" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

May 12, 2009

Other Worlds Right Here

"An enchanted life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed by beauty and the imagination is electrified by some haunting quality in the world or by a spirit or voice speaking from deep within a thing, a place or a person.

Enchantment may be a state of rapture and ecstasy in which the soul comes to the foreground, and the literal concerns of survival and daily preoccupation momentarily fade into the background."
- From the introduction of The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, Thomas Moore

What is it I have wondered for a long time that makes photography such a soulful journey?

Why does it tap into the universality of what it means to be human, the sacredness of the earth, a knowing glance, the way someone's hand rests on the crook of an arm, recognizing ourselves in others, light when it reveals dailiness in a new light, shadows creating mystery and mood, questions, an image that makes you want to linger longer because it is so full of dimension it evokes emotion.

An image that evokes a smell from your childhood, sadness so strong you still feel an ache; a fresh perspective.

The act of taking a photo is a conversation that you're having first with yourself and, as in speaking conversations, between two people, sometimes you capture others interests - they find you fascinating and there is sympatico - and sometimes you just don't.

The soulful nature of photography, the seed of spirit, happens when through a photo you begin to feel some commonality. It could be an impression, a judgement dispelled; knowingness. Fragility.

As I wander with my camera, I really try to remain conscious of paying attention to the thoughts that arrive, phrases, or themes that begin to remind me of someone or something that I may need to pay attention to. Giving intuition the space it takes and wants is a gift, perhaps even hinting at a direction for the future.

I look at what I choose to photograph, repeatedly, and often ask myself, what meaning within that is drawing me back, time and time again. What draws me in? What does that say about what matters to me?

I do this so that when I leave my camera, I get a little better, each time at seeing in the same way without the aid of the viewfinder to recognize the grace of being that surrounds me, wherever I am.

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