Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Too many boundaries . . .

by Kim

"Fear is the highest fence." - Dudley Nichols

A boundary, a limit, something that divides one thing from another. Sometimes for our safety or for someone else's privacy.

But, they can keep us from getting close to people, and relationships, and to experience.

They can keep us from exploration and from trying new things. Sometimes it's because of the boundaries others put in place, but often it is because of the ones we put in our own path either consciously or subconsciously. 

Fear is often the culprit, because of the unknown or because we have come to believe a certain set of expectations that may not be true. Yes, sometimes fear seems to be an impossibly high fence, and kind of like barbed wire . . . if we allow it, a little painful too.

I know we have all mentioned this here, and to each other, that the act of going out with our cameras have helped us to "see" more. And to a certain extent that is true, but how much more are we seeing, really? 

As I was sitting on my front porch this weekend enjoying the breeze and the birds singing, and the little lizard that climbed onto my hand, I started to really think about those boundaries and expectations. Because as much as looking through my camera does allow me to see more because there is a limited view of focus, I still think I'm doing so with more boundaries and expectations than there should be.

My intention is to really dig deeper in cultivating the way I see through my lens that will allow me to tear down the boundaries I have and let me see beneath the expectations, even if I have to look at things sideways. And that perhaps instead of going out to make an image . . . I could let go of all perceived ideas and just participate in the receiving.

Poet John O'Donohue said, "The heart of vision is shaped by the state of the soul. When the soul is alive to beauty, we begin to see life in a fresh and vital way." 

Now, don't freak out . . . yes this is a spider. But for just a moment I want you to remove the boundary I know you just put up, and the negative thoughts that accompany the label of "spider." I used to have nightmares about spiders, and, I'm severely allergic (as in anaphylactic shock allergic). But my camera has helped me to see past the "ewww" factor of an insect that society tells me I should dislike. And in its place I have found fascination, wonder and awe. This didn't happen overnight, but as I took down the boundary caused by fear I began to see beauty instead. Beauty in their colors and patterns, and the gracefulness in which they spin their webs.   

{Interesting spider fact: Spiders are capable of producing different kinds of silk so that they don't get caught in their own webs. And the silk is in liquid form before it exits their body.

And I came across this quote I had written in my journal some time ago that seems appropriate for this post. It made me think that sometimes when I try too hard, or try to force a photograph, it's in that very act that I create boundaries.  

"You need not do anything,
Remain at your table and listen.
You need not listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
Just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll ecstasy at your feet." - Franz Kafka

Maybe it's not the camera that shows us beauty after all, but only one of many tools that helps us to be still enough to receive moments from all that surrounds us. A tool that can help us to remove boundaries and labels that will allow us to see beyond the surface of life and people (and yes even spiders). 

Are you up for a challenge? I'm going to try being a little quieter, a little more still, and try to see what the world will offer up when my view is boundary free. Are you in?

Love, Kim



Sarah Huizenga said...

Great post.

Sherri B. said...

What a beautiful challenge...I'm in. And that spider truly is beautiful, despite the fact that I am very afraid of them. Thank you for your very thoughtful post, Kim - I always enjoy your uplifting take on life! <3

Jeanne said...

Wonderful challenge and count me in. Loved your post!

Dotti said...

This is a great way to open ourselves up to new visions, new thoughts, new creative ideas ... the list is endless. Yes ... Let's do it! {As Carol said yesterday. These two posts go hand in glove.}

Cathy H. said...

I'm in! I think that's one of the reasons I love photographing nature so much, especially in macro. I have to be still and really look closely at what's before me. I don't like spiders either, but I'm fascinated with their beautiful colors and their creative webs.

terriporter said...

First of all, your spider image is absolutely stunning! The colors you captured and the beautiful bokeh . . . wow! And I so agree with your words. Being free and just letting it flow, staying open to what presents itself, and not putting up boundaries will allow us to really see what is around us and therefore to capture it. Count me in too!

Anonymous said...

Love the post and photo of the spider! I, for one, don't care for spiders snakes or scorpions…recently being stung by a scorpion…ouch, but somehow seeing them in their natural state makes some of us curious wanting to take a closer look! After all, these creepy crawlers are just as afraid of us as we are of them. You so right on about fear being the culprit for boundaries, so count me in on that challenge! Thanks for sharing:)

Deanna said...

Beautiful post, Kim. You are always so thoughtful in your words and this gives us a challenge to dig a little deeper and remove the boundaries that sometimes holds us down.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your post, Kim, and your reflections on seeing...I think that's one of the reasons I have been drawn to abstracts lately...they really challenge our preconceived notions by making the subject of the photo unrecognizable (or almost)...Looking forward to doing this more in February. Just love your spider image.

Adrienne said...

I'm SO in! I really think this gets at the heart of it all. I particularly love the thought that our camera is a tool that helps us to be still enough to receive... I'm certain that's what photography has done for me. That stillness. And getting me out of my own head. This is a forever challenge, a life time pursuit. A path I will gladly take with you!

kelly said...

i totally 100% agree that when i am quiet and still, i am much more open to the simple beauty of everything around me. it's a constant struggle for me to slow down and really be present. beautiful photo and words my friend.

Linda/patchwork said...

Very good post. And, a FABULOUS photo.

Our world is so busy, it's sometimes hard for people to slow down, and really see. Plus, so many are plugged into their 'devices', constantly, they've missing what's going on in real life.

I think slowing down and SEEING, is what I like about photography and gardening. You have to be still and wait...for the right light, the bird to light, the butterfly to be born.

Kathryn said...

Great post, think I'm so caught up in all the barbed wire that I don't know how to cut myself out.

Sharon said...

Wonderful post, and I love the quote from your journal. I can sit very still for a long time, but I cannot still my mind. That's where my problem lies. I must be busy, checking email, playing a word game, commenting on Facebook. It's SO difficult to sit and think and notice. Thank you for challenging and encouraging me!

Carol said...

this is just beautiful, Kim. you are such a good writer and thinker.Wonderful

GailO said...

What a wonderfully inspiring post! My word for 2014 is "Search" and this is exactly what I was referring to when I chose that word. You expressed it perfectly!

Barb Brookbank said...

Beautiful and inspiring post - you've given me much to think about today.

susan said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post today! Especially this quote: Poet John O'Donohue said, "The heart of vision is shaped by the state of the soul. When the soul is alive to beauty, we begin to see life in a fresh and vital way."

~ adore this and it's so very true. xoxo

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