The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Category: Spoken word

“Sailing the Unknown”

 

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One doesn’t discover new lands

without consenting to lose sight of the shore

for a very long time.

– Andre Gide

 

Image: “Sailing the Unknown”
© 2014, Heidi Straube

 

When our spirits first imagine them, the lure of new experiences, grand adventures, and making amazing life changes can be very compelling. Seduced and enthusiastic, we decide to take the journey.

Some of us research, plan, set the course. Others leap into the experience and create direction as events unfold.

Either way there is often the illusion that we can always come back to the familiar, the place from where we left.

But true sailing the Unknown has no guarantees. There are highs. There are lows. The winds come up and blow us to places that aren’t on the charts, and we have to correct direction, or choose a new destination – sometimes temporary, other times permanent.

Even if we return to from where we left, we are changed. We have had to draw on courage, trust. We have had to conquer fears we didn’t even know existed before we took the voyage.

Surrendering to the experience, we expand, we flex, we deepen. We become different inside, even if those who we return to see us as the same. The new people we meet on the way are unaware they are seeing a changed person, even from a month before. We are living life from a new place.

When we sail well, we allow life to pierce us, caress us, challenge, uplift us. Throughout, we retain our hearts, our core beings. We nurture and grow the beauty of our souls. And we allow our inner beauty to shine through our actions, thankful to be in this world and on this journey.

To those who find themselves in the Unknown, discovering new lands, whether by choice or circumstance:

I wish you courage, compassion, strength and love.

If you are unable to see the shore – if you feel discouragement, fear, or aloneness –

I wish you the qualities of trust, relaxation, and peace. Yours is a deep and brave quest.

May you find your inner stillness that comes with the beauty of the sail.


Heidi

If you need some nurturing today, perhaps you’ll find grace in my reading of my photo-poem, “Surrender.” The poem and photograph, with the audio link at the end, can be found here.
Other photo poems and mini-meditations can be found here on this blog.

“Surrender…to You” (Hafiz)

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The
Closer
I get to you, Beloved,
The more I can see
It is just You and I all alone
In this
World.

I hear
A knock at my door,
Who else could it be,
So I rush without brushing
My hair.

For too
Many nights
I have begged for Your
Return

And what
Is the use of vanity
At this late hour, at this divine season,
That has now come to my folded
Knees?

If your love letters are true dear God
I will surrender myself to
Who You keep saying
I
Am.

*****

May 2014 be the year that you recognize the beautiful person that you are – and may you find your most graceful and vibrant ways of living that Being.

I begin this new year on Cape Cod, Massachusetts – in a house on the marsh, down the road from a beautiful beach in Eastham. This is my new nest for the winter.

As I deepen my creative, contemplative, and transformational practices, I invite you to share in the Spirit as it unfolds…in your own work, and with me.

Image: “Boat Meadow Beach at Sunset, Eastham, Massachusetts”
From “A Winter on Cape Cod” © Heidi Straube 2013

Poem: “Without Brushing My Hair,” Hafiz, translation by Daniel Ladinsky

Audio: Heidi reads “Without Brushing My Hair”

Making Portraits – Choices

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I’m inspired by the comparison portraits above from today’s NPR article, “For Modern Poets,  a “Likeness” Could Evolve”  (based on the current show at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.)

Same person, different perspectives.

Here’s Langston Hughes as a bellhop (with much soul), and as a professional, business-like writer. These images were both made in the same year.

Marianne Moore is young, romantically lighted. Almost 20 years later we have a different experience of  her life in her clear, I-see-you gaze, posed in front of elephants.

A thought provoking reminder to those of us who take portraits –
How do you “see” (experience/feel/understand) the person?
What do you consciously include in the image?
Are you evoking your preferred expressions, or do you allow the subject’s natural expression to come through?

And if you’re the one looking  –
“Who” are you being encouraged to see?
What qualities are there – and what may be left out?

Interesting in the article: insights re the dynamics of artists and their agents deciding what persona to be presented to the world, more examples of portraits that have changed dramatically  as the person evolves (see Allen Ginsberg), featured poets reading their work…

(Camila Domonoske and Angela Evanciei,  “For Modern Poets,  a “Likeness” Could Evolve,” on the new exhibit, “Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (see wonderful website) in the National Portrait Gallery,Washington, D.C.)

“Comfort”


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Your gift today is

“Comfort”

Yes. I wish that for you too.

(Listen to the 1-minute reflection on “Comfort”)

Audio/Download: “Comfort” – I Wish That for You Too”
YouTube version

Image“Christmas House,” Chester, CT  © Heidi Straube 2009

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