Sunday, September 25, 2005


Curious in Wisconsin

Curious, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

This photo is an example of why I'm so absorbed in photography. A shot like this captures a moment in time that would otherwise have vanished from memory. I just happened to be driving by this meadow, which is across the valley from our place in Wisconsin. I was moving at a good clip, as I had an appointment in Madison. But I saw this magnificent Percheron raise his head and trot forward in interest to check out the passing jeep. I stopped and took the shot.

There is so much about this picture that speaks of Wisconsin to me: the green and fertile woods and fields, the ever-changing texture of the hills, the willingness of the earth to produce an endless array of crops, grasses, wildflowers. It is a benign place, a land of milk and honey.

Photography allows me to reflect on these things, and to study structural details of flowers, architecture, rocks, water - elements that I didn't see the first time around. Our senses can't take in and record the fullness of what we see every day. For me, photography crystallizes forever those magical moments that might otherwise be swallowed up in the concerns of daily life. My own life is as fraught as anyone's, with work and health challenges abounding. It's all too easy to lose the meaning of the present moment. Photography makes me slow down and really try to SEE it.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddist monk, teaches that we must focus each day on something beautiful. Taking, selecting, and posting a photograph of a pristine place every day is one way to appreciate and preserve the beauty I might otherwise pass by in life's rush.

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