I don’t often think of being in the landscape however these past days I’ve had the opportunity to be just that. In the landscape, of the landscape.
To explain. Now and then there opens for me an opportunity to go off grid and spend time in a small retreat hut in the monastery grounds. So recovering, well by the way, from a cold and hearing the call to be less outwardly active I’ve carved out a few hours each day this week to hut dwell. A series of mini breaks, three or four hours here and there, to sit with nothing calling for attention.
As dawn comes to the valley, from dim glimmer through murky grey to misty glow, I’ve sat. And I’ve sat on the porch mid-day too, reciting a scripture. Intimate with the great sweep of the valley. An hour or two in the late afternoon, the sun first blazing in the window then dipping behind the hill. Evening, picking my way across the field in drizzle with headlamp batteries fading to nothing – and still finding my way. Deep blackness, inky black, with pin pricks of light. Are they near, or far? Is that one moving? It’s blinking. A plane? A satellite? A UFO?! With little or no illumination landscape takes off into a wholly other world of envisioning. After all sharp focus is only a very small part of our vision capacity.
So much of the time ones eyes are narrowed to sharp focus. On the screen, the phone book, notices on the notice board (bane of my life – where are my glasses!). Text and text and more text. So when there is not so much obvious need for sharp focus one can go wide screen. Be in the landscape. Allow corner-of-the-eye sight. Allow the eyes to roam wide and open, focused but not narrowed in on anything particular. Wholly in the landscape. Wholly the landscape.
With practice, even coming into a large room there can be an entering into a room-scape, rather than immediately narrowing ones beam, so to speak, to ones sitting or standing place. All rather interesting. But enough of this pondering. Take a look at these winning photographs from the Landscape photo of the year 2009 awards published on the BBC web site.
Thanks to Dave for the link – keep ‘em coming Dave.