Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My Threshold Pilgrimage - Part Four: Musing on Thresholds

   Time is flying by and I continue my preparations for my departure on May 9th.  I'm adding more tidbits of inspiration to my Vade Mecum and I've even begun laying out things to take.  But what occupies my thoughts to a great degree right now is the idea of "thresholds".

   I chose thresholds as my word for the year and I thought I'd spend some time thinking about its meaning for me.  Perhaps I should say "meanings" because I've discovered that there can be more than one.

   Thresholds are stepping over points.  A line of demarcation between what was and what now is.  I've often imagined them as they are in houses...a narrow strip of wood at the bottom of a door.  They present themselves and we easily step over...no problem.  But thresholds can be so much more than that.  In the photograph above, we see another way to view the threshold.

   This image, made in Lochboisdale on South Uist, illustrates another kind of threshold.  I suspect it is one that is more commonly confronted on our journeys in life.  Its opening is clearly defined but it is a passage to travel through not just step over.  One goes from light into darkness and at the end, one steps again into light.

   But the passage through is not the end of the transition.  Stairs rise up to an unknown location.  Steep, unguarded, I could see myself hesitating even attempting this kind of "threshold".   So, do we stay in the light of the known or venture across, and through, to the unknown especially when we know that at the end we will be challenged?

   Without this image I would not have thought about "thresholds" in quite this way.  It is a bit of wisdom I gathered long before I thought about this journey I will take in May...wisdom I wasn't ready for at the time.  Returning to photographs and re-reading them in the light of present circumstances makes contemplative photography constantly rewarding for me.  One may think of a photograph as a moment frozen in time, and perhaps in one respect it is, but the reflective possibilities contained within that photograph, the wisdom we can draw out of it, are constantly evolving along with you.



Mystic Meandering said...

Lovely post... Like you I hadn't thought of thresholds as "passages" or "passageways" - but I do now :) And I like it. And as you said, even the "passage through is not the end..." wow... That opened a whole other door, or should I say passageway, for me...

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Christine. Yes, since I've been exploring the idea of "threshold", whole new possibilities have been flooding in. I've come to believe that most thresholds are not cut and dry...step over and you're there...thresholds as transitions more likely.