Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts...

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.

Toni Morrison

I like this and I like remembering this at times when I think I need to grab the camera and take a photo and get fussy about getting it right and in amongst all the hoo-ha; I miss the moment. Not the "Kodak" moment; but the real moment. The realness of being present; of absorbing the beauty around me or the marvellousness of something I am seeing and just accepting it as a gift. For me. For now.  

We sometimes regret leaving our cameras or phones at home when we come across something; but in the end it's OK to not have a record of it. It's OK to have simply seen, experienced, reacted, felt and wondered.  As Toni says, I guess you don't even have to remember it - it is just what it is and it has been in your life.

Blogging has really changed how I see things and record things - I often think "I'll take a photo of that and blog on it". Things I might not have noticed before; or things that now seem intriguing or funny or worth sharing. 

I also think visual artists' blogs are about the images - the feast of beautiful things we get to gaze upon as we visit each other's blogs and websites. So I am totally for photographing, sketching, painting and capturing images and the sense of place or a moment.  I just think at times, we shouldn't get so bound up in the recording of it that we miss the point of it!

So how to come up with an image to illustrate that thought???? In the end I chose one of the first photos I ever took of our valley.  It was dawn, the clouds and mist were still pooling in the valleys and the mountains were serene.  I see a variation of this scene nearly every day and I never tire of it.  It is always changing, and every day is different; but mostly now I just sit and gaze, and am still.


  1. This is where you live?!! How do you ever get any work done?!! It's stunning.

    So many music rehearsals and meets these days are recorded every moment, so there's always someone worrying about have they pressed the red button and others worrying about making mistakes in a scratch piece that someone might post on Youtube. It takes so much of the playful spontaneity away and stops everyone from taking risks. And I agree with your words. I think it stops us paying attention to whatever is happening right now that can't be caught by machines. It means we lose the magic.

  2. What an eloquent post! And so true.

    By the way, what an amazing view you have of the valley. How often do you have time to just sit and enjoy it?

  3. What a lovely photo you chose! And Toni Morrison's words are so true (even though it is tempting to somehow record our favorite moments of beauty). I was recently given a second-hand camera with a really good lens, but since it's so bulky/heavy I don't take it out as much as I did my old, very compact one. When I see another gorgeous sunset over the Arno river, or a palazzo catching the last light, I find myself on the one hand regretting that I can't capture the moment visually, but also taking more time to observe & enjoy what I see. The main drawback is that it's harder to share the things that move you if you haven't recorded something visually.
    Here's to lovely images - the 'feast of beautiful things' -

    P.S. I loved your post featuring the paint chips - they are such an original medium for 'recording' the character of each day...

  4. Such a beautiful peaceful! I'm funny about the camera....when we go places, I'm not that interested in taking pictures and can't be bothered with all the details of the camera, recording the moment, etc.....and yet, I'm intensely interested in time passing, documenting the moment somehow....what a conundrum. Perhaps I'm just lazy. John takes lots of pictures, but we don't end up actually looking at them! I'm glad you are not too caught up with it all to miss the moment, yet are aware enough to capture life as it is lived! Thanks for the continuing inspiration!

  5. I know what you mean .... but I'm so glad you captured this moment and are sharing it here. What a magnificent view and a wonderful way to start your day.

  6. its just a bit after dawn here at the creek - we are shrouded in fog this morn (sign of a hotty day to come I fear) - I have a gf staying and we were talking last night about how folk are increasingly seeing the world VIA the small view finder or twit box on the camera/phone and miss interacting in a real sense......

  7. my heart ... and your heart...
    are cameras enough.

    Beauty, this.

  8. What I wouldn't give to have a view like that.... you are so lucky Fiona. I love the way you say 'our valley'.....

  9. Incredible view Fiona, a dream landscape. And like you I ponder about just being, not doing, not making. Who am I if I just to speak. Thanks

  10. I swear I did not see this post until AFTER I wrote and posted my latest! Great minds think alike?

  11. Exquisite photo Fiona. Yes, we often don't take the time to immerso ourselves 'in the moment'. Perhaps I will make this a goal for the future, and stop trying to fill my days to overflowing. No promises, but it could happen.

  12. that scene is breathtaking...
    i love tm's quote - and always find her writing to be rich... i think that there is a balance... yes, times of serenity when we just feel full and at peace... but as you say, visual artists thrive on noticing - and that is a beautiful thing - it keeps you present...
    as an aside - you know how at large concerts they put up screens so that you can see things bigger? i don't watch them - i always find it to be ironic that you pay to go see someone perform, but watch a movie screen to do so - instead of watching their physical bodies directly, even if they are smaller...

  13. Hi Annie - yes, the view is the exact reason we built our office at the front of the house not the back - so we don't get distracted! Home is a very calming and relaxing place to be. I agree that the sense of capturing perfection can mean we lose the magic...go well.

    Hi Jennifer - each morning we stop and choose a word for the day whilst having a juice and gaze across it; all the rooms at the back have views and as you wander the block you get to stare as well - so I thankfully get to gaze often enough

    Hi again Lisa - sometimes it's enough to just sit and see it and hold it in our minds our heads our hearts. I love those sunsets over the Arno - some of my favourite memories. And thanks for the paint card thumbs up too! They are quirky little characters.

    Hi Patti - it's funny isn't it how the trickiness of the technology can mean that we leave it alone and just enjoy the moment. I do think it's a conundrum re your interest in the passing of time and change and the less interest in documenting it! Life is full of such reflections I think.

    Thanks Robyn - I adore the visual stimulation I have access to via the interweb now and appreciate it - I just never want to lose my ability to be present, by focusing on recording. It's a great way to start the day - and I feel my blood pressure drop 10 points as we drive up the mountain to our home.

    Hey Ronnie - interesting serendipity! Those early morning moments are magic.

    Leslie - heart to heart, beauty - words aren't really needed much. Thank you.

  14. Hi Lesley - it's just a little bit proprietorial isn't it? Our fence ends much sooner - but we often refer to it as" a big backyard"! It's a restful and special place to call home, go well.

    Thanks Liz - it's interesting to try and stop and be - be present, be mindful. Very interesting thought re who am i if I just am...

  15. Hi Velma - it's a different postcard every day and it feeds and nourishes me.

    Hi G/TT - totally enjoyed your post and laughed at the serendipity of our thinking - must be that great minds think alike yeah!?!?

    Thanks Mary-Jane. I think the balance of being present and observing is an intriguing one. Sometimes we get be present by deeply observing - and sometimes taking photos. I love that you avoid the screen and remain focussed on the person - "live" after all !


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.