Sometimes I think about photography. I wonder why I have this burning need to freeze moments; what is the source of this insatiable interest in grabbing tiny instants of life and storing them in my camera.
When I started with birth photography over three years ago, I discovered something I hadn’t thought about before. At births, I would completely disappear; I would be absorbed in the present, completely immersed in what what happening before me. I would lose myself, my inner discourse would go silent and I would be just there, in the here and now. I became sheer presence and empathy. People would ask me, after having been at long-haul births that went on 18-20 hours, did you not get very tired?, and I always answered that no - not until the journey home. I’d have forgotten about time completely.
Slowly I have become aware that it is not only birth photography that will put me into a state of full presence - it is all kinds. Capturing moments make me lose myself. My camera becomes an instrument of the senses.
I am curious about buddhism; I read and listen, explore and try to learn. I attempt meditating, to sit with myself and my breath, to let my thoughts drift by like clouds, to be still and present and not caught up in anything. I try to be in the fresh present moment, as Pema Chödrön would say. It is hard. Not many fresh moments go by before I am distracted and off on an internal discourse. I bring myself back and try to stay, then I fly off into the noise again, and there it is, back and forth like that.
It is when I am taking photographs that my mind goes quiet. It is easy then, to be here, to only experience the present, without any distractions.
I think that is why I never tire of it; because how can you tire of the magic in the present moment, the strength of the here and now? It is complete.