I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

Given the current conflicts across this land and the earth, this timeless poem from the late John Haines conveys the words I have no voice for.


How strange to think of those street
sand vacant lots, the sandhills
where we played and dug our trenches;
the forts we built, the enemies
we conjured to aim our stick-guns at,
and then went home at evening,
to victory, to safety and sleep.

And now the vast acres of rubble,
the pitched and roofless houses,
upended stonework and sunken bridges.
The dog-packs roaming, digging,
for the one still-unclaimed victim;
the stray sniper aiming at dusk,
and in the roadside fields,
flowers that explode when picked.

The children wandering from one
burned suburb to another,
seeking that which no longer exists:
a neighborhood, a playing field,
a wading pool or a standing swing;
for a kite to fly, a ball to throw,
or just one pigeon to stone.

And through all this haunted vacancy,
from cellars and pits of sand,
come and go as on a fitful wind
such whispers, taunts and pleadings:
the scolding voices of dead parents,
the lessons of teachers no longer
standing, whose classrooms
are blown to ash and smoky air.

And far-off, unheard beyond the drone
of a single hovering aircraft –
in Paris, Zurich, Prague, or London,
the murmur of convening statesmen.


From:
For the Century’s End
Poems 1990—1999
by John Haines
Seattle and London: University of Washington Press.

We walk across ths snowy fields
a chance meeting yet we always
knew this day would arrive.

I do not know your face
from dreams of a spirit
walking between tall trees,
always obscured and hidden.

But with the song playing out
here between each snowflake.
I know it is you.

Imagine what life would be from this moment forward if we moved away from the chatter and negativity our mind is swimming within and realize we are born from the stars, that all life on this planet is born from the same material and roots, and that we each have a purpose.

Imagine what tomorrow would bring if in the moment now we changed our thoughts, our preconceived notions, our anger, our fear, our angst.

Our life would change instantly in that moment. And so too those immediately around us, and within our sphere of influence. And tomorrow as we venture out and interact with others the momentum continues as our approach and voice has become calmer and we have gained a deeper understanding as we are all born from the stars.

In that moment, we move to the other path and it will not be easy, and it will take time. The experiences, habits, and thoughts that pushed us here and now, must be removed from the mind, held in the light of sun and moon, and reexamined. With honesty we take a close look at ourselves and choose what to keep and what to discard, making room for the new pieces of us that we vow to take back into the world.

This process, a self-reflection fracturing, allows the fragments to realign and grants us the opportunity rebuild our self into the being we want to be, into the being shedding burdens and making the best of the time we have left. Setting the stage for a return and a rebirth carrying with us the experiences bathed in a new mindset, a new view of the world, opening the door to ascend from the empty fields and onto the next level.

“Which way home?”

She asked in child’s voice.

“This way, into the sun.”

I replied, pointing up the slope at the muted

late winter sun at the path’s end.

“We all come from the sun.”

Early morning walk to the empty fields
and the blue sky filled with birds.

Wind through the trees
refreshing as closed eyes

cleared the mind
making room for nature.

Finding calm and peace in this world, a challenge, a frustrating challenge.

But outside that door or window, nature. This can take many forms and does not have to be as extreme as mountains, deserts, or jungles. I believe what is essential for our well-being is to seek a balance between ourselves and the world around, and this is accomplished when the energy within interacts with nature, encompassing the same building blocks of life and particles as us. When you take a deep breath, the air composed of the same materials will replenish within us what has been lost or damaged. We are truly made of the stars and they, nature, can sustain and nourish us.

It can be wetland grasses covered with snow.

Or the sun shining through trees.

Or a frozen berry clinging to a tree.

I imagine one his photographs might look like this:

 

 

Moving through empty space,
living within the void

at the mercy of science and gravity
our feet hold firm to this planet,

providing shelter, food, water
and the fragile recipes for life.

A short article Tricycle (The Buddhist Review) on photography and finding your zen, inner peace.

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/zen-photography/