Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mindful Photography

The mind is the most capricious of insects — flitting, fluttering. 
Virginia Woolf

The next couple months are going to be most interesting around here. We have a wedding in June and a baby coming in July. The baby part is easy. I'm not the one going through labor.  We readied the old cradle and stroller for baby visits and we wait for that child to appear. Already this grandparent gig is much easier than parenting.

But the wedding comes first. The wedding festivities six years ago for the baby-to-be kids was an incredible high and the one coming up holds all that promise as well. But, those who say the groom's mother has nothing to do? Phooey to you. Along side our wedding responsibilities like the rehearsal dinner and figuring out how to dress myself, we have family and friends coming from all over the country. Lots of work going on to get the homestead ready and plan for good times and good food while we gather.

For years you sit around scratching your belly saying, "Ya know, Pa. Someday we should fix that."

That someday has arrived. With all the details.  If I get everything on these lists done before everyone arrives, I can have great fun when they do. And I do like to have fun.

For sanity purposes, I decided to take a Mindful Photography class this past month. I completed the course last Friday and I have to say that along with my daily poetry/essay reading and journal writing, I have retained some sense of stability. My husband might argue with that long statement, but what does he know.

Mindful Photography.  Contemplative and Miksang Photography. Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates to "Good Eye." That means we declutter our brains and just shoot away -- or something like that. Pure perception and straight shooting. Not worrying about the light and the perfect setting and all that jazz. Instead focusing on what we are seeing when we open our minds and see.

Sounds like how I, not being a photographer and barely knowing how to use my camera, normally take my photos. One moment, one shot. Similar to writing a shitty first draft. (God bless you Anne Lamott for that most appropriate term.)

But this mindfulness also involved the contemplative part. As said by Christine Vatters Paintner in her book Eyes of the Heart, this is a receptive practice, where we allow grace to enter and open ourselves to hear and ponder.

Perfect escape for me.  The photography practice has offered a chance to breathe. I'm grateful.

Led by a very accomplished and organized teacher who assured me I wasn't the first intimidated by this venture, this Put It On Auto and Shoot person experienced great joy in the process. Here are a few things I found on my outings.

Just What Is

Color and Shapes

Miksang Pattern

The Ordinary

Love's Equivalent



From a Child's Point of View

I'm a rookie, but now I'm a more mindful rookie. Calmed. In the moment.

Back to my lists. Mindfully. And if anybody wants to clean toilets...


  1. I'm on my way to look for that class here! I love your photos and am truly impressed that this is how you're managing the happy chaos of your life right now. It will be interesting to see what mindful photos come from these events. Sending you lots of happy energy and love.

    1. Thank you. I need it. And now I also need the rain to stop.

  2. An interesting selection,it also takes practice. I shoot 300-600 a month but only keep 1/2 or less

  3. you are going to fill your PC with digital images. Then the fun comes in organizing and deleting.

  4. The table and the chairs is the best.

  5. You have an amazing eye. And such an artist's view of the world. I could never take those pictures. I sure appreciate that you do and then share them here with us mortals.

    1. Well, you know. When you got, you got it. Ha! Not certain about that, but I do like art so perhaps years of looking at that has helped.

  6. Now I have a name for what I do sometimes with the camera! It is indeed fun and enlightening.

    1. Always good to find out we're not completely aimless as we experiment. You take some fine photos as I recall.

  7. Wow incredible. Love the tree with the knots.

    1. Yes, I like that, too. I normally just love the smooth feel of the bark on a crepe myrtle. When I looked at the world from the child's point of view, I saw faces and everything in those knots. Fun.

  8. Wow incredible. Love the tree with the knots.

  9. Wow! Those are amazing photos! It makes me want to take a photography class. Fantastic!
    Sounds like you have a very exciting summer. I hope all is going smoothly and you aren't feeling too crazy. Enjoy the wedding! :)

  10. Photography is on my list of fun things to do, too. I've done it for years, but a class such as yours is in order. Soon, I hope.

    Love your shots! Full of everything mentioned in your captions.

    Oh, and try to remain calm as you await the momentous occasions. How exciting you and your family!


Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.


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