Archive for the ‘SoFoBoMo 2011’ tag
Well, I have finally finished the book challenge organised by SoFoBoMo. Of course, I continued using a Jungian theme for the project, the same as I had done in previous years. Now that I am done, I am looking forward to next year’s event which should cover the August-September period.
With only two weeks left in my home before I begin a longer than usual return to China, I am finding myself in a bit of a lull. It has been hard to find inspiration for writing lately and I am hoping it will soon change. But then again, this is all part of living as well. As one blogging friend put it recently, one waits for the Muses to point out the next direction. What is different this year as the “lull” is in full bloom is a sense of peacefulness that has come with it. Likely this is due to the fact that I have been here before many times – déjà vu.
At times I wonder if I have said it all and that it is time for silence. But that passes as I know I have barely begun. I have begun to think in larger terms about the idea of taking a theme and writing without photos and without quote references. The day will come at some time in the distant future when the urge to wander the world is stilled and I feel calm sitting in one place. No matter how I look at it, I will be writing likely until I can no longer put words together intentionally to say something.
I am changing but some parts are staying the same – there is a core self that continues to define who I am and what I must do.
I took this photo two days ago and find that it an appropriate image for today’s post which I am writing while sitting in my second airport of the day. I guess I could legitimately say I am spending a good part of my day up in the air. It will be good to finally arrive at my home later in the day, but even there life is somewhat up in the air as my brother-in-law, Michael will be staying in the house and I will be his chaperon/guide for the next few days. For those who have been following for some time, you will know Michael as a young man who has Alzheimer’s. It will be good to be with him again but at the same time, he serves as a reminder to me of how fragile and tenuous our time as conscious beings is in the world. I see in Michael my own fading from consciousness back into a shadow world and eventually back into the darkness from where my existence sprung more than sixty years ago.
I am finished with the selection of photos and the placing of the photos in a paged document that will become a PDF and ebook in the near future. The writing component of the book is underway and has altered from my original intentions largely due to my experiences in British Columbia with my mother, her mate, and my brother. Light and Shadow – consciousness and unconsciousness the circular journey that ends where it begins though it seems linear to our western world minds. As you know, I am using the visual of a rail track as the “linear” approach as I follow the day from dawn to sunset where light produces large shadows that shrink as one approaches midday and then lengthen again as one approaches the ending of the day. This is a journey that is about light, about being up in the air in terms of conscious awareness of self. As consciousness wanes, one is again brought back to earth to become again part of the earth. For our minds, this is a one-way journey from birth to death, a straight line as if we are literally on a rail track rushing towards the end of the journey.
I have another four days left to finish the book and publish it to the SoFoBoMo site. I will make it available here as well on the “free ebook” page as well at the same time. Now, back to the business of flying.
The walk in the Mondou Hills yesterday gave me a few more nature photos that spoke of life in positive terms such as this mother duck with her ducklings swimming on a smallish valley lake. I took the photo in the early afternoon while the sunlight was fairly intense and the temperatures were high, just the way I like it. I had gone into the hills hoping to get a photo of a hawk or eagle in search of food. In spite of my intentions, nature had other ideas in terms of which gifts I needed at the moment.
I now have all of my photos taken for my latest book project and have begun getting words and photos merged together in a PDF for the SoFoBoMo project. I have decided to create a new page for this blog site where I can store the PDF photo books and other documents for ease of access for you, my reader. Please feel free to download the books for your own pleasure. They are free e-books.
A walk along an abandoned rail track as sunset was approaching yielded this scene in the gathering clouds. The horizon itself was clear and the sunset was also captured by my camera. Of course, since this is the location for my SoFoBoMo book photos, the photo (one one in the series) will likely make it into the book, a book about consciousness, shadow and lifespan. The work on the book is coming along slowly as I find I need a few more photos from pre-dawn and post-sunset to have the visual story fully represented. I have decided to post all of the PDF versions of my books here so that you can read them at your leisure, downloading them if so desired. Expect them to be posted up on the sidebar in the relatively near future.
When things are going too smoothly or perhaps even too rough on us, an opening often appears that will allow us to navigate through to another level of being. Why do I say too smoothly? Well, when the world seems perfect, there is a kind of lethargy that settles in and makes the perfection more like a prison than a place of paradise. When things get so rough that one wants to say “the hell with it all!” there is usually a small crack in the darkness that has settled over us, perhaps barely visible, but it is there.
Almost all of us see this opening, a portal to a different way of being, but we are hesitant to explore that opening. Fear holds us back. ”What if this is just a trap? What if it only leads to something even worse?” So, often people turn their backs on the portal and hug the devil they know, believing that what lies behind is likely worse. Why do we do this, say this to ourselves? Why? Because we are certain that we deserve the darkness that we live in. We know that though it is a living hell, it is still about being alive. We don’t want to risk worse as it might mean our extinction.
The fear of the unknown, the fear of change, the fear of death – these fears keep us locked into patterns, beliefs, attitudes and actions. It is only when life comes to the point of breaking us that we lose our grip on the fear of change and find the courage, or perhaps the desperation to dare something different.
Yesterday evening I went out with my camera to get sunset photos for my upcoming SoFoBoMo photo book project. I have narrowed down the project in terms of photographic elements. Originally I had thought of using four locations with each location providing four small sets of photos: dawn, late morning/noon, late afternoon/sunset, night. The time aspect is an attempt to match the seasons of life, and the journey of individuation. What has changed is my decision to have only one setting instead of four. I had originally planned on using an urban setting, a rail line setting, an abandoned farmyard setting and a prairie hills and valleys setting. The final choice is the rail line setting as it allows me to plot the journey of individuation as though following the road of iron.
I won’t likely bring the rail photos destined for the book here but I will bring photos taken on the periphery of the rail and from the other sites. Yes, I am still making the photographic journeys to the abandoned farm yard and to the prairie hills as though they were part of the book. This photo of a sow thistle as it is known here, is also known as milk thistle where I grew up. I did a basic search and found out this about the milk thistle in Psychology Today:
“Researchers studied the effects of St. John’s wort, ginger, echinacea, green tea and milk thistle on the white blood cells and nerve cells of mice. Milk thistle was the only herb that boosted both the immune and nervous systems, helping nerve cells produce more neurites and keeping cells alive longer.” ( Linda Formichelli, published on March 01, 2002)
Interesting facts and probably quite useful, a wild plant that is about keeping one more “vital.” It isn’t necessarily about living longer, but in living and feeling more alive until that point in time where one shifts from this form of consciousness made manifest as a human.
I took this photo this morning, early this morning not long after sunrise. I went out alone with my camera in order to get photos of sunrise shadows, hoping to get a few that would fit into my SoFoBoMo project. For those not aware of it, SoFoBoMo is an international photography project in which one has thirty-one days to produce a small book (PDF) of 35 photographs with appropriate text. This year the start date is July 1st and the end date is August 31st. One can choose any day within this time frame as the start point and begin the 31 day countdown. All photos used must be taken within that time frame.
Of course, I will be focusing on presenting images from a Jungian standpoint. The focus for this year’s book is “shadow.” That explains my shadow on the gravel between the rail tracks. This image actually teaches me something. As I travel my journey which has me trying to become as conscious of my self as possible, my shadow makes the journey with me. The only time I lose actual touch with my shadow, is when I physically leave the surface of the earth, have no contact with the earth. But even then, my shadow still exists, still can be traced on the earth as the shadow of a cloud or passing bird can be seen.
I have decided on my photography theme for this year’s SoFoBoMo photo project – Shadow and Light. It will join other similar projects in the “Through a Jungian Lens” series of photography and Jungian Psychology books. I hope to have both light and shadow in every photography, but that said I won’t leave out a photo that “fits” the text because of a lack of either light or shadow. In the photo chosen for today’s post, I have implied shadow with the fading light of a day, a light that burns on the horizon. As I talk about shadow, it will be referencing the shadow aspect of the human psyche, the personal and collective unconscious. Light will be symbolic of consciousness. And, in keeping with Jungian concepts, light will also symbolize the masculine while shadow and darkness will symbolize the feminine. At dawn and at sunset, we can feel the power of both as being present. As night ends, we are pulled from our sleep and the world of dreams as the sun banishes the darkness as best it can. But, the darkness doesn’t disappear as it lurks in the shadows caused by the light of the sun. And at sunset, we are drawn into eros, into a commingling of masculine and feminine, at least for a moment before night again reigns. But in the darkness, there are brief flashes of light, a promise that darkness will not last forever. It’s a curious dance, that of light and darkness, a drama that is played out every day, every season, in every life.