The future

The future is our fault

Collectively. The quote is inspired by my reading of Drawdown, a book of solutions to global warming (with a tip of the hat also to Chris Wark, in an unrelated context).  The world is all reading a larger book, The Book of Life on Planet Earth (metaphorically), but of course some have barely begun reading while others have almost finished! In other words, we are not all on the same page – or even on the same chapter.  My earlier quotes refer.

Reality is the leading cause of stress

Reality is the leading cause of stress.

Reality can get in touch with you through your bank, your spouse or family, or via your employer or customers. It can find you despite all creative effort and artful camouflage – even if you are cloud-based, as I am. We are still embroiled in the renovation of an old house nearby, so I can personally vouch for the statement above.

Love is eternal

Love is eternal… 9pm, 10 April 2017

An epitaph of sorts, and a good one, being some last words from our late lamented friend Bernie Downey, whose memorial service was today. Bernie was always good-hearted and stimulating company, and he obliged me on this moonlit occasion two years ago at Te Hapu, Golden Bay, by holding his pose for a long test exposure. The lines superimposed came from  a Nova Scotian newspaper obituary for Bernie, quoting an email by him. He is sadly missed.

20 secs at f4. Nikon 28mm; ISO 500

This is a subtle truth

This is a subtle truth…

Here we are with Rumi again; he was a devout Muslim and a great humanist. My twilight scene features the lowly convolvulus, and illustrates one obvious love of my own.

Memento mori: Stop hoping

Memento mori: Stop hoping for a better past.

LOL, as I did when I read this 6-word snippet online just recently. This is Memento mori [“Remember your mortality”] meets Embedded Quote, with a colourful ornament from Te Henui cemetery, New Plymouth. What it is to be human, and of a certain age! Will any of it matter in another 50 years?

Open your hands if you want to held

Open your hands if you want to held – Rumi

Our final visit with Rumi, at least for the time being; here  the anxious, solitary image of Claire reinforces the simple message, one of many brevities which gleam like semi-precious stones in his meandering poetic landscapes.

For New Zealanders the landscape above should also have an evocative power, as flax, ti kouka and nikau feature. I’ve frequently used such backgrounds, while the beach towel was a consistent minor theme in the photos of my youth (when so much leisure was spent riverside, or on the beach).

One of the marvels of the world – Rumi

A soul sitting in prison with the key in its hand. – Rumi

With this pungent comment Rumi sits at the crossroads of western and eastern mysticism. The sentiment permeates all types of introspective spirituality, and is familiar to Christians through Luke’s singular statement that “The Kingdom of God is within you”. Meanwhile it is of course a dominant theme in eastern mysticism.

Rumi wrote voluminously, having no shortage of material to draw on. Contributing to this, his early years had been unsettled, as his family were refugees from Mongol invasion. The family travelled far from his birthplace, ending up in what is now modern Turkey. Scholars have shown restraint in not naming his collected aphorisms Ruminations. 

Thanks again to young Claire for her pensive posing for this blueprint and  foundation for enlightenment.

The Source of Now is Here – Rumi

The source of now is here – Rumi

Another time, another season – and another quote from the masterful Rumi. Bemused by her little book, Claire considers the source on the same Manukau beach as my last post. There’s not a great deal the human race seems able to agree on, but who can deny that “Here and now” has a compelling immediacy?

Rumi (1207-73) never studied in a Zen monastery but as this simple truth came to him, perhaps he heard the sound of one hand clapping nonetheless. If you’ve ever wondered where 2016 went, or even 2007 for that matter, this is a cool, mint-fresh flannel for your face.

The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy – Rumi

The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy. – Rumi

Gee I wish I’d known this much earlier in life. Model Claire cautiously embodies the sentiment however, one fine Sunday on the beach at Kaiterakihi, on the Manukau. A 13th century Persian poet, Rumi still gets frequent airplay. He was a devout but liberal Muslim (of the Sufi variety) and his poignant – sometimes earthy – commentaries on existence and experience have plenty of resonance for modern people.

Harmless fun with embedded quotes

Anticipation is half the enjoyment.

“In the Book of Life, ages one to forty are the text, what follows is just the commentary”. Yup, I’ve always been partial to a good epigram, and have been collating a list lately (mostly attributed) with the notion of embedding them in my images. This extends the line I began in 2012 with my first book, Night Visions, where a pithy quote below each image added to the impact – or at least that was my hope.

The two images here are unattributed, but the first comes from a TV commercial for glassware, circa 1970, and is surely due for a comeback now. The thought intrigued me at the time. However the obverse (below) is something I made up myself, in response to a relative’s fearful comment regarding a looming dental appointment. So is that equally true?

To my mind, this pairing is more effective, but the pears, being organic and rustic, were still very appealing. Feel free to comment.

Dread is half the ordeal

St Joseph’s twilight muster: horizontal

St Joseph’s twilight muster: horizontal. 5.43pm, 18 July 2018

This twilit tableau was the runner-up in my series of St Joseph with a vase of faux flowers. It ranks as “runner-up” only because it’s entirely moon-less, the crescent moon (the object of the whole exercise) being too high in the sky to be included in a horizontal composition. However as a simple set-up, this seems a more compelling image to me. I like the good range of colour and how the flash balances with the background lighting. It also has some artistic black space on the lower right, suitable for a quote (or headline), and I have supplied an anonymous, satirical example of such below.

In comparing the impact of this standard horizontal image with the earlier vertical frame, isn’t it an odd truth that the old 35mm format of 2:3 works much better for horizontals? The 2:3 format seems too long and narrow for most vertical applications, where 4:3 is often a better fit. That aside, good vertical compositions are generally harder to achieve than horizontal ones, yet verticals are so much to the fore these days – thanks of course to the demands of  Instagram, Pinterest and smartphones.

St Joseph’s twilight muster, with quote

1.3 secs at f22. Nikon 28mm; ISO 250. Flash