Something knows where to put the tripod. Or did, back when I used a tripod. Now, something knows where to stand, how to compose the image, when to take the picture. I don't think about any of this. I simply listen for "Yes/No," "Here/There," "Now/Later"... It all begins with what catches my eye. I have no say-so at all in the matter. My eye is caught of its own volition. My eye is not "mine" at all, but belongs to something "other than me." Something catches my eye, and I'm onto it just like that. Looking closer, looking for a clean (no powerlines etc.) composition, looking for the best lighting, deciding on the best time of day, whether it's a sun shot or a cloudy day shot... I'm not "thinking" about any of this, just knowing. Knowing is automatic, spontaneous, essential. I know when the picture is "there," and when it is "not there." Who is the "I" that knows? We all have one. Do we listen, is the question. Do we know what we know, is the question. Are we paying attention, is the question. But, back to the matter at hand... There has been a carryover of this approach to photography into my life. Or, it was already my approach to life, and it carried-over into photography. I don't know which way it is. I know there is something that knows, and I generally wait to be prodded into action-- or, I wait for action to be evoked by the flow of circumstances within the situation. I don't think about it. "Now? Now? Now?" I just act and deal with the response to my acting. Sometimes, I'm right, and sometimes, I'm wrong, but I don't keep score, or a running tab on how I'm doing. I just keep showing up where I think I need to be and participate in what's going on in ways most appropriate to the occasion-- with nothing to gain and nothing to lose and nothing on the line. This approach keeps the noise level down in my life, the complexity level low, and the drama level non-existent. All of which I find to be most enjoyable. I have no trouble being still and quiet in ways appropriate to the occasion.
People who are against abortion and against gun control give me the heaves. Seriously. I'm throwing up all over the room just thinking about it. About the gross inconsistency of their lives. About their refusal to grow up and bear the pain of their own incongruity, laziness, blindness and irresponsibility. It's like this. To be against abortion and for guns is the biggest non sequitur in the Big Book of Non Sequiturs. It makes no sense. It doesn't connect. It is a blatant contradiction. Guns are for killing. If you want to do target shooting, a BB gun or a slingshot would do that. Guns are for killing. And the right to own/carry a gun gives you the right to kill whomever you decide needs killing. A gun gives you the right to perform a retroactive abortion on whomever you decide is a threat to society. You might be against abortion, but you are ready to make exceptions if the situation calls for it. You make the call. That is all women are asking for. The right to make the call.
Jesus lived a life that led to his death, like John The Baptist before him, and 10,000 martyrs after him. Like Socrates and Martin Luther King, Jr. Like Lao Tzu in his self-appointed exile and death "in the west." Like all of the Native Americans who declared, "It is a good day to die." And died that day. Like everyone who knew/knows what is important, is right about it, and lives a life commensurate/aligned/in accord with what they know to be so. Living like we mean it, means living like that. Means we are going to live in the service of doing what needs to be done, and if we die, we die. What are you serving with your life? What do you know needs to be done? If you have any hesitation here, sit for a while in the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence, and see what appears unbidden, of its own accord, spontaneously arising, to stir you to action in its service, no matter what. If nothing happens, you aren't ready for the adventure, and have to do the preliminary work of coming to terms with the ways you deny/dismiss/discount/ignore the significance of your original nature and the virtues/daemon/genius/shtick/etc. that came embedded in your DNA from before you were born. When you get to the bottom of you, there you are, and the life you live expresses/exhibits/incarnates/ reveals that for all the world to see. Which is all Jesus and the rest of them ever did. And all any of us need to do. Just be natural, as "one thus come." And the path unfolds before us. And if we die, we die. Amen.
We have this fantasy/illusion/delusion that we would be better off somewhere else. Call it "The Garden of Eden Syndrome." It is endemic to the species. And, it is the root of all of our troubles. Trying to improve our lot makes things worse as it makes things better. It is called, "Shooting ourselves in the foot." Sometimes, it is "in the head." And there is no fix for it. No solution. It's a part of the way things are that we have to take into account and live around, knowing that we do not know where we are better off, and noticing when we are pushing for something different, maybe better, and sit for a while in the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence to see what arises "on its own" and how that might address our situation. It is called, "Listening before we do anything potentially stupid." "No pushing, no striving, no forcing," is a good rule of thumb. But it is okay to force a window open if you are in a house on fire. All rules are to be understood in light of what is appropriate to the situation. Anything might be called for at any time. Making the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence an essential practice all along the way (And all along the Way, as well).