Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Making Sense

May River Inlet 1994

My wife and me spent New Year’s Day with my brother (in-law) Buford Lost in Real Life canoeing the shoals at Landsford canal on the Catawba river in upstate South Carolina. Buford is an avid photographer and writer who defines himself best in clarity when he’s in nature and the outdoors either paddling on water or camping. Buford’s not a ‘team player’. He tends to steer his own distinct course in this world unafraid of what others may think. I like this about him. I rediscovered my love of photography from his stunning camera- eye and his ability to capture his world clearly and in such natural beauty. He’s the brother I never had and he teaches me things through our multi-layered conversations and his poetry, through his love of white-water and calm water paddling, and his graceful use of the camera.

Our conversation on New Year’s Day turned to the nature of photography as we both snapped pictures on the banks of his little island getaway in the middle of the Catawba. We both remarked how it sometimes takes snapping 20-30 pictures to uncover the one or two that are the treasures- the ones that speak of what we see when we lose ourselves looking through the camera-eye.

Through photography and writing I’m learning it’s easier to make sense of this world by not confronting life’s challenges and questions directly but through bypassing the head-on brick walls of “why?” and taking the side roads of the creative process that ultimately lead to answers I can live with. I’d much rather spend an afternoon writing, paddling, or taking pictures when I’m frustrated or disillusioned than curse the darkness of my confusion. This meandering and almost deserted pathway is much more scenic and blissful than the clogged thoroughfares of ‘massive rationalization.’

Sometimes we take a picture and when it’s developed we wonder what inspired us to capture this image in the first place…it makes no sense to us. Then, along some distant future we come across the photograph again and for the very first time, it makes perfect sense.


Blogger Marjorie said...

This is a beautiful photo -- I especially like the expanding concentric circles in the foreground, such a metaphor for life.

3:24 PM  

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