I will be doing a very long series of posts on this theme, as I am working on a book that pairs photos and text exploring this theme. The following is an excerpt from the first Chapter in the book:
What is the Sacred?
“Reclaiming the sacred in our lives naturally brings us close once more to the wellsprings of poetry.” ― Robert Bly
I see the sacred in connections, some tangible, I hold them in my hands and turn them over with my fingers; some not, being ethereal, amorphous, or even liquid. They lack the three dimensional boundaries that often define our reality. I have an awareness of the invisible threads that touch and bind us all, human, animal, plant, mineral, spirit. In sacred moments, where a sense of grace pervades, I feel more deeply connected to my core self than ever, and yet I realize how tiny this life is, how fragile, how ephemeral. I am aware of all who have come before me and those who will come after. I am aware of those whose passage was even shorter than mine, who left this world too soon. I am in awe of the passage of time and those beings who live longer than the span of a human life. I am also filed with wonder at those tiny beings whose lives are over in the blink of my eye. All living things have consciousness. Theirs is no loss viable than mine, even though it may be of shorter duration.
My whole life has been spent in pursuit of holding onto bits of my wild nature, my self beyond the facade that others may see with just a glance. I am more than the color of my hair or the size of my breasts. I am more than the length of my legs or the color of my skin. I am more than my age or my gender. My heart beats wildly I'm when in the woods and the rain is falling, dripping from the ends of my long hair, soaking me to the bone. My hands long to touch the bare earth, to feel dirt underneath my fingernails as I gently place a tiny seedling into a bit or prepared earth. My feet long to walk through the freshly cut grass as the scent reminds me of days of my childhood summers. My ears long to hear the sound of water, crashing on the beach, tumbling over rocks in a brook, falling softly as tears of grief on grey autumn mornings. My wild nature seeks sensual and sensorial experiences. She craves them. They nourish and sustain her.
“My Wild Nature...” is an attempt to retain these connections and to remind myself of these experiences which make me feel whole and alive, to welcome bits of the natural world into my daily life, into my home, into my psyche. And so I tap into that wellspring of poetry of which Robert Bly speaks, bringing it into being with twists of phrase, woven with memories and dreams, given another dimension when paired with visual metaphors.
All of these photos are shot with a Polaroid 110A camera, a camera several years older than I am, and with expired Polaroid 664 film. The nature of expired film and the fact that film for this camera is becoming increasingly rare and more expensive with each passing day, makes this series more poignant and precious to me.
This series, which is an idea I began to flirt with more than 2 years ago, explores my active and on-going search to remain connected to these core elements within myself and within the natural world. Modern life forces us to disconnect from the natural rhythms. We connect to keyboards and touch screens and to people with whom we may never actually hold a face-to-face conversation. There is a sense of reality and unreality about the whole world that exists on the internet. It creates a sense of separateness from the rest of nature… man versus nature, man versus beast. In creating this series, I strive to break down these barriers that separate us and to remember that in the end, we are all made of stardust. We are all golden. No one life is more important than any other...
Until next time....