“To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.” Sengcan
“It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.” Thich Nhat Hanh
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.” Susan Sontag
“The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.” Gregory Maguire
After watching a very small goat fight a very large pig I got bored and walked over to this horse. He was all alone and as calm as a virgin who never told a lie. I started taking pictures but had trouble finding the right composition.
I was getting more and more frustrated and I guess he could see it in my eyes. Then he looked right at me and said: “Listen, slow the **** down, equanimity arises when we accept the way things are.”
It turns out he was right, not everything has to be the way I want it to be, even a photo of a horse that quotes Jack Kornfield. I did end up cutting off his nose a bit but definitely not to spite his face.
“Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in this world.” Cesare Pavese
“With regards to the way of death, if you are prepared to die at any time, you will be able to meet your release from life with equanimity. As calamities are usually not as bad as anticipated beforehand, it is foolhardy to feel anxiety about tribulations not yet endured.” Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
“Focus your mind on one thing, absorb the old examples, study the actions of the masters – penetrate deeply into a single form of practice.” Dogen
I pulled into the parking lot of a huge farm stand to try to get a good photo of pumpkins. I tried different angles, apertures and focus points with both of my cameras. Suddenly a smiling Amish guy comes out and asks me if I’m with the newspaper.
I told him no and continued shooting while the light was good. A minute later he was standing right next to me. This time I decided to enlighten him to what I was doing and why. The conversation went like this:
Q. “Are you a photographer?
A. “Well I guess that’s a matter of opinion.”
Q. “Why are you taking so many pictures?”
A. “I’m trying to get one good one.
Q. “What do you do with these pictures?”
A. “I have a website (I figured saying I had a blog was too confusing).
Q. “How do you make money doing this?”
A. “I don’t, it just gives me something to do.
This went on until the clouds burned off and it was too bright. I took a chance and actually asked him if he had a computer to show him some of my stuff but of course he didn’t.
I wanted to explain to him what that great philosopher Charlie Brown once said: “If we could see the miracle of a single pumpkin stem clearly, our whole life would change,” but I thought his head might explode.
I said goodbye and got into my car and he said Beheef dich! It sounded like he was calling me an insulting name in Pennsylvania Dutch but it turns out that the phrase just means behave yourself.
“Dreams aren’t an escape from reality, they’re a reflection of what we want reality to be.” Scaylen Renvac