In response to my friend Bob Ballou’s comment of asking me to provide more information on my process of discovery, here goes: Mari and I have been in Sarasota for 3 moons now. We left Waltham Massachusetts during the full moon and last night (July 7th), we were atop the canopy walkway at Myakka State Park (with Mari’s sister Debbie) to watch the sunset and the moon rise. On the canopy we met a very interesting man, Michael, who was there for the same reasons as us, to view the full moon and too charge his magical stones.
What I want to touch on here is serendipity. To me this is the process of putting yourself into places where things can happen. Both Mari and I together and separately have been putting ourselves into positions for things to happen. Just like meeting Michael on top of the canopy at Myakka and realizing that we had so much in common from a belief and spiritual perspective. Mari today has started a new part time job at the Art Center Sarasota as their new PR and marketing person. This was a result of both of us volunteering to help at the Sarasota ArtExpo a few weeks back.
For me it has mostly been going to Siesta Key Beach at the end of my work day. By going, I have allowed things to happen on a visual level. I never know what may show up for me at the beach. Birds, patterns in the sand, flotsam washing in on the waves, people. But also the beach has been a way for me to clear my mind of the days computer work and allow the natural elements to unfold before me. Floating in the Gulf and letting the salt in the water hold me up, I can let my mind go. Then I pick up my xaphoon, stand in the waves and let the rhythms of their sound lead me in my musical musings. After, I pull out my camera during magic light time and see where it will lead me. Sometimes it is just looking down at the beach, watching the changing patterns that the waves create. Other times it is observing the constant flow of people passing by me.
There really is no separating my photographic process from my life’s process. The return to photography has also been a return to a conscious life. What I mean by that is prior to coming down here to Sarasota, my life had been in a major rut. Non-creative, non-hopefull. Though the studio that Mari and I have lived in all these years is a wonderful place in a creative artist’s environment, both of us have felt lost. Having a large debt hanging over our heads has not helped. Coming here has rebooted our lives and has brought both of us back to the core belief that “We Create Our Own Reality”. My return to photography has shown me that I still do have a unique vision and what is required of me is to continue to rework my craft and put myself into situations where the unexpected may happen. Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the phrase “The Decisive Moment”. To me the decisive moment happens when one is exactly in the right place when a unique moment in time happens. Photographically, those moments are rare. I may see something happening, but may not have my camera ready or the background does not work or I am not close enough for the moment to work in a photograph. Do I despair because I missed it? No, because photography has given me the ability to appreciate, whether I make a photograph of the moment or not.
Michael told us a story relating to my last statement. He told us that recently he came to Myakka with his 22 year old son. Around sunset there was an amazing display of many kinds of birds and Michael was digging into his bag trying to get his camera to photograph his son with the birds in the background. His son said to him “Dad this is just for us”, and Michael stopped his search. Many times wisdom is not measured in years.