Psychologically, I have been hanging on to summer tooth and nail. Even though, if the truth be told, fall is probably my favorite season of all. I just hate to let go of the long days and blue skies of summer. But every year around this time the riot of color and cool crisp air once again win me over. I let go of my yearning for endless summer and allow myself to fall in love once again. Autumn carries an undeniable mix of excitement and melancholy. With the falling leaves come yellow pencils with pink erasers intact, brand new books, spider webs and cold nights; but nevertheless, winter lurks right around the corner. This fall I am trying to simply enjoy the moments as they come; without looking backward with longing or forward with trepidation. I am told that cultivating the ability to live in the present moment is the recipe for happiness in all areas of life. So this fall, my goal is to delight in the blaze of color, the taste of juicy tart apples, and the fact that I can dig my baggy winter jeans out of the closet! With any luck at all I will embrace the most photogenic of all seasons.
I think one of the reasons that I love and need photography so much is that if forces me to slow down. Slow way down. Photography forces me to look closely and carefully, to take note of the very particular moment. Lately, I have been reading some Buddhist teachings and there are references to life and emotion being like clouds in the sky; ever changing, fluid with no beginning or end point. I struggle to integrate that teaching into most aspects of my daily life, but with photography I seem to be able to access that awareness without trying. Hold the camera up to my eye and suddenly the subtle shifts in light, the movement of the clouds, and the random gusts of the wind all make it thru the seemingly endless noise playing in my head and I find myself more aware; more connected to the moment.
Next week I will be in Maine teaching a workshop for Santa Fe Workshops with my pal (I mean, really, how best to describe him? friend? creative partner? mentor? tormentor?) David Middleton. For those of you coming along we have no clue what the weather may bring, or what the days may hold in store for us. It is increasingly impossible to predict color, let alone “peak color”. With certainty I can tell you that we will wander in Acadia National Park, we will haunt harbors and we will DEFINETLY eat blueberry pancakes at Jordon’s Diner! We will look for my favorite lobsterman Norm Closson. We will take some photos. We will have some laughs. If you don’t bring David some dark chocolate (plain; no nuts, no chili) we may have some tears. We will learn some new stuff and make some new friends. We will try to cherish the moments as they come. If you can’t come this year, maybe next year, but wherever your Autumn finds you I hope you take a moment to just look around and live in the moment. Winter will take care of itself…..