Too many of us do not have time to be quiet, to sit quietly, listening, looking, waiting for something, they know not what. All of the important things occur to us in the silence. On the toilet. In the shower. The bathroom is the most meditative friendly room we are ever in. Take advantage of that. When you go in the bathroom, and shut the door, attend the silence! BE quiet! Present with the moment. At one with the moment. Listening to the things that occur to you. To the things that come to mind. Instead of thinking about them, just notice them, and tuck them into your awareness, and keep listening, watching, silently going about your business, with your mind on your mind.
We can start anywhere, in that there is no beginning and no end. We start where we are, and allow one thing to lead to another, on the ongoing journey called "The circumambulation of the Self." Also called "The Hero's Journey," and "The Spiritual Journey," and "Growing Up." Where I am at this moment, this now, is with Symbols and Metaphors. So, I will start there. James Joyce said, "Any object properly regarded can be the gateway to the gods!" Symbols and metaphors are everywhere we look, waiting for eyes that see beyond the fact of what they are looking at to all that is evoked in and revealed to those who look deeper. Joseph Campbell said, "Someone once said to me, 'Just think of a thing as a Thou instead of an It, and then our experience changes.'" Campbell follows that with, "Look at things not as them being the things they are in themselves, but as manifestations of a mystery. The idea of a mystery is what it is all about. And that mystery of all things is your mystery." Symbols and metaphors carry us into the mystery. Do not look at the world as a huge collection of assorted and miscellaneous facts, but as an incredible gallery of symbols and metaphors, through which we are transported into the eternal dimension of mystery and wonder. Sit with anything and see what it has to show you about everything. It takes time, of course, and requires attention. Transformation is like that. It doesn't happen to people who are in a hurry and want to get to the point in order to go on with their life, as though life can happen in some way other than through symbols and metaphors.
I find myself seeking sincerity, symmetry, balance, and harmony. Every photograph I make is a composition of these four elements, an arrangement of what is most important to me, a reminder of what I cannot get enough of, a call to do what needs to be done. I see it as a reflection of where I come from, of what was missing from the start. I live-- and hunch that we all do-- to compensate for the deficits at work in our life. We live to be what we seek! To bring it forth in our life. To incarnate, express, exhibit, what matters most to us. I serve--however well, however poorly-- sincerity, symmetry, balance and harmony. My photos are a reminder of what I am to be about.
There is no right way to do it as long as it brings you to life. But. There is a catch. Coming to life means dying to all that is not life. Death, then life. Adam and Eve would have had to die either way. Better to die in the service life, than to live forever in the Garden of Bliss, never having a life of your own. Adam and Even chose wisely. What would you go to hell for? Ah, but. Again. Life is a cruel task master! Planting where it does not cultivate, and reaping what it does not sow. Demanding what it has no right to at all. Ask an artist. Or a dancer. Or a musician. Or a sculptor. Or a poet. Or a writer. Ask them what their life cost them. Ask Jesus. Or the Buddha. And who among the lot wouldn't say, "Of course, I would jump to do it all again!"? It's about the price we are willing to pay to be who we are. To live the life that is ours to live. That is the question at the heart of "What would you go to hell for?" Those who hold back, who refuse to step forward to die in the service of their life, do not live at all. And here we are. What about us? What say we?