Friday, March 27, 2009
I was blessed to spend the last week with my two older sisters, Jo and Sandra. We traveled up to the eastern border of California to explore Lava Beds National Park and the surrounding area, Tulelake, Merrill and the National Wildlife Refuge. We stayed at Al and Verna's Winema roadside Lodge, ate some great food, saw three bald eagles, tons of birds, and explored the volcanic tubes and caves of the area in freezing cold weather. We saw some amazing petroglyphs and photographed like crazy, stopping every time one of us got a whim. We walked across the Shasta Lake resevoir, and ended up in Chico, with a tour of Bidwell Mansion and the beautiful Chico Campus. Mainly we laughed alot, told stories, and reminded one another of crazy times from our childhood. I had an amazing time with two wonderful human beings who I am lucky enough to have as sisters.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Being on the road, looking for beauty, and photographing my perception of that beauty is one of the things in life that gives me the greatest pleasure. I recently met a local photographer, Michele Miller, who has created a series of greeting cards with various photographed numbers on them. That caused me to notice numbers in a new way, and now, I'm off and running, seeing and creating. BTW Happy Birthday Kim!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Although Jung's predominate journey was exploring his inner world, he also did a fair amount of traveling in the outer world. Again, from Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, in the chapter entitled, "Travels", Jung recounts two experiences with the myths of light and the sun. In America he visited a Pueblo Indian tribe and talked to a member of this tribe about their spirituality. The man who believed the sun was God said, "We are a people who live on the roof of the world, we are the sons of Father Sun, and with our religion we daily help our father go across the sky. We do this not only for ourselves, but for the whole world." He said that if they didn't perform this daily ritual, eventually, the sun would no longer rise. Later, in his travels in Africa, Jung came to know members of a tribe who performed a ritual to "the sun at the moment of rising" because "the moment that light comes is God. That moment brings redemption, release." It was not the sun that was God, but the moment it appeared that was God. Jung was impressed with both of these rituals because he believed that "the longing for light is the longing for consciousness." Focusing on what's "in the light" with my photography helps me to connect to my natural environment, and remembering my dreams helps me to connect with my inner world, bringing my unconscious to consciouness. In these rituals I find a meaning and purpose that keeps me in "the moment."
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I am currently reading Memories, Dreams, and Reflections by Carl Jung. His life journey, described in this memoir, is a brilliant declaration, acknowledgement, and affirmation to trust in what is not known, in the individual human being as well as in our "collective unconscious", past and present. In our journey to bring the unconscious to our conscious attention, we can use our dreams, myths, art and symbols, to connect to a forgotten part of ourselves, again, both individually and collectively, and create meaning. Although a trained physician and scientist who respected and revered reason, Jung understood it's limitations. In the chapter, "On Life After Death", he states, "The more the critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes; but the more of the unconscious, and the more of the myth we are capable of making conscious, the more of life we integrate. Overvalued reason has this in common with political absolutism: under its dominion the individual is pauperized." I feel inspired to continue to have faith in the unknown of my personal journey, whether it be my art, my work, or my future. Jung, again,
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of being."
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
A theme that is prevalent in my work is that of observing and photographing the images described by the Japanese term, Wabi-Sabi. Wabi, in Japanese art "is a quality of austere and serene beauty expressing a mood of spiritual solitude." Sabi is interpreted as "rustic impermanence". How do I know when I find an image that fits this description? I don't "know it" cognitively, but only intuitively. The description follows the image, not the other way around. I only learned of the name Wabi-Sabi a year ago. I have been drawn to photographing these kinds of images for years. One of my favorite photographers is Aaron Siskind (1903-1991), who has been an inspiration to me since I first discovered his work in the mid 1980's. In his Friends of Photography book, Untitled 49, Road Trip-1980-1988, his use of light and dark abstract images are brilliant. But I didn't begin to photograph these images because of his work, but was supported by them. I am drawn to seeing these images from a different place inside myself, from the light of what I consider beautiful. The road is just a road, we as humans choose to see and create the beauty in it's image.