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Archive for November, 2012

It has been snowing here, and with the freezing rain blanketed by a foot or more of snow, the roads certainly aren’t a pleasant experience. Top that with the grey, cloudy, depressing skies we’ve had and you have a basic winter blah.

But today was beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine and bright snow all around – a photographer’s dream. My plan today was to head out to the mall. Oh, I though a moment about taking my camera along, but chose to leave it behind. This trip had another purpose. It was about getting paints and brushes to begin my new adventure in abstract art.

When I turned onto the main road heading out to the mall I was overtaken with the beauty of each tree along the road, branches packed with clumps of glistening snow, against the bright azure blue of sky. I found myself looking around and had to consciously bring my awareness back to driving. Yes, I thought about my camera, but the thought was fleeting and then gone. Truth is, it wasn’t even an issue. I breathed in the beauty around me in that moment, and breath by breath it all became a part of me.

As a photographer it’s an insane proposition to be without a camera, never mind choosing to leave it at home. But this experience made me realize even more that the Soul doesn’t take pictures. There are no snap shots to keep memories. The Soul isn’t the least concerned with keeping memories of each event in that way. It’s truly a limitation of what we are in our essence.

When I take a photo I’m so intent on getting the right settings, the right lighting, and the right elements together to make the perfect memory to last forever. And then when I get home I manipulate the photo even further digitally to enhance it. Now, I’m not saying at all that I’m going to stop this process. This in itself is a passion and wonderful form of art. But I am very aware that this is only one way to appreciate the beauty around us.

The Soul, on the other hand, sees a scene, a snap shot of life, appreciates the beauty in it in that moment, and the releases it the colors and material scenery. Being obsessed with capturing it on film or a digital file is Human. It’s being more preoccupied with the process than just simply enjoying the moment.

There have been many times in my life when I chanced by a scene or event that I wished that I had a camera with me. One time I drove home for lunch and there was some fantastic fog playing in a golf course in the valley below the road. I did bring my camera back to work, and stopped on the way to take a picture. It had changed, but the beauty was still there. I got out of my car and found a safe position at the side of the road, mindlessly turned on the camera and focused on the view below me. Nothing. No focus. No click. Only then did I realized my batteries were dead. I’ll just say I wasn’t too impressed. But I mentally imprinted that scene into my mind’s eye.

The colors have faded over the years and the details are gone, but if I close my eyes, and breathe myself back into that moment, my Soul can fill in the missing pieces. I can see the hills in the distance with the fog dancing around each mound, each tree, and sparkling with a diamond dust in the shimmer of the afternoon sun. In fact, I can zoom in and join in the dance with each frozen particle of air if I choose. I can smell the elements and almost feel them light upon my fingers as I stir the fog with my hands. You just don’t get that kind of experience from a photograph. Not usually.

That is what the Soul desires. These moment-by-moment expressions of life, the beauty in a flower or the roar of a wave on the ocean. Simply breathing in the moment and making it a part of you is what the Soul desires. The immediate reaction of fiddling with equipment and losing the luminance of the moment is not.

Next time you see a sunset filtering through birch trees or baby birds in a nest take a moment to become aware of your Soul. Feel into the energy and feeling of the moment. Draw it in with your breath and make it a part of you. You created this moment for you. Forget about grabbing your camera. You may miss the mama bird feed her smallest baby a worm, or the flock of geese making their way across the gold and purple hues of dusk. These moments don’t repeat, but the Soul keeps the feeling and passion of each.

Hug yourself with a Soul Moment.

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