About 10 years ago I took a course in Contemplative Photography. It was all about learning how to see and connect with the visual richness of our daily life. I spent my first evening wandering around a parking lot in Signal Hill taking pictures of tire prints, grass, shadows and the sky. I was amazed at how much beauty was in that parking lot! The next day I started wandering around back lanes with my camera, taking pictures of rusty metal, fences, oil spills and dandelions. It was just as much a spiritual practice as it was an artistic one. I learned to look for beauty in any place or situation.
When I was in Winnipeg last week, I’d start my day early with a long walk. I found myself taking pictures of the cracks in the road and remembering these words from Rumi “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
Summer Art Invitation:
What You’ll Need:
Pen and paper
30 minutes (or more:)
Pick your location. It’s more interesting if you pick a place that appears to lack beauty or nature. Maybe you’re waiting for the bus or C-train. Maybe you’re sitting in a parking lot waiting for your child or walking to the store or putting out the recycling. Any place will do.
Look around. What do you see?
You’re only going to take two pictures. Don’t rush. Move around. Explore a bit. Be mindful.
Is there a flower pushing through concrete, a river drowning out the hum of the city? A blue jay sitting on a garbage can? A gorgeous sunrise?
Take your pictures.
Ask yourself: What can I learn from this? Is there a message here?
Write something about your pictures.
Consider printing out the pictures and combining them with your reflections.