Manitou Springs, CO
For me photography is not a hobby or pastime. It is truly a passion, a way of life, and a calling. It is the sine qua non of my existence. I define passion as a fire that burns in your heart and gives meaning, purpose, and direction to your life. It is also a vision that no one can see but you. Through photography I communicate my feelings and depict how I see beauty. Nature photography affords me the opportunity to engage with landscape at profoundly emotional and intimate levels. To paraphrase the legendary photographer, Ansel Adams, when I look at the beauties and masterpieces of nature, I see something that is not physically there --- something I cannot put into words because it's a subjective reality that is built from within rather than extracted from without. It is precisely this inner world, this personal vision that I aspire to communicate through the photographic image.
Over the years, raising environmental awareness has been the impetus behind my photography. For as long as I can remember, I have had an incurable longing to make a difference and a meaningful contribution to the human condition. I believe in living for a cause that is infinitely greater than I --- a cause that informs and defines my life but is not defined or limited by my ephemeral existence. I agree wholeheartedly with the German philosopher, Friedrich Hegel in his assertion that " Life has value only when it has something valuable as its object." In the same vein, I have often thought that the purpose of life should be a life of purpose. The day I die, I want the world to be a vastly improved place because I raised awareness regarding the sanctity of nature and helped many an individual experience the truth in a statement made by William Shakespeare : "Nature has music for those who listen." Many years of personal experiences have taught me that this is music of a different kind. It is a mellifluous rhythm that beats to the glorious dance of creation. It is the hallelujah chorus of the universe that permeates verdant forests, accompanies ocean waves and torrential rivers, rides on idle clouds sailing across the sky, and can be heard in the whisper of a gentle breeze. Once you hear this divine symphony, a major shift will take place in your consciousness and you will never be the same person again.
In one of his poems, Tagore, a poet and Nobel laureate from Bangladesh expresses this inner transformation more eloquently than I can : "When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart." To hear this celestial chorus, silence is indispensable. Be still within and behold the miracle that will blossom in the deepest recesses of your psyche --- the miracle that is not a flashy, showy phenomenon nor is it related to supernatural. It is entirely natural. It's a genuine awakening like no other. It is the expansion of your awareness, the deepening of your vision, and the softening of your heart. It is the gaining of perspicacity and wisdom. To paraphrase the Austrian writer, Franz Kafka, make a habit of being silent and the universal wisdom will reveal itself to you freely in ecstasy. It has to. It has no choice. The most valuable lesson I have learned through many years of solitude and introspection can be summed up as follows : Silence is the language that God uses to communicate --- the silence that is not merely the absence of words or sound. It transcends words, beliefs, and narrow confines of the intellect. It is in this silence that you will hear the divine music Shakespeare alluded to. It is in this silence that new melodies will break forth from your heart and you will be transformed into a fundamentally different person.
May God's unbounded love illuminate your heart and open your eyes to a deeper reality. May love be your creed and truth your guiding light. May the fire of love burn in your heart and purify you from within for it is your capacity to love that makes your truly human and therefore Godlike.
I have no religious or idealogical affiliation; but I'm convinced that the most profound spiritual wisdom humanity has ever expressed in words is in the book of John in the New Testament : "God is love. Whoever loves knows God and is born of God." May you be born of God anew everyday. May you grow in love.