Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Matt Cowell (via Cheetah Camp). “Got into this mass/pod/gathering of hippo in the southern Serengeti – as the river was drying up, so these animals amassed together in a soup of old water and faeces. It was interesting to note that despite there being over a hundred grouped together, there was little friction and there seemed to be a quiet patience and understanding, all were waiting for the rains, not just for the river to rise, but also the grasses to flush again on the plains so they didn’t have to wander so far at night for food. Until then each was forced to wait, and while waiting so use their neighbour as a leaning post as they lazed through the hot hours of the day…”

Saturday Morning

elephant

In one of his insightful talks Zen master Shunryu Suzuki said that in your practice you should walk like an elephant. “If you can walk slowly, without any idea of gain, then you are already a good Zen student.” There’s a mantra for your religion: Walk like an elephant. It means to move at a comfortable pace. No rushing toward a goal. No push to make it all meaningful. The sometimes inscrutable texts of Taoism and Zen teach that it’s important to do what you do without trying to accomplish anything. One of the benefits of a religion of one’s own is its ordinariness and simplicity. You don’t need a magnificent ceremony, a specially ordained minister, or a revered revelation to give you authority. You don’t have to get anywhere. There are no goals and objectives: nothing to succeed in, and nothing in which to fail. You can sit in your house, as Thoreau did, and be attentive— his suggestion. “We are surrounded by a rich and fertile mystery. May we not probe it, pry into it, employ ourselves about it— a little? . . . If by watching all day and all night I may detect some trace of the Ineffable, then will it not be worth the while to watch?”

~ Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.


Notes:

Frans Lanting

“No photographer turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writes The New Yorker. Lanting’s images have been featured in exhibitions at major museums and leading art galleries around the world.

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“Impalas alarmed, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: I keep three cameras on the seat next to me, each mounted with a different lens, allowing me to frame a moment any way it unfolds–far or wide. For this image I grabbed a Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens to crop in smoothly on a herd of impalas when one alarm call transformed a placid scattering of grazers into a scene of suspense. An ever-present sense of danger characterizes the African plains. This image visualizes fear by inferring it. The collective gaze of the impalas points at something invisible, hidden in plain view–in a moment that could not have been chased, only waited for.”

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“Macaws over river, Tambopata National Reserve, Peru: Perched on a scaffold a hundred feet above a clay lick where macaws gather, I had an eagle’s-eye view of their coming and goings as they flew over the muddy river below. From that perspective I could see how each species of macaw flashes a distinctive combination of colors and patterns visible only from above.”


Source: DON’T MISS checking out his Lanting’s other photographs here.

FRANS LANTING has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a master’s degree in economics then moved to the United States to study environmental planning.  Soon after, he began photographing the natural world–and never turned back.  For three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet. See his full bio here.


4:02 am. And Inspired.

portrait, girl,child


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Mona Howard @ Ramblings with her post titled: Practicing with my favorite model. That’s a picture of her granddaughter above. Be sure to check out Mona’s slide show at this link.  Children.  Miracles. (As is the photographer’s work.)

Marga @ Life As Improv with her poem titled Going It Alone (With Others): “…Going deep is a solitary thing. Aloneness is  guarded at my gate – Hours of no thing. I sew into my pocket by hand. I would gulp you silence in a chalice…”  Then she closes with a wonderful quote from John O’Donohue: “…Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen…This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.”  Read Marga’s entire poem and O’Donohue’s full quote here.

Yvonne @ MISIFUSA’s Blog with her post: Pink Post ~ Life After Breast Cancer: “…But it’s not all flowery after you’re through with the treatments.  As many who have endured disease and illness, the aftermath is often the hardest…Because what the hell do I do now?  There’s no one to tell you how to live after you’ve endured the ugliness of cancer, the treatments, the surgeries, the chemo,  the radiation, the humiliation, the poking and prodding by others.  Family and friends are weary from care-taking and the disruption to their lives.  All are ready for life to get back to normal ~ as are you…”  Read more at this link. [Read more…]

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