Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Darn. Rain. Stereotypical western Washington weather, unfortunately. Gosh, I miss the sun. Meanwhile, I've been pondering my two energizing creative passions: writing and photo-shooting. I'm toying with the idea of coalescing them in some way. Just for the pleasure of it.

You see (Don't you think it's swell when people begin their sentences with "You see?" Gag.) I'm fairly certain that I'm a romantic. Don't be fooled, I mean "romantic" in the semi-literary sense of enjoying heart-stopping vistas and grand things and sweeping emotion and climactic epic-ness, etc. The alternate use of the word conjures up images of romance novels, hopeless love shmucks, and B-rated romantic comedies. I don't dig that ("dig." Did I really just write that?).

Yes, I'm an epic/scenic/grand/sweeping/climactic sort of romantic. At times I'm overcome by a severe longing for something deeply and profoundly 'more'... something that sweeps me up into itself with power and finality and passion. The shell of this longing exists for me in great music, breath-taking scenery, good art, and moving films.

C.S. Lewis is my mentor in this territory. Consider his description of this longing that I've poorly termed being a "romantic" (which he finds an inadequate label)...

In The Weight of Glory, he calls it "The secret we cannot hide and cannot tell though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter... But this is a cheat... The books and music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things are good images of what we really desire... But they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited."

That's what I mean by romantic. A deep-set longing for fullfilment and beauty that will never be tasted in its intoxicating entirety until I meet Jesus face-to-face. For now, it takes the form of an unsatisfied yearning--kindled each time I taste beauty in nature, film, art, and music.

Here enters photography. Words articulate emotion and feeling in sequential revelation. But a picture sweeps me up into itself in a swift moment. It seizes my desire for beauty and 'more' and intensifies it. Lately, I've been thinking in photos rather than words alone. A picture instantly imparts a feeling. I like that. I also like the thought of using words to articulate the sense that washes over me.

So... Why not marry my two creative outlets for the heck of it? I think I will. I'll describe as best I can a few of my photos--the framed world that they create in my mind. Let me know your thoughts about each or any of the photos. What senses and emotions invade you? I'm also curious if you can relate a smidge (I like that word ;) to any of my talk about this "longing."

Enjoy. And keep chasing and desiring more ;)
I savor capturing the smaller worlds within our 'big' world. This little fella likely wandered the yellow rose for a significant portion of his life. He probably didn't venture beyond the specific garden in which this flower is rooted. But his world was still vast to him, and we shared this moment. Whimsical :)

The overwhelming sense that floods me is "December." A finality and conclusion of things. Of a day. Of a year. Of a life. This photo induces a pensive introspection in me. I want to be still in it... Be still and reflect. Be still and know.

The 'longing' gains uber intensity here. I feel the urgent desire to be part of something grand and majestic... Or to just tacitly soak it in. Greatness lures me in this photo with high-flying, richly colored glory. Don't you itch a little to see what's at the end of that horizon?

I see fertile soil for daydreams :) An afternoon of barefoot, care-free exploration. This makes me happy. Silly happy.

This photo delivers fragments. I feel in parts: silent struggle, earnest desire, a touch of sadness, and quiet reflection.

Your turn, if you please ;)

1 comment:

  1. The Celtic Christians had a name for those transcendent moments - "thin places" - it's as if you're no longer touching the earth and yet you are deeply aware of a sense of holiness beyond explanation or description. You are finding that in your photos/writing and so are others who view them. Though as Westerners we sometimes "fear" that which we cannot describe or rationalize. God is all around us - in the delights of creation, in the person sitting across from me - and in your paying attention to what is actually right in front of you - like that bug in the flower. Through the lens of your camera, you are participating in the experience of the Holy....May you continue to delight in what your eye perceives....