Sunday, October 26, 2008

Moving Right Along: Focus


Boneman brought up gathering rocks in a sack, reminding me of the rock stacks I'd see outside Buddhist temples in Korea. Both achieve the same result, that is, focusing the mind on simple task that has no purpose other than to help us focus, quiet our mind and draw us inward.

I suspect that is why I enjoy cameras. It isn't so much the picture that matters as tinkering with the camera itself. The mechanics cause me to focus closely yet allow part of my mind time for quiet introspection - keeping the wild "monkey mind" that tends to jump quickly from one thing to another, carefully channeled with a motor based task. My version of mindless rock stacking. This coupled with the usual solitude of my location allows me to listen to that inner voice, to find my own way vice rely on the opinions or thoughts of others, my distillation unadulterated by the thoughts of others.

Of course this amounts to a moment here and there, eventually I must stop and press the shutter release, but cling to the moment in time where all is still as long as possible. Mind you this is only possible while taking pictures of a saguaro that has stood in one spot for literally hundreds of years, my grandson is quick and is strictly an auto-focus point and shoot kind of situation. But I envy him the fact he is his own man, relys on his own perceptions, is yet to be tainted by outside opinion and has developed the self-reliance we should all foster in ourselves.

12 Comments:

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

Taking pictures is a fun thing to do. I keep my camera with me at all times. Or at least most of the time.

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger SJ said...

I like what you said about your grandson ... yes we are more independent as children quite contrary to conventional wisdom. OK we are dependent for food and shelter on parents/guardians but as far as the mind goes there is a freedom.

Also thanks for the information on the rock stacks I didn't know their purpose.

 
At 3:25 AM, Blogger foam said...

i don't know that this intense focus you describe when taking photos can be called mindless though..
it would appear to be more mindful.
same goes for rock stacking .. takes a lot of concentration and focus to get those suckers to balance.

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger /t. said...

focus...

oh, monkey mind
ha haha ah aha ah ahha ha ha hah -- oooh ooh!

good...

oooh -- monkey mind wanna banana!

thought...

oooh ooh ooh ahh ahh ooooh!

phos

oooh ooh! let's fling poo!

/t.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Fortunately the new zoo has glass to keep the visitors poo free. You are on your own in the bird house, though...

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

somehow I love that moving effect on pics!

u know how much I love the Camera duncha Phos! :)

Keshi.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger dianne said...

Yes Phos my dearest, focusing on one thing even a complicated task like stacking stones helps quieten the mind. :)
I like the colours in your photo up there, I think it would look lovely 'in focus', soothing colours.
We should all search for the child within us, when our perceptions were innocent and not polluted by the reality of consciousness. ♥

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Jack K. said...

As usual, you have given me something to ponder.

Do I have to pile rocks? No

I must do something in which I can get so absorbed that I don't even notice the cacophony of other's ideas running around in my mind. It is almost like being able to be so engrossed in something that I do not even notice incessant ringing in my ears.

Love your comments about your grandson. It is a shame that we train all of that independence out of our children. There is nothing more inspiring then to observe youngsters exploring their world with wonder and innocence in their eyes. That awakens the hiding child in me. It is an invitation to play.

God Bless the little children.

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

I just wish I had half the energy my grandson had, think of the things I could do!!

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger Indigo said...

Indigo Incarnates

Neat-o on the full-motion blur :)

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

inidgo: Jus hope my wife doesn't find out I've been taking pictures while driving again...

 
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