Monday, June 9, 2008

Earth Chi

Earth Chi -- Photographer's Vision

In photography, as in life, I try to focus on what is here and not to fuss about what is not. The content of my images is all-important --subject, composition, colour, line, light, space, relationships, pattern, repetition, icons, process, concept, emotion, evocation. The camera is a simple tool helping me see; I haven't yet moved into the technology of lens or f-stops or computer tweaking. The art, I hope, is in the seeing. Every shot aims to celebrate the beauty in which we live, the beauty that is the CHI, the life force, coming and going. In the everyday, in natural abstractions, Chi assumes many forms and reveals itself in many ways. Rumi says: "The beauty you craved in things was always my glimmer seen through a veil. Turn around and see where beauty comes from!"
IN those in-between spaces, places where one realm--earth, water, fire, air--meets another, Chi is the link, the connection. Where elements meet and mix, Chi is the hovering fog, emerging mist, rushing water, swirling cloud.
Vancouver Reveal
Yellowstone Pool
Kettle River Snag
IN rock abraded, canyons carved by water, Chi is Dylan Thomas' "force that drives the water through the rocks"; it is Neil Young's " . . . ancient river bending / Down the timeless gorge of changes."
Coquihalla Canyon
Coquihalla Wall - Turquoise Water
IN the soft curve of lines--valleys "the moon could roll in", roadbeds copying the contours, ripple marks scribing the ebb and flow--Chi is the movement, the spiral, the gyre of the life force traced on the Earth's skin.
English Bay Ripple Marks
Anarchist Lookout
IN the lines marking growth, Chi manifests as energy transformed into matter. As the Elders say, "Everything on the Earth is of the Earth."
Tree Fungus - Up Silver-Skagit Road
IN the beauty of blossoms reaching from Earth's darkness towards the sun, Chi is Dylan Thomas' "force that through the green fuse drives the flower." As Neil Young said of rows, "Just another line / In the field of time."
Wild Bleeding Hearts - Up Silver-Skagit Road
Tree Peony - Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden
Tulip Fields - Seabird Island, Agassiz
IN energy, fire, sun, light, and the colours light shatters into, Chi is. Photography is writing with light, fixing the Chi on to paper.
Red Maples 1 & 2 - Hope Friendship Garden
Blue Plum Bloom
IN the spark of curiosity, interest, intelligence, love, Chi is the life energy, that force flowing through all things seeking to connect.
IN the nominative tags and narrative lines by which we mark our places and tell our stories, Chi is the creative energy, the imagination we use to calm our anxiety, to attach ourselves to the planet.
Salish (Siwash) Rock
Flood Falls
IN the spirit within, which we seek, Chi is the transformer, offering new life in a new form. In Leonard Cohen's words: "There's a blaze of light / In every word / it doesn't matter which you heard / The holy or the broken Hallelujah."
3 Old Churches--Yale Museum, Portage la Prairie Museum, and an Apiary on the Back Road to Bridesville.
IN the beauty of decomposition, the eternal chipping away, in the drying up, the withdrawing of green, the sagging ruins, Chi is the suck as the life force departs.
Cracks with Grass - Cheam Pit
Yellow Leaves - Old Yale Road Dead End
Landstrom Ridge Cabin
Compositions in Rust 1 & 2 - On the Beach at Yale
IN the dead tree, the rock being eaten, Chi is the suck as new life nurses; "the leaf is mother to the tree".
Nurse Log with Fungus and Fern - Up Silver-Skagit Road
Moss Eating Rock, Cactus Flowering - On the Ranch, Kettle Valley
Lilacs, Family Cemetery - Kettle Valley
IN the blood in our bodies, the oxygen pumped, Chi is the pulse of the Earth.
IN the air in our lungs, in songs that are sung, Chi is the breath of the planet.

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