The Sense Of Wonder
The continuity of life blunts the edge of marveling. Wonder is finally enveloped in the stream of time.
The above quote comes from a book by Franz Rosenzweig; Understanding The Sick And The Healthy: A View Of World, Man and God. Now I must admit I did not read this book. It was quoted in an Opinion piece in the New York Times. The book is discussing clinical depression but I thought it applied very well to the act of photographing and being a photographer.
To be a photographer one must always be like a child marveling at the world. The mundane and ordinary are to a child fantastical and extraordinary. How the light falls on an object, the intensity of a color, the texture of a flower, all of these are cause for stopping (or at least slowing down) and appreciating the universe.
People are always commenting on how slowly I walk down the street (they do this as they go rushing past to a meeting or to catch a train). What I am doing is in a sense stepping out of the stream of time and letting myself look and marvel at what is close at hand. I look upwards towards the sky and down at the world at my feet. I’ll feel a tree’s trunk as I walk in a park and the texture of a building as I walk down the busy Avenue. I marvel at a light fixture and take a Polaroid in my home.
I will be stepping out of time for the next two and a half weeks. I will be visiting friends in France and wandering about Barcelona. My sense of wonder will come along to guide me in my picture making. I hate to say that I will be setting aside my online writing but it might be the case that I will be unable to connect to my blog. I will bring my netbook along and try to post once or twice with a word and a picture or two.