Thursday, October 1, 2009

Seeing Light

Miksang photography (miksang in Tibetan means "good eye") is about new perceptions and seeing the world fresh, without labels and preconceptions. It is also about "stopping when we're stopped." When a perception grabs us and we take the time to appreciate it, explore it and take it in fully, we have, in a small way, honored the world around us and the world within us. To do that means that we have to be fully present with the moment and connect with what stopped us.

Last week my Miksang friend Diane and I were exploring light and it was a challenge for both of us. Everything is light. Every photograph is just a capture of light. So how do you focus on the single element of light when everything is light?

As I was contemplating that question, the black and white checkerboard in this image absolutely stopped me. It called to me from a distance as I walked the streets of Boulder, before I realized that it belonged to one of the most beautiful young women I've ever seen. Why this incredibly gorgeous, young woman was standing on a sidewalk holding a sandwich board, I'll never know. But, I asked her if I could take a picture and she said yes. I was tempted to take a picture of her beautiful face but what had stopped me was the crisp black and white of her pants and as I focused on that I also noticed the long sensuous curve of her shadow.

This photo pleases me because I think it captures a moment of beauty without an obvious label or quick reaction that we might have if it were a more typical photo of a beautiful woman. It is also an honest representation of the perception that stopped me which makes me feel that I am part of the image ... or that it is a part of me ... a small piece of myself that I managed to capture in an image.

I recently made a comment to a friend that I was starting to remember who I am and as I said the words, they sounded odd. It seemed like a strange thing to say ... I didn't know I had forgotten but perhaps these Miksang moments are giving me a way to remember, a way to pull back the pieces of myself that have gone spinning off during these past few years.

1 comment:

  1. I love that zigzagging jolt of black and white and then, to look closer and see it following the curve of a woman's body: just wonderful. It absolutely dominates the image.