Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gray November

My blog pal Lorianne posted recently about the difficulties of photography during the darkening month of November -- and indeed, the challenge of looking for brightness on all levels. I really liked this post, because it spoke to my own need to see the positive in every day, as well as my own difficulty in practicing photography in rainy, gray weather.

I left my office yesterday during my extra-long, completely unauthorized lunch break and took some photos. I walked around Hell's Kitchen in a light, drizzly rain, convinced I'd be able to find some things to shoot even in less than desirable weather. And indeed I did, but Lorianne is right -- seeing and photographing can be a challenge under the circumstances, in my case because I usually respond so well to light and shadow. In the absence of both it's hard to be motivated.

I liked the remark in Lorianne's post from a Zen teacher: "Whatever you pay attention to grows." The gray weather of November, particularly in the wake of the tattered remnants of a hurricane, definitely challenges me to pay attention to my creativity and nurture it.

(Photo: Stairs on the outside of the Adolph S. Ochs school, Hell's Kitchen, yesterday.)


  1. My teacher used to say "Energy follows attention," another way of expressing that idea.

    As you friend, and as a healer, I encourage you to go ahead and swirl if that's what's happening. Forcing a positive spin on this period of time will narrow the possibilities, and, it's not true.

    Pema Chodron says that when you realize there is no ground under your feet is when you are truly free. If you're still swirling in three months, well - that's a problem! But for now, swirl, just swirl. It's messy and uncertain and scary as hell, and it is the heart of the creative process.

    Holding you with so much love in my heart, dear friend.

  2. And the interesting thing is, the photo illustrating today's post is wonderful, and I think it's wonderful BECAUSE the backdrop is gray & drizzly. In the absence of shadows and light, simply shadow will do.

  3. Your whole life is turning into an exercise in discovery. How exciting that you have to leave the familiar ground in your photography practice and learn something new!

  4. Thanks, all! Reya, you're absolutely right -- this is the time for swirling. I don't mean to suggest that I'm turning away from it. (Not that I even could!) But I do need to see the positive in the midst of the swirling. It's all there, all the time.