Over the next 5 posts I will be sharing with you the 5 “P” principles which help me to ‘hear with my eyes.’ Perhaps they me be of use to you as well… in your photography as well as in your life.
“At the root of creativity is an impulse to understand, to make sense of random and often unrelated details. For me, photography provides an intersection of time, space, light and emotional stance. One needs to be still enough, observant enough and aware enough to recognize the life of the materials, to be able to ‘hear through the eyes.” – Paul Caponigro
- Be PRESENT
The first principle I use is to be Present. This image of a tree reminds me to be PRESENT. It reminds me to …have a strong focussed attention yet openness in the ability to receive….to stand calmly in the space of stillness…..being whole and being a part of a bigger whole… being exactly where I am at one particular point in time and not being in the past or wishing to be in the future, just being steadfast wholly in the moment. Blah, blah… but let me explain further about my perception of being PRESENT… and how this image for me triggers the ‘note to self’, because of the association I have now with its characteristics.
How many times have I got out of the car, walked around to the other side… taken out my tripod and not even had any awareness or remembering that I have done that? How many times have I just put myself on auto-pilot, and let my body take me somewhere whilst my head was thinking about something else? How many times have not remembered where I have put something ??? Heaps!! !!! Because when I was doing those things, I was not totally present. But I am endeavouring to change this through my understanding of the importance of being PRESENT! 🙂
For me being PRESENT is being aware of myself and my environment in any particular point in time. I read a wonderful Zen sentence years ago – which has probably morphed over time but the message is likely still the same… and that is- “When I wash the dishes – I wash the dishes.” I remind myself of this phrase all the time. When I find myself wandering in my mind to somewhere else other than where my body is…or letting my thoughts take me into another place of conversation in my mind other than to where my intention was. Even as I write this post, I am aware that at times I have not been fully present and stopped typing and thought about something I have to arrange for tomorrow. 🙂 So being Present is a work in progress for me… yet I have experienced the wonderful benefits of it… and continue to hold being PRESENT as a goal to which I aspire, so that I don’t let moments of my life go past without me fully noticing or fully experiencing them.
Being PRESENT for me is being aware of information through my senses ; being aware of my thoughts and emotions at any point in time; but not being defined by them…and to observe them and let them wash through me .
Being PRESENT for me is having focussed attention to the task at hand, so that all my energy and awareness is on the thing which I have chosen to do.
Being PRESENT is allowing the stillness and Silence between each breath so that every new breath is a clean palette for which my new observation and awareness can be experienced.
Paul Caponigro said that .. “one needs to be still enough, observant enough and aware enough….”. In the stillness there is silence. In the silence I can hear my inner voice. I can only hear my inner voice if I am PRESENT to be able to hear it. For me… the stillness; the Silence- is the jewel of my existence. It is from this place of Silence where not only my creative voice comes; but my guidance, intuition and the essence of who I am has the space to speak. My training ground for learning to connect with stillness and Silence is through my yoga practice and Meditation and then I endeavour to apply that learning in my everyday life.
Being observant is employing all my senses to take in information around and within me. In includes noticing details; sensory details from my senses…as well as noticing the details of how my body physically and emotionally reacts and responds to these sensory cues.
Being aware is more than the jewel…it is the whole jewellery box for me!!! Having Awareness for me is my ultimate goal… Awareness is a state of being. Awareness is a place of witnessing everything without attachment. Awareness is for me a place where I am with no beginning…..no past…no future… no end… I am just experiencing fully and totally that which is, and I am, in that moment. I have tasted that feeling, and I want to explore Self-Awareness…. and photography helps me with this.
I cannot begin to develop Self-Awareness unless I am Present. Being Present is also about freedom – having the freedom to explore the nature of exploration itself; without the limitations of an expectation of an outcome.
…So apart from my own philosophising 🙂 ….. being PRESENT is a really important first step, to enable me to observe and witness not only my surroundings; but also my own personal response to that information or experience. Perhaps it is for you too… and worth some consideration.
Next post….. have PASSION.