Adventures in Seeing – Beginning

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Beginning is often difficult and always courageous.

 
I’ve attended two beautiful weddings over the past two weekends and it occurred to me that getting married is one of the most profound beginnings one can take. So fitting that this commitment is most often made in the company of supportive family and friends.

This couple met on a cruise ship and discovered that they lived in the same town in Kentucky. Here, the bride surprised the groom by recording her voice singing A Thousand Years for their first dance.

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more.

There is so much hope and promise in a beginning, especially a marriage, where the odds these days are not great. We don’t know what the future holds, yet making that commitment together and in front of others is a good start.

We need a lot of love and support to carry us through a thousand years. Believe me, I know after 33 years and counting.

What are you beginning? Perhaps beginnings require the courage to ask for love and support.
 

This week at the Adventures in Seeing Google+ community, we’re depicting and discussing the word “beginning.” The words come from David Whyte’s book, Consolations.

Please be sure to check out the amazing contributions so far and feel free to join the community (if you haven’t already). Submit your photo and reflection, tagging it with the word for the week. Your reflection can be just the word, a metaphor, a poem, a paragraph, or an essay. It’s up to you. See how others reflect on the same word.


 

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Haiku and Photography

In Natalie Goldberg’s book, The True Secret of Writing, she introduces Shiki, a great haiku writer from the 19th century. He was “an invalid, who dragged himself to the edge of the tatami mat, overlooking his garden, where he sat all day waiting to receive a haiku. For Shiki the act of creating entailed an alert stillness.”

Goldberg says that “simple attention shifts reality” and “much can be done by doing little – with regard.”

I find that haiku poems are wonderful accompaniments to contemplative photographs. The words succinctly describe the experience of the moment without judgment. Charles Blackhall calls them “eyeku.”
 
Julie

What is Haiku?

 
Haiku originates from Japan. It usually consists of three lines, containing 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. These three lines pare down an experience to its essence – meaning there is no interpretation, you say what happened in a few chosen words.

Last week, we were in Northern Michigan with my step-sister and her husband. A walk in the woods was both wonderful and annoying in equal measure, as you can see in the image to your right.

Try writing your own haiku with a photograph that describes a moment of simple attention.
 

Resources

 
Learn more about haiku here and here.

Read about Basho, a master of haiku at The Book of Life
 

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Adventures in Seeing – Beauty

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Beauty is the harvest of presence. ~ David Whyte, Consolations

I loved David Whyte’s quote above – beauty as the harvest of presence. Since practicing contemplative photography, I’ve considerably expanded my definition of what is beautiful. When I look closely, and see with eyes of love and attention, beauty reveals itself.

The image above is from my morning walk this week, where I spent some time present to the stillness of Lake Ontario. For me, beauty is found in simplicity, which gets to the heart, core, or essence of the subject or moment.

When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see. ~ John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

John O’Donohue has a lot more to say on the subject of beauty in his book. And, I’ve been thinking of his sub-title, “The Invisible Embrace” all week. When we truly connect at a heart level, it is like an invisible embrace, and there is beauty in that connection.
 

What does beauty mean to you?

 

This week at the Adventures in Seeing Google+ community, we’re depicting and discussing beauty. The words come from David Whyte’s book, Consolations.

Please be sure to check out the amazing contributions so far and feel free to join the community (if you haven’t already). Submit your photo and reflection, tagging it with the word for the week. Your reflection can be just the word, a metaphor, a poem, a paragraph, or an essay. It’s up to you. See how others reflect on the same word.


 

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