photography

A Vital Part of Aliveness

A Vital Part of Aliveness

"One of the beautiful things about the early twilight at this time of year, as it fades into the dark of the long nights, is that you can just surrender yourself to it. Allow the twilight to remind you that it is a time of consideration and renewal. Know full well that in this world the darkness and the light are one. There is no new dawn without the night; their seeming separateness disguises a unity that reflects the unity of life, an unfathomable dance of opposites. This paradox is the very essence of what it is to be alive—joy and pain, sickness and health, light and dark, wonder and fear."

~ Phillip Moffitt

You Keep Falling

Photo: Jake Rajs, "Cherry Blossom," Washington DC

Love Recognized
by Robert Penn Warren

There are many things in the world and you
Are one of them. Many things keep happening and
You are one of them, and the happening that
Is you keeps falling like snow
On the landscape of not-you, hiding hideousness, until
The streets and the world of wrath are choked with snow.

How many things have become silent? Traffic
Is throttled. The mayor
Has been, clearly, remiss and the city
Was totally unprepared for such a crisis. Nor
Was I yes, why should this happen to me?
I have always been a law abiding citizen.

But you, like snow, like love, keep falling,
And it is not certain that the world will not be
Covered in a glitter of crystalline whiteness.

Silence.


Robert Penn Warren reads his poem "Love Recognized"

I was Made of Nows

We Make the Path by Walking by Paul Gaffney

I Was My Own Route (Yo misma fui mi ruta)

by Julia de Burgos (1914-1953)

I wanted to be like men wanted me to be:
an attempt at life;
a game of hide and seek with my being.
But I was made of nows,
and my feet level on the promissory earth
would not accept walking backwards
and went forward, forward,
mocking the ashes to reach the kiss
of new paths.

At each advancing step on my route forward
my back was ripped by the desperate flapping wings
of the old guard.

But the branch was unpinned forever,
and at each new whiplash my look
separated more and more and more from the distant
familiar horizons;
and my face took the expansion that came from within,
the defined expression that hinted at a feeling
of intimate liberation;
a feeling that surged
from the balance between my life
and the truth of the kiss of the new paths.

Already my course now set in the present,
I felt myself a blossom of all the soils of the earth,
of the soils without history,
of the soils without a future,
of the soil always soil without edges
of all the men and all the epochs.

And I was all in me as was life in me...

I wanted to be like men wanted me to be:
an attempt at life;
a game of hide and seek with my being.
But I was made of nows;
when the heralds announced meat the regal parade of the old guard,
the desire to follow men warped in me,
and the homage was left waiting for me.

Still Developing

keta /KAY-tah/ 
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.

"It's not just the moments that we remember. Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It's the invisible things, the minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time. These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth, still developing."

Keta | The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows from John Koenig on Vimeo.

 

The Important of Kindness and Hush

The Important of Kindness and Hush

"There's a thing when we're children we experience. It usually exists in libraries and it's called the hush. Like this magic world called Hush. There's not many places now to find hush. Somethimes I really do think if every person would experience hush—even if they almost have to force it on themselves for a while—just the bird, just the wind, nothing else, hush—there would be less violence." 

Rare Moments of Emptiness

Parking Garage, Houston (2012) Lynn Saville

Excerpt from "Eloquent Empty Spaces," by Lynn Saville, The New York Times, November 2, 2013: 

WHEN I began photographing cities at twilight, I was attracted to outlying regions, places that seemed unloved and overlooked. More recently, I have been lured back to the central areas of cities, where economic turmoil has produced its own gaps in the urban facade...

Signs of previous occupation, failure and loss mingle with hints of renewal and re-creation.

Working in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Me., Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio, Detroit and Houston, I continue to photograph cities at dawn or dusk. These transitional times underscore the shifting nature of vacancy and offer glimpses of cityscapes in rare moments of emptiness. 


See also:

Live Your Way into the Answer

Kit Spahr: Alum Creek, July 8, 2013

"I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet

What Humans are Capable of Inflicting

Excerpt from "Witnessing" by Susan Sontag from the introduction to Don McCullin:

"I would suggest that it is a good in itself to acknowledge, to have enlarged, one's sense of how much suffering there is in the world we share with others. I would insist that anyone who is perennially surprised that depravity exists, who continues to experience disillusionment (even incredulity) when confronted with evidence of what humans are capable of inflicting in the way of gruesome, hands-on cruelties upon other humans has not reached moral or psychological adulthood.

No one after a certain age has the right to this kind of innocence, of superficiality, to this degree of ignorance, of amnesia.

We now have a vast repository of images that make it harder to preserve such moral defectiveness. Let the atrocious images haunt us. Even if they are only tokens and cannot encompass all the reality of a people's agony, they still serve an immensely positive function. The image says: keep these events in your memory."

See also: Don McCullin

In-between-ness

"I have always been fascinated by the poetic condition of twilight. By its transformative quality. Its power of turning the ordinary into something magical and otherworldly. My wish is for the narrative in the pictures to work within that circumstance. It is that sense of in-between-ness that interests me."

~ Gregory Crewdson

See also:

A State of Flux

View from the ISS at Night from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

Marcelo Gleiser, from "The Mystery We Are," On Being, November 9, 2012: 

The way we understand the world is very much based on what we can see of the world. Science is based on measurements and observations. And the notion that we can actually come up and have a theory that explains everything assumes that we can know everything — that we can go out and measure everything there is to measure about nature and come up with this beautiful Theory of Everything. And since we cannot measure all there is to measure, since our tools have limitations, we are definitely limited in how much we can know of the world.

So you can even build a theory that would explain everything that we know now. But then two weeks from now, someone else will come and find something new that does not fit in your theory. And that's not a Theory of Everything anymore because it doesn't include everything that can be included.

When you look out into nature, everything is in transformation at all times. And we see this at the very small and we see this at the very large [scale]. When we look at the whole universe, it is expanding, it's growing, it's changing in time. And so I look at things much more as a state of flux, of becoming, of transformation, as something that has some static truth behind it. So the notion that we as humans could come up with a final answer to the mystery of nature it's pushing things a little too far for our capabilities.


See also:

Looking Back

"It was Bea Feitler who taught me that you learn by looking back."

~ Annie Leibovitz, recent recipient of the Wexner Prize

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ - "Documentary" from Homestead on Vimeo.


See also: 

 

Time Machine

SILVER & LIGHT from Ian Ruhter on Vimeo.

"This project isn’t about making images. It’s not about creating the world’s largest camera. It’s about doing what you love. If you had been searching your whole life for something you love and you found it, what would you be willing to sacrifice?

Imagine all the places this camera's gonna take me. Every portrait, every landscape, every photo is an original image. It's a moment frozen in time. I didn't just build a camera, I created a time machine."

~ Ian Ruhter

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