Sense and Absorb
I began looking at life through a plastic lens when I was six. Santa had brought me a Kodak Fiesta camera and from then on I enjoyed seeing the world through what I came later to learn was a plastic element lens focused at the appropriate hyperfocal distance and a fixed aperture to provide the best combination of exposure and focusing distance. I didn't know that for more than a decade. I didn't need to know in order to see. Decades of photography has provided me more knowledge than I need to simply see. Knowledge in the way of experience can be a problem sometimes.
Not to say that knowledge is a bad thing, but at times it is better to simply see...feel...hear....taste...touch. This weekend we were blessed with some dramatic weather. Is it better to know the timing of the front and the barometric pressure, or to simply appreciate the sounds of thunder and raindrops, the change of the feeling of the air on skin, and the scents of the multiple perfumes of nature that the wind brought in?
I set up my camera on a tripod and started making creative decisions regarding shutter speed to show the motion of the rain, aperture for depth of field and focal length to obtain the right sense of perspective. Then I realized that I didn't want to use the knowledge; I simply wanted to sense. So I put the tripod aside, watched the rain and hoped to be like the soil and simply soak things in. I cannot relax enough to be soil-like, but someday.
I often preach the gospel of creativity. I usually think of it as something that is active, like the seed pushing its way out of the ground, and that we are called to be part of it. But, sometimes we need to simply allow ourselves the role of soil and absorb. Great outbursts of life will follow in due time. I am counting on it.
Listen to Life is a free newsletter about learning and getting more from life by paying attention to our own stories and the stories of others, based on the presentations, writings, photography and workshops by Dion McInnis (www.dionmcinnis.com). Copyright 2012 Dion McInnis. All rights reserved