Who among us will pick up and carry forward the baton Mary Oliver passes to us?
Who will prompt us to stop and take notice of our “one wild and precious life?” Who will remind us to listen to our breath, to pay attention, to be astonished?
I’m not a poetry girl. I have trouble digesting metaphor rich poems that speak of one thing, yet mean another. My brain just doesn’t go there. But then... along comes Mary.
Mary Oliver’s poetry is accessible. She asks the tough questions in a straightforward and honest manner. She understands the importance of nature and solitude. We speak the same language.
As I sit alone on a beach, on a raw May morning in Provincetown, my mind can’t help but think of Mary. Her presence here is palpable. How can I walk across the dunes she loved so dearly and not think of her? This was her fertile ground. The ground in which some of her most recited poems came to life.
Mary awakens me to the magnificence of life by simply noticing. She teaches me that the act of observation quiets the infernal hum and refocuses my attention to the ever-present beauty that surrounds me.
She was an advocate of cultivating one’s observation skills to see at a deeper level. She wanted her readers to look beyond the “ho hum” ultimately to discover the “holy cow!”
I may not be as eloquent, or as wise, as Mary but because of her I will continue to notice, photograph and praise the beauty I find. Hail Mary!
Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell me about it.
Live in color,
The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.
Lunch break. While wandering through the Old Delhi market, our eyes met, and for a brief moment we had a connection.
When traveling, what do you focus your photographic attention on? Is it the natural beauty of a sweeping landscape or local monuments or other well-visited attractions? For me, it’s all about the people I encounter.
Beauty is not my focus, but more what resides behind the eyes, the soul.
Each of the following images has a story, a brief encounter and connection.
The Sikh gentleman manning one of the information booths at a Hindu temple in Delhi, a sage if ever I saw one.
The boy who begged to have his photo taken in the hectic market of Old Delhi.
The old man who waved to me and graciously posed in Dharamshala.
The young lovers. I was approached by this pretty girl at a Sikh temple. Without saying one word she made it perfectly clear she wanted a photo taken of her and her boyfriend. She gave me her email. I sent her the photo.
The woman at the same Sikh temple who gently touched my arm and stood in front of me and posed. After I took the photo I turned the camera around to show her and she waved, no. She wasn’t interested in seeing the image, only wished to be seen.
I smiled at this gal, she smiled back. I told her she was very pretty, she glowed and posed as her husband looked on, somewhat disapprovingly.
The woman in red, I had to stop when I saw this beauty lit by a shaft of light. I raised my camera and gave the thumbs up sign, she timidly nodded.
The future of Buddhism, but still babies, in a remote monastery in northern India.
The Hindu Sadhu, that has chosen a life of abstinence, leaving behind all material, family, social, and sensual attachments, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals.
A rich tapestry is woven by the many faces of India. Not all are pretty, but all are authentic and not shy of being seen for who they really are.
Is there a lesson here for us?
Live in color.
An image alone sometimes feels insufficient, that’s where Musings come in. A space where words and images come together to tell the story.
I promise not to sell, rent, or share your email address with anyone. Ever.