“Let’s take the boat out, wait until darkness. Let’s take the boat out, wait until darkness comes.” Peter Gabriel
“Regard this fleeting world like this: like stars fading and vanishing at dawn, like bubbles on a fast-moving stream, like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass, like a candle flickering in a strong wind…echoes, mirages, and phantoms, hallucinations, and like a dream.” Buddha
French photographer Marc Riboud once said: “The idea of photography as evidence is pure bullshit. A photo is no more proof of any reality than what you may hear being said by someone in a bus. We only record details, small fragments of the world.”
It’s a long way there, it’s a long way to where I’m going.
“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” Charles Bukowski
“Fish,” he said, “I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” Santiago, The Old Man and the Sea
Note: This man is not really old relatively speaking, and the sea is actually the Susquehanna River, but he seemed pretty determined to go fishing in such a dense fog. No guts no fish to gut I guess.
“There’s something beautiful about keeping certain aspects of your life hidden. Maybe people and clouds are beautiful because you can’t see everything.” Kamenashi Kazuya
In The Art of Happiness the Dalai Lama said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” In other words, take the dog for a ride.
In this classic parable, Chuang Tzu writes about the empty boat: “You’re on the mountain lake, almost dozing, when suddenly a boat crashes into your hull; you’re angry, you shout, But then you see, the boat is empty.”
So my first question is, am I in a $20 an hour rental boat like the ones at Muddy Run, or am I in a fully restored 1956 Chris Craft worth 1000 times that? But wait, there’s more…
In Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron writes about the same boat: “This is the classic story of our whole life situation. There are a lot of empty boats out there that we’re always screaming at and shaking our fists at.”
Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho writes: “Such is the perfect man – his boat is empty; there is nobody inside. If you meet a Chuang Tzu, or a Lao Tzu, or me, the boat is there, but it is empty; nobody is in it.”
So here are three perspectives on the empty boat metaphor, take from it what you can. And don’t be too quick to delete your photos just because they aren’t perfect, sometimes there’s a story there, even if it’s just and empty boat. And apparently, it’s always an empty boat.
Immanuel Kant, in The Critique of Pure Reason said; “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
In other words, it’s all balls in a boat.