Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Last Post from a Photographic Sage-in-training...

Crossing Over and Moving On
New beginnings are sometimes
disguised as painful endings.
- Lao Tzu

My Dear Friends,

   I have decided, after long consideration, to end my daily postings on A Photographic Sage.  I have so enjoyed these past three years of writing but sometimes one just knows that it is time to move on. I've notice that many of my posts in the last few weeks have been about changing directions, journeying home and other ideas that spoke to this coming conclusion.

   Perhaps it was my experience during my Threshold Pilgrimage last spring that awakened something inside of me but when I returned home to Maine I just knew I'd crossed a threshold I hadn't been expecting to cross and that I needed to bring closure to this chapter in my life at some point and that time is now.

   Somehow, I think it is fitting that I have chosen to end this blog on February 1st which is the feast day of St. Brigid.  I've always felt a warm and special connection with Celtic spirituality and I feel it appropriate to begin my new journey on her day.  I share her wishes for all of you...

I would like an abundance of peace.
 I would like full vessels of charity. 
I would like rich treasures of mercy.
 I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.

- St. Brigid of Kildare (451 - 523)

   This blog will remain online even though I won't be posting so that should you wish to read some old posts or access the links I've provided you will be able to do so.

   I hope that during this time you have been inspired in some small way to embrace contemplative photography.  It is truly a wonderful way of walking through the world and I will continue to explore the metaphors I find everywhere I look, of that you can be sure. I will post a daily image and reflection on my photo journal, Memories4Me, and you might like to check that out from time time. I will be posting Poetry of Place photographs from my year's work at the pond on my journal and on my Google+ page  along with other interesting things I come across whether they be photography related or not. I hope you will follow along as I discover new ways to interpret this unique landscape.  You can also access my Pinterest page where I will continue to add new resources for your journey.  May I also suggest you go mining in the archives for inspiration.  There are over 800 posts there.  If you are relatively new to the blog I am sure you will find something to tickle your contemplative soul.

   I will also use my Google+ page to write short reflections on contemplative photography so I have no intention of giving up that part of my life, it is way too important to me to leave behind.  But with continuing with the pond series and then preparing for the show of work in late August, my immersion (there's my word!) in family genealogy, my "soulcollaging" and my passion for book arts, I felt the need to simplify my life a bit.
   Thank you, all my loyal readers, you have been an inspiration to me on my journey and I appreciated all your thoughtful comments.  I wish you all the very best on your photographic journey, wherever it may take you.

   Of course, I cannot conclude without some final words of wisdom from one so much wiser than myself.  Despite the blog's title, I've always considered myself merely a "photographic sage-in-training".   I will leave you with this parting thought which is really the heart of the contemplative photography process for me... 

 “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”  - Elliott Erwitt, 1928

With Kindest Regards and many Blessings,

Patricia Turner


Why I keep a Journal and Why I throw it Away....

   I've kept a journal for over 30 years but if you ask how many of them I have on my shelf I would have to say only one...the one I'm writing in at the present.

   I use to keep them in the beginning but one day about 25 years ago, I looked at all those journals gathering dust on my bookshelf and thought, "Why am I holding onto these?  I've lived the experiences, I've learned from them, now it's time to let them go."  So, I bagged them up and tossed them in the dumpster.

    Live it, Learn from it, and Let it Go!

   I suspect this revelation coincided with my immersion in Taoist philosophy.  I do know that it had a wonderful and liberating feeling to me.  I know many feel that their journals are such an important part of their lives they just couldn't imagine throwing them away.  My daily photo journal is another way I record my life.  Life lived one photograph at a time.  If I can have a book made of these daily posts I will...these are meant for the "public".  My written journal is too personal and private.

   I write every day in the morning.  It is every bit a part of my morning ritual as that first cup of coffee.  On the rare occasion that I can't write I feel half dressed.  Something is missing.  Writing, whether on paper or on-line, is part of my contemplative practice and I will continue to do it as long as I can hold a pen but I feel no need to save them.  I do re-read them after I fill up a journal.   Some of it makes me laugh and some of it makes me cry but I close the cover with the firm belief that it is past.  Those experiences were then and, well, now is now.

Your past experiences may
 have made you who you are 
today but their don't dictate
 who you will be tomorrow.

   Here is an interesting article on the health benefits of journal keeping that you might find interesting.  Whether you decide to keep those journals or not will be up to you...