My Back To The Future Moment.
The Bachnut Journal
It’s times like these that I look to the photographic process for some sanity. I truly ache for the mental health of this country. We are like positive and negative charged particles being sucked into a black hole consuming all empathy and compassion and leaving only petrified ideological self-righteousness. In the seventies, I turned to photographic process to salvage my mental health in the midst of a busted marriage. Now it’s a busted republic of polarized points of view.
The only thing that I can do is turn my thoughts to my core beliefs.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Nature, immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs,
Faces the decay of its fruits.
A sound man, immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs,
Faces the passing of human generations.
The universe, like a bellows, Is always emptying, always full:
The more it yields, the more it holds.
Men come to their wit’s end arguing about it
And had better meet it at the marrow.
Take a walk with a camera and a normal lens. Clear your mind of everything but what you encounter. Shapes emerge from the light and shadow. From those shapes find form through composition that satisfies a feeling or idea. It’s as simple as that. Keep the tools simple so that the connection is most direct. Your choices boil down to composition, aperture and focus. For this reason a tradition manual camera helps to simplify the process. Take it one step further and remove the light meter and the camera functions without a battery. Master photographers understand light in their encounters in such a way that they intuitively know the exposure.
It’s been a busy Spring working on yard projects and not a lot of study time. What little spare time I have has been devoted to the piano. I am posting this Summer’s divination without a lot commentary for the time being. I hope to return to it after the Sheep shelter is completed.
The first line (yang) and fourth line (yin) are strong. In that situation, Master Huang recommends only using the Yin line for the divination.
I chose this place at Third and Dogwood because it is what it is, no more or less—a parcel of ground set apart to bury the dead. It is laid out in blocks separated by narrow lanes, barely wide enough for one car pass—originally meant for wagons and carriages I suppose. There is no mausoleum here, nor alabaster statues—no reminders of eternal life. I am satisfied with that. If such considerations have been unimportant in life, they are meaningless by the time you arrive at this place; you die as you have lived.
I was alone as far as I could tell, standing at my husband’s grave that morning after his burial. Once more I was the detached observer, standing apart, hollow as the man of straw, just as I had been on the morning of my mother’s death.
It had rained all night, and the fog was settling in over the surrounding stone markers. The patch of grass was raw from his intrusion. My own plot was unbroken. The soil had never been turned; no row of beans, or potatoes or marigolds had been planted there. Suddenly I was filled with an astonishment that chilled me to the bone. I was standing on my own grave that waited without purpose for my committal. I had reached the end of trying to understand this brief span of life that comes out of the darkness and returns to the night.
But a strange thing happened as I began to breathe again. It was not the death and funerals that filled my mind, but the joy of my mother’s laughter as I skipped over crusty patches of snow and stuffed my pockets with Johnny-jump-ups; it was the appreciation of the good black soil and all that grew there that my grandfather had given me; it was the first cry of my children; and of all those whom I have loved me, and especially those who have loved me back. Every loss and every leap forward confirms my existence.
– Third and Dogwood, ©2000 Vivian Cress.
Harry Huskey, one of the last surviving scientists in the vanguard of the computer revolution, who helped develop what was once billed as the first personal computer because it took only one person to operate, though it was the size of two refrigerators, died on April 9 at his home in Santa Cruz, Calif. He was 101.
Read the NY Times Obituary.