“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” -Dalai Lama
“The poet must not only write the poem but must scrutinize the world intensely, or anyway that part of the world he or she has taken for subject. If the poem is thin, it is likely so not because the poet does not know enough words, but because he or she has not stood long enough among the flowers–has not seen them in any fresh, exciting, and valid way.” — Mary Oliver
One day a few years ago, with a lot on my mind and little painting experience, I went to the top of a mountain in upstate New York to paint a landscape. However, as I painted the dark mountain range in the distance, I was very impatient and everything was a struggle: self-reproach, drawing, painting, brushes, composition, light and dark. After a long while, I paused silently to simply observe the vast landscape before me. I was seduced by the glory of nature and suddenly the world came shockingly alive with light and color! It was as if spring had occurred in a bursting spontaneous moment. I was surrounded by beauty the whole time and had not seen it! There was a bodily-felt-sense of oneness: nature moving through me as I am moving through nature.
People travel through black holes, deep valleys and sometimes reach extraordinary vistas. Are we “stepping through beauty” throughout time, even as we are experiencing other things and are unaware of it?
Photographic Image: Winter’s Walk © Garry Geer 11/2011