Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Prayerful Regard for the Landscape...

   I've been receiving lovely quotations for my vade mecum and I encourage you to send me something to carry with me when I travel to the sacred sites in the Burren, Iona and Glendalough in May.  One suggestion has prompted this post.  

Absolute attention is prayer.
- Simone Weil

   What a beautiful imagining for the contemplative photographer!  In our rush to experience the landscape we often miss its meaning and message for us.  Rather than walk through the landscape we should pray our way into the mystery unfolding in front of us through the act of absolute attention.  Worshipful regard of the world around us brings us into union with the divine presence we encounter.

   Instead of anticipating, we should be soulfully open to whatever we come across no matter how humble it may seem.  Like this small and worn sculpture I discovered on my recent trip to Glastonbury Abbey.  Whatever saint it is eluding to is unimportant.  Its seemingly singular regard for what is in front of it is the message here.  The eyes don't gaze longingly into the distance but at the ground right before his feet.  It is not anticipating some distant and vague possibility but is soaking in and relishing the immediate and close at hand.  We could all benefit from that kind of thinking...

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