Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cascade Meditation

Serene Cascade
Hunter, NY

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's the tail end of summer here in Texas and I am already dreaming about the cooler weather; somewhere up in the Catskills of New York, not to far from Woodstock there's a place where I like to meditate while white cascades drown the noise of the busy wheels in my head. The constant roar of the rushing flow direct me to a life channel that otherwise I would not hear.

For a moment, as I close my eyes and drift and free fall with the natural shower, I only think about how I want to be carefree and just be. The soul thing I wish to strive for is to drown out all the other distracting noises and to enjoy my outdoor spiritual oasis and retreat.

I think about the times misspent trying to control things and outcomes and associated needless worry. The worry was inversely proportional to happiness forgone. I know I can't change what was but I think about letting go at least for a while choosing to follow the currents and cascade. Both have their own direction and seem naturally to know their preordained purpose to flow adventure around the stones and boulders along the way and ultimately to the sea.

I know that I am a part of this process and the only way for me to find myself is to truly go with the river and the current and to where it leads. My destiny is not to control and own but rather to let go in preparation for my final journey. On that journey, I will take very little more than what I was born with. There's no point in worrying about hoarding now, its time to enjoy. Time to float. Time to live.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Waiting for Wedding Debut
Dallas, TX

"When we are children we seldom think of the future.
This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can.
The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind."
-Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Last week on the spur of the moment a friend of mine realized that her bride wanted a second photographer to shoot her wedding too. Fortunately I happened to be on FaceBook when I saw her distress message to other local photographers for help. Given that I really had nothing else going on that Saturday, I volunteered to help.

When I got there I could see the relief on my friend's face. As I turned and looked at the bride, I could see that the bride was shall we say "intense".  I made my cameo appearance in front of the bride to assuage the situation and proceeded to go about my business of taking photos from a different perspective. 

Two of the subjects who completely got me relaxed and in the moment were two little girls in the wedding party. They were happy and content all dressed up daintily as if they were ready for some form of impressionist portrait session. I could not help but notice the pure innocence on their faces and simple beauty. They were totally wrapped up in the present and not in the least bit as fretful as the bride. Had I my druthers, I would have simply spent  my time with the two precious girls. The girls were simply playing make believe but as themselves: little princesses and Cinderellas.

The clock was moving and reality was setting in. It was time for me to find my perch in an unfamiliar Catholic church. Had to find out what the rules were for flash and if so when. Had to digest quickly what would work and what would not. My mind was busy and I could feel my stress and anxiety creep in.

St. Thomas Aquinas
Dallas, TX
The only thing I could do was to start looking through my view finder and taking test shots to determine what would work. The lighting of course was poor and mixed between tungsten and some natural light. It was time to jack up the ISO and pray for the best; after all, it was a Catholic wedding so I should have plenty of time and notice in between homilies and communion and God knows what else. I began to shoot from my perch near the pipe organ. Scoped out my subjects: the bride and groom. What can I do to make this work?

Keeping in mind that for me I already had taken my best shots; I focused on the actual ceremony and worked my real assignment. Compared to what I had just captured it seemed somewhat anticlimatic. I focused and pressed the shutter release and kept looking for other drama to unfold. It was good it was all good. I kept thinking about the innocence of the little girls and I thought of my own grand daughter who now was walking and how soon she would grow up. No I didn't want to think about that.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Of Walls and Windows

Window and Adobe
San Elizario, TX

Begin challenging your own assumptions.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in while,
or the light won't come in.
Alan Alda

Been fascinated by details my whole life. To that extent my photography suits me well as I get to showcase my curiosity. Simple details found in architecture and landscapes remind me of the value of observations. All details trigger my curiosity and act as catalysts for my imagination.

Wire Rope and Adobe
San Elizario, TX
Although I've been many times to San Elizario, TX ( a mission town to the south and east of El Paso), I had never noticed several adobe structures near the center of the town plaza.  Both the window and adobe wall made me think of the history of the settlers who once stood there. The adobe walls looked as if they had been riddled with bullet holes (perhaps my imagination) I supposed. It could easily just be weeping holes too, but my first story sounded better.

On an another wall, I saw hung some carefully rolled wire that looked like a cowboy's rope on a saddle. My imagination continued to roam. Suddenly I thought about some lyrics..."out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl..." Was this the home of Rosie's Cantina? Could Marty Robbins have sung about this place and the young maiden named Celina? Was I standing in his place?

Looked down at my cell phone and noticed the time. Realized that at this moment I was just passing through. Still had five hours left before journey's end in Tucson. Reminded myself "just passing through not my final destination" and gathered my memories and pressed westward back on my trail all the while thinking and singing "out in the west Texas town of El Paso... ." Can't seem to get the chord out of my head, just maybe I not supposed to either.

Represented by the Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson