MAKING TIME FOR STILLNESS
What happened to those quiet times? How did they spread out in time to the point of fading slowly off my radar? I have my guesses, and they’re probably right on. After high school my family moved to North Carolina. I was on my own. School and work and college filled my time for four years before I, too, moved South for more college and then “real world” work. I involved myself in plenty of activities, so I clearly had the free time available to reinstate my still times. I just didn’t. I think this happens to many of us.
More and more I am seeing that the quiet, unencumbered times are important. Recently, I’ve realized that not only do I miss those quiet moments in time, but I also need them. I need them so that my mind can meander, wander and clear aimlessly and without pressure. The mind clearing is good for us. It allows us to refresh and reset and come back to “reality” with clarity and calm.
When I started in photography and bought my first camera, it was at a time in my life when I faced challenges that made me realize that I am not invincible. It took over thirty-four years to accept my mortality. What a lightbulb moment. My time with the camera became more and more of a soul feeder, a new one. It took me a while to recognize that my photo time could be as calming and restorative as those times with blanket and grass, pen and paper and even dock time.
Finding subjects that enthrall me makes the whole world disappear. My breathing slows, my shoulders drop, and all the busyness of the day and all the pressures melt away. As I think of this transformation that happens in the field, I begin to wonder what makes an image, a scene or subject calming. It would seem that the “in the moment” experiences transfer to the subjects and are reflected in the images. Do I intentionally seek calming, healing moments in the field? Not really. However, I do latch onto and embrace them when they happen.