Photo Prayer 2022-13 -- Pause The Flow

Awake at 3:47am. Here’s the photo as I sit in the chair next to our bed. All black. No, there’s nothing to see but always something to say. Awake, my mind moves from one thing to another. I studied philosophy because it promised a way of pausing the flow of thought. “Life is fired at us point blank,” said a Spanish writer. I pursue photography because it too is a way of pausing the flow.

Totally black photo of the author’s bedroom at night with lots of high-ISO noise.
Photo and text copyright 2022 by Danny N. Schweers.
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Julie wrote:
How interesting that this picture looks like the night-sky. Good shot!

Diane-Louise wrote:
Incredible. Thank you.

Burley and Helga wrote:
Hi Danny: Thanks, l’m glad you are sending your photos and thoughts again. I was getting a little worried about you; why I didn’t receive them for a while. Keep sending them.

Jeffrey wrote:
Nice. Great use of noise. Instead of a distraction it “is” the image! Well done.

Marti wrote:
Interesting, Danny! Before I read your description, what I "saw" was a dark night with a myriad of bright stars and thought "Even in our darkness, He is still there to Light our way!" Hmmmm…… [DANNY REPLIED: Perhaps those really are bright stars as you first suspected and here I am explaining them away as static in a digital camera’s circuitry. I do know that sometimes God likes to play hide and seek. Perhaps most of those stars are static but one or more are something else. I have no way of knowing.]

Hugh wrote:
Loved your Cartesean musing (Rene spent much of his life in bed) and I keep starting my thinking with the dark. I rise in the dark and wait for forms to emerge as my eyes adjust and, when some light enters the room, I begin to discern outlines, which give me identities, which comprise my reality. I have one to profile as the code in which our understanding of our surroundings is written. I see profile as shape identified and that is why it plays such a huge role in the images that we create and why black and white images mean so much. Value, form, and profile are where meaning lives, which gives composition such a central role creating meaning. [DANNY REPLIED: Reading what you say about composition and its central importance in art, it is ironic that this photo of high-ISO static has perhaps the least composition of any image and yet is meaningful.]

Alice wrote:
Love this Danny. It is true , “Life is fired at us point blank“. Hate that about it, but love that about it more. Bring it on, as long as we get those little pauses from time to time to catch our breath. [DANNY REPLIED: Every moment seems to overflow with connection, meaning, and implication. I find myself wanting to explore a moment only to find a new moment has arrived, with new connections, meanings, and implications. Our cups overflow! The quote BTW is by José Ortega y Gasset, a Spanish philosopher and essayist.]

John J. wrote:
I can’t wait to see the comments on this one. I saw an Ad Reinhardt exhibit of his “Black” paintings 8 or 9 years ago. Pretty cool to stare at them until you could see the subtle differences. On my phone screen the photo looks almost like it could be a Pollack/— done during one of his phases. I think you are on to something here Danny!

Ernestine wrote:
Beautiful thought. Thanks, so true.

Robin wrote:
So perfectly appropriate for me to see this right now. What synchronicity! Still recovering from a sleepless night and spinning mind that no mantra could stop. LOL! At first I thought your image was stars in infinite space and it actually calmed my Monkey Mind and put me in a meditative state.

Bill wrote:
Comment 1: The photo looks like “empty” space full of quantum oscillations that pop into and out of existence.
Comment 2: I’m surprised that you studied philosophy because it promised a way of pausing the flow of thought. My experience with philosophy is that it does quite the opposite: it stimulates and exacerbates the flow of thought! What led you to believe that it would pause it? Did you find any aspect of philosophy that led to a pause? I have found that meditation, breath practices, chanting, yoga and similar methods work a lot better toward that aim. [DANNY REPLIED: The frustration I have with the flow is not being able to give one thing the attention it deserves before another thing claims my attention, and then another. I still have this ideal of philosophy as a meditative discipline which puts the flow to one side to pay attention to one thing at a time. Even as I say this, I can see it is a silly thing to say. Giving attention to one thing only means we have replaced one flow with another. We give our attention to one thing and find infinite connections, a river never ceasing. But somehow the frustration disappears.]

Martha wrote:
Just the IDEA of pausing the flow triggers a deeper breath. And a sense of relief. Thanks Danny!

Bernadette wrote:
Thanks Danny, for pausing our Flow! I call my Flow 'chatter', but flow seems more positive. [DANNY REPLIED: I do think of “the flow” as being something other than chatter or distraction, more like the river of life, every part of it precious but gone before we can properly appreciate it, replaced by the next infinitely valuable but fleeting moment. Something like that. Our old friend, Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher of 2,500 years ago, talked about a universal flux. In all my study of the pre-Socratics (brief as is was) I did not get a sense of value or praise for what was flowing. I am much more sympathetic with the Taoists.]

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