No Mantra Required

I’ll confess to often getting bored. I suspect this is the well-spring of all my creative talent. Boredom. It is a cloying, needy friend who is satisfied by nothing. Pumpkin seeds are never salty enough. Shopping has never touched it. If the movie isn’t exciting by the fifth minute, boredom is wandering off in search of other stimuli. For someone so devoted to meditating for peace I can be, at times, a restless and demanding peace-seeker.

Photography, curiously enough, is one of a few creative processes that absolutely sates me. I can live in it for hours. Other’s work or my own, doesn’t matter. I love the way a photograph shifts my energy and refocuses me down whole new paths. Black and white in particular can be nostalgic or haunting, mystical or glaring. I am never so delighted then when I stumble upon a photograph that makes me stop my restlessness. Fleeting images inviting me inward and checking boredom at the door. In its own way it is a meditation, photography. The doing and the thinking, the looking and the tweaking. It calms my mind from wandering off in search of other pleasures. Without effort my heart slows and my breathing stills. No mantra required.

9 thoughts on “No Mantra Required

  1. I like how photography can extend the life of other creative projects, find myself enjoying taking photos of clay work as much as I enjoyed making it. I imagine mixing words and photos is similar. You sure do it well!!!

    • This is most certainly true, John. I can hike for hours taking photos and then more time playing with the photos I’ve taken on the hike. Then later, still,I look at them and consider what they make me feel or think. Even now, the photo garners further joy by having this conversation. I would say it is one of the best examples of mindfulness. Really all art has this quality. I can enjoy buying or making art paper as much as collaging with it. I wonder which is more true: I am mindful because I enjoy art or because of my joy in art I am mindful. Thank you so muchfor coming by my place.

  2. I venture by now art and mindfulness are playing off each other in some alternating and expanding way, making way for much insight and rich experience to share.

  3. That’s true. Curiously, I think it took art to help me understand that quiet pin-point focus of meditation. I’m not sure I knew what I was supposed to experience until one day I looked up from my art table and hours had passed. I couldn’t remember thinking much of anything and I was remarkably peaceful in the quiet of the house.

  4. I hear ya. Hey, if you want to kill time and be even less productive try fishing or golf. Oy vey. Sometimes I have to do that stuff for work, and each time I die a little inside. Haha, just kidding, but not my cup of tea. Why do we have to be quiet when they play golf, if they were professionals they should be able to play with babies crying amirite? 😀

    But yeah I’m not that dissimilar to you I think in that regard… brain’s always going 100 mph, feels like I can’t sit through anything, haven’t watched a movie since Jurassic Park because I get bored and want to leave. I tried to read Moby Dick but I was bored by Ishmael.

    How did I graduate school? Ha!

    • “I was bored by Ishmael….” Laughed out loud. He was such a brooder. In college he’d been the guy after a few beers he’d be sitting in the corner talking about the government and how much women suck because he can’t get a date. I grew up on a lake so can find a groove with fishing, but always want to put them all back. Golf…. Yeah… Not sure I get that at all or why you can’t use a golf club like a pool stick when necessary.

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