journey on this blog!
Congratulations, Patricia, on your 500th post. I'm always amazed at how prolific you are, and always something interesting for me to think about. Thank you for your generous sharing.
Thank you Kim! It amazes me sometimes too! But the world is so rich in inspiration I never fail to find some small nugget to get my writers juices flowing! Thanks for following along. I admire what you do very much.
500 posts—wow! I'm still on my way :)
And I love that quote from the Cheshire Cat! I'm writing it down for those moments when I need to be reminded to keep going.
I've used Alice quite a lot over the years as an inspiration to be curious, adaptable, and willing to throw yourself into the moment and try new things. Inspiration is truly everywhere we look!
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