Sunday, May 22, 2011

Luray Caverns Portfolio

This is a short note to announce the availability of my self-published portfolio of 66 black and white images from a photo-shoot at Luray Caverns (in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley). I have written about my adventure there in posts a couple of weeks ago: here are links to part 1, part 2, and part 3. A mini on-line portfolio of 16 select images is also available here.

I will always remember my experience in Luray as (the title of my first blog entry about it suggests was) a joyous meditation in a subterranean cosmos. Luray is truly an otherwordly place, particularly so when (as I was privileged to be, by the generosity of the Luray staff, to whom the book is dedicated) one is an almost lone observer, displaced and cocooned in time and space. Motion and sound are nonexistent, except for the eerie echoes of the "plip-plops" of water droplets slowly, ever so slowly, adding to Luray's vast storehouse of stalactite / stalagmite forms); one's own breathing is the only reminder of "life on the outside." Alone, wandering around Luray's preternaturally beautiful underground vistas of rock and space, it is easy to forget one's normal bearings in space and time. It is, in the end, a timeless void of mystery and wonder.

Thank you, Luray, for your kind hospitality in welcoming this awed photographer (and amateur philosopher of life)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Not About the Images

While there is perhaps
a province in which the
photograph can tell us
nothing more than what
we see with our own eyes,
there is another in which
it proves to us how
little our eyes
permit us to see.
(1895 - 1965)

"Writing is not about words.
Painting is not about pigments.
Music is not about tones.
As long as photographers
insist that photography
is about photographs,
the art is limited
and self-containing."
(Issue 18, Summer 1997)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quiet Mind

"Learn to be silent.
Let your quiet mind
listen and absorb."

“Only in quiet waters things
mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is
adequate perception
of the world.”
- Hans Margolius

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees

"There is simply no real separation line,
only an intellectual one,
between the object and its time-environment.
They are completely interlocking:
nothing can exist in the world
independent of all the other things in the world."
Artist (1928 - )

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Self-Same Distinctions

"A monk once asked Shao-shan,
'Is there any phrase which
is neither right or wrong?'
Shao-shan answered,
'A piece of white cloud
does not show any ugliness.'"
- Shao-shan's Phrase koan

"Where others dwell,
I do not dwell.
Where others go,
I do not go.
This does not mean to
refuse association with others;
I only want to make
black and white distinct.""
- Pai-yun's Black and White koan

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Nature's Dance

"O body swayed to music,
O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer
from the dance?"
(1865 - 1939)

"The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection; the water has no mind to receive their image... the general tendency of the Western mind is to feel that we do not really understand what we cannot represent, what we cannot communicate by linear signs - by thinking. We are like the "wallflower" who cannot learn a dance unless someone draws him a diagram of the steps."

Postscript: fans of Alan Watts will want to check out the new Alan Watts documentary film In The Way, that recently got "kickstarted" on Can't wait for the release!