Saturday, October 5, 2013

Photography, questions, and a blog post

I went to South Africa in the summer of 2012 and spent a month on retreat with my friends the monks at their monastery near Grahamstown. I did a tremendous amount of reading, photography, and praying, not necessarily in that order. I did that in a very cold, non-centrally heated room in the middle of the winter. The hot meals and the crackle of the fireplace and the depth of the conversations warmed me.

In reading Rainer Maria Rilke, "Lettters to a Young Poet", I came across this quotation which has, since then, been one of my touchstones.

"...I would like to beg have patience with everything unresolved in your own 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."

Photography has been a way for me, since a young age,to love the questions. Questions of light and darkness, questions of tiny details in the whole grandeur of creation, and questions of my relationship to the earth and its effect on me and mine on what I gaze upon. I am grateful for the continuing passion to gaze through a camera lense and be given, or find, the image for the day.

My first photograph: my brother Peter in Hong Kong, Christmas 1966

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