Monday, January 28, 2013


Our senses afford us the experience of life. The arts that derive from our senses are the rewards of care, value, as well as the gifts of many others that make up our world. Although we are flooded today with the arts of the senses we are yet to become immune to their heritage and influence.

It was a very different world we lived in when we could not share in worlds of spirits not our own. And what is our own is more now a commonality than an exclusion. Life has become much larger as our world has become smaller. Yet we cannot accept others or get along with them because their spirits are somehow foreign although as human as our own. We become smaller not larger by taking without giving the appreciation of all the many others that share their spirits with us.

I have learned that one spirit teaches another. My spirit was first awakened by music. Then the necessities of life interrupted and I became aware of a visual spirit I found in photography. Although it consumed my interest in and dominated my spirit for some time, I have gradually returned to a life  involving both the audial realm as well as the seeing one.

Little by little the two spirits I follow have come together with a little help. That was a four year long project of working in photography to illustrate many different kinds of music. It opened my ears to music I had not known before and provided new challenges to my being able to see the world as photographs. But most that sight and sound can be related spirits, not antagonistic worlds unto themselves. That is not unusual as many listen and look at the same time. But the extent to which they are related is seldom thought of except by circumstance. An opera, a musical theater, naturally bring all the spirits together. But we do that intentionally and it seldom occurs without trying and deliberate effort.

However there are many instances in life around the world like carnival in Venice and Rio where it is a natural coincidence, others as well I am aware of too that are less obvious to most people.  The spirits of sight, sound and motion live well together when people get together and celebrate this life we all take part in. So why not enjoy it all as one where our spirits flourish together.

This can happen individually too if we want it to. It doesn’t have to be passive, just having music as a background to daily tasks. The spirit of the images I create and work with can be related to the sounds I care about; conjoined together enhancing each other. It only requires an openness to something that is only divided in our minds as to how things should be, but should they? 

Many of the photographers I have known have also been musicians, or is it vice-versa. One I have recently corresponded with works at both music and making photographs, but apparently keeps each realm unto itself. That seems natural, but is it really; or is it the result of a culture we live in that assumes divisions that may not be true but endured none the less. My faith is that the spirits we all live with are one and the same, so dividing them is maybe a false promise, to what I do not know. 

I have learned after a lot of being oblivious that what has made me appreciate the spirit of sound and sight are from the same being just human. What divisions and limitations we apply to ourselves as part of being in a culture are real but not an imprisonment. We are really free to be as fully who we are as we have the courage to be.

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