Many of the world’s great philosophers and guides help us understand the integration of the mind and the heart, the physical and the spiritual. Great artists – the ones that keep me coming back to their work – do this as well. Ranier Maria Rilke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Georgia O’Keefe, Mary Oliver, Patty Griffin, Sebastião Salgado, and many other unnamed, unfamous artists are wise in this way.
Robert Bly, a terrifically integrated artist in his own right, names this talent when he describes a period of Rilke’s poems as “seeing poems”. In them Rilke makes tangible the wholeness of sight, sound, the physicality of what’s being described, and the archetypal meaning that such observations bring to the human endeavor.
Like medicine, and meditation, art is a practice. My practice is to create images that are seeing poems – images that touch inner chords of knowing that may or may not be consciously connected. My practice as a photographer is woven with my work as an adult educator and advocate for an approach to human life that respects the necessity of nature for our survival and happiness.