Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finding the little contemplative gems in daily life...

   Life is full of small contemplative gems.  I suspect we overlook many of them in our daily rush.  We miss out on so much when we fail to recognize these jewels. 

 I think that one of the photographic projects I will stay open to this year is Stillness.  I won't run around looking for it, I will let it find this simple image of a solitary swan. This is a contemplative gem I discovered recently.

   I like just about everything in this image...even the tiny orange marker on the right which seems to punctuate the path of the swan.  The moment of intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines...the passage from reflection into deep darkness; don't get me started!

   The funny thing is though that the first thought that popped into my mind when I looked at the photograph was something my Grandmother use to say about living our lives like the swan...serenely calm on the surface and paddling like crazy below!  That's what photographs can do, if we let them.  They open doors to memories as well as to contemplation.

   I photographed this sublime serenity from a friend's porch. (One of the few times I would have liked a more powerful lens!)  She said this was the first time she had seen the swan this year and I thought to myself, what a gift.  Moments like this, when the Universe presents us with tiny, exquisite moments to stand in awe before are truly the very best gifts because they are so unexpected and seemingly random.  They aren't of course.  We are simply standing too close to see the pattern.  We are presented with these gems on a daily basis, we just have to open our eyes to them.

Look around yourself right now...find a little gem!
(Let me know what you find by posting a comment.)

   As I said, you don't have to go looking for them, these moments of wonderment, they will come to you.   There is one right nearby you, right now.  I saw a tiny rainbow on the floor this morning...sunlight reflected off a beveled mirror had created it.  Had I gotten up a half hour earlier or later it wouldn't have been there.  I made sure I took a moment to acknowledge made me smile to see it.  Such a wonderful way to start the day.

   The trick is to keep that third eye open to them so you will be able see them when they do appear. That takes a kind of inner stillness and a deep desire for the encounter.  Practicing this kind of awareness day to day in your own home makes the chance of seeing them in the landscape all the more likely.


Mystic Meandering said...

For me I see an *appearance* of a finish line that the swan is about to cross, and yet it is only an illusion, a reflection in the water, as there really is no "finish line" - like life... And the wake left by the swan reminds me of an excerpt of an Antonio Machado poem: "...By walking we make the road/and upon glancing behind/one sees the path that will never be trod again. There is no road/only wakes upon the sea..." that dissipate back into the ocean, leaving no trace... like the wake of the swan on water that will eventually leave no trace. Your photo certainly evoked a lot in me today! I will be open to seeing what "gem" (besides this one :) presents itself today and everyday. Thanks!

Patricia Turner said...

What a wonderful reflection, Christine! The poem was spot on too. You have brought new insights into this photograph and I thank so much!