The good camera and the stillness of transience

Dearest C,

I am looking at your photos. You have such a good eye for these quiet moments that open in the midst of all else. I think what all your photos share–not just these but all those you’ve shown me–is a sense of wonderment and a meditative eye for what is just now coming into being.

Maybe, let’s say, it’s the stillness at the heart of transience. I see the man’s hands, tied to boat, tied to rope, moving yet still. I see the evening light shining through the aperture. The hands and light are all so fleeting yet all very beautiful in virtue of their fleetingness.

The good camera does not belie the coming into being of this moment by ‘freezing’ and ‘petrifying’ it; the good camera holds it softly up to us even as it intimates, as though in a meditation on death, the moment’s passing away in one moment hence. The good camera holds up and reveals and lets go like a band of gypsies. The good camera is a still right hand crimping supple rope.

I am thinking in mid-sentence, as you know I always do. I think, just now, that perhaps what these photos are revealing is a kind of meditation: a meditation on the beautiful moment, on being ready for a loving opening, on reawakening to life and love and… and, yes, to the love of life. The changes you describe in your life are perhaps not so much ‘internal’ or ‘external’ as changes in your perception of the world–that is, not ‘internal’ or ‘external’ but a way of being in the world in which the new rises up, unencumbered by the stale, the taken for granted, the familiar, the habitual… The new discloses itself not in opposition to the everyday, not as a mere cosmetic, but from out of the everyday like a once-lying rope converging in a figure-8. I see you meditating daily, here where aesthetic perception meets patience and courage. Grace follows of course as love flows of course.

A

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