September was the month when the American political environment had me wonder if I, like Washington Irving’s character, Rip Van Winkle, had slept through a cultural change so profound that my childhood values, morals, and guiding principles were left to rot in the wave of adults regressing back to the elementary school playground’s name-calling, bullying, and violence that left me cringe and hide with overwhelming fear and confusion.
What has blinded us to empathy? When did social justice become a basis of negation? How did human rights become a political loss? While the Great Wall of China is one of the great architectural wonders of the world, does anyone remember the lives of those encircled by the Warsaw Wall or the delight when the Berlin Wall came down?
If I didn’t have photography which invites me to shift “focus”, would this social regression have me rise up in anger and resentment? Would I become blind and deaf to my own moral shame and moral dread? So…in reflection contemplative photography invited my internal voice to become silent and see the world through a different lens.
In September, one of the blogs I posted noted,
“Henri Cartier-Bresson… is reported to have said, “Thinking should be done beforehand and afterwards—never while actually taking a photograph. Success depends on the extent of one’s general culture, on one’s set of values, one’s clarity of mind and vivacity.
…the creative mind of a photographer is like a piece of unexposed film. It contains no preformed images but is always active, open, receptive, and ready to receive and record an image.~Minor White cited: W Rowe, Zen and the Magic of Photography
I invite you to spend some time with “To Live”, an amazing story of a family’s survival through times of change.
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