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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Letters to a friend part 6

'Thanks my friend,
Meant to respond to your image for Oct earlier, but here I am.

                                                                        photo Holly Woodward

A comforting photo because it says what all gardens should say. That we are welcome and secure and and that they exist because we exist and that our eyes and hearts give them their purpose, their raison d'etre.
When Steve and I put 'Trees and Sky' together we decided (in fact we didn't decide it just happened synchronistically)...... that we would make images from  a max distance from our homes (for me it was 250 metres)...and that limitation was in fact liberating.
Lovely image'...................

I just wrote the above to a friend and this brought in mind, triggered off, a need to put it into some sort of context. Here I go. 

We are a group who got together at the Bristol workshop in July which was entitled 'Photography and Awareness' and we decided to keep our contact alive by sending each other photos every month. This, incidentally, is mine for October

And this is the idea.
No judgement, no criticism, no competition.
Just observation.
No hunting for images. Instead letting the images come to us as if carried on the wind

And so,'Photography and Awareness', although the other way around would make more sense because with a developed and acute awareness, photography just follows like a happy and obedient puppy.
Then again, I would prefer the word 'Absorption' to 'Awareness' but it would sound silly as a title, so we'll let it stand.
You see, when we are in a state of absorption, the awarer is not there as a separate entity and there is no duality. And we all experience this state when deeply into a book or film, or fishing or playing chess whatever. And of course children spend most of their waking hours in this wondrous state until adults begin to interfere. And the deepest state of absorption is when we are in the act of creating, whether a painting, a poem, a garden etc. In short, simply doing the things we love, if we haven't forgotten what these are.
Which takes me back to Holly's image. It is not simply another photo of a garden. It is a state of being where the experiencer and the experience and the subject of the experience have become one.
And this is what I mean by absorption.

Michael, October 2015


  1. Michael you always put things so well - that we can put ourselves in a state of being to allow images to come to us, rather than us go out hunting them, and be able to absorb them - to internalise - through the simple process of observing them. This is where the magic happens, where the creative spark illuminates... beautifully.