Saturday, April 9, 2011
If Not This
Here is a phrase I've often repeated to myself, when the uncertainties in this life of artist and writer become too overwhelming: "If not this, then that." Which comes from reading a book ages ago by Stephen Batchelor titled Living with the Devil. He writes about contingency - that "whatever is contingent depends on something else for its existence. As such, it need not have happened. For had one of those conditions failed to materialize, something else would have occurred. We make 'contingency' plans because life is full of surprises, and no matter how careful our preparations, things often do not turn out as anticipated." He goes on to say that "embracing contingency requires a willingness to accept the inexplicable and unpredictable."
For artists/writers, embracing contingency is part of our daily existence. Some days I'm better at it than others. In fact, right now it's all a bit crazy making. However, I think that practicing photography as a type of meditation is the one thing that keeps me closer to centered. So, when I looked up Stephen Batchelor and found this video where he talks about mindfulness and photography it made me happy. I've thought about it in the same way for ages, but it's always nice to hear someone else's thoughts in a similar vein.
- I took the above photograph on our recent trip to Amsterdam - at the Artis zoo which was our daughter's choice for the day. There had been a big random acts of knitting project on there which was lovely fun.