It Starts Anew

This evening as the moon made its appearance once again, I was out along the Skyline Highway.  It was a smashing way to greet in the new Islamic Year.  This evening the year 1433 Hijri started.  Without any fanfare or incendiaries the year came in silence, exactly how I like it.  Sublime moments bring there own grandeur to share with those open to seeing and recognizing them.  I was fortunate to be among the audience.

Muharram Crescent 1433

Muharram Crescent & Venus 1433

The year has gone by very fast, faster than I could have imagined.  Endings and beginnings are always times of retrospect and introspect.  As I look back over the past year, I find that I have some regrets and some gratitude.  It also brings hope and resolve to continue on.  Much has changed over the past year both internally and externally.  Nonetheless we have no choice but to accept the changes and move on, hopefully attaining growth as a human being.

I have much to share with you, my dear readers, in the weeks to come, and I just hope I can find the time, a commodity that has been in short supply with me lately, to bring out many new and exciting photographs and to share some interesting developments with Organic Light Photography.  Its never boring here, so stay tuned.

Muharram Crescent 1433 and Venus

Sunset # 1, 1433 AH

One thing that you can be certain of is that the beauty of our fragile world will continue to grace the pages of this web journal and its parent website.  And along with them my reflections that will hopefully keep us growing as individuals leading us to the nexus of love and action that will change the tide that is rapidly eroding our home.

To all my readers, Happy Islamic New Year and Peace to you all.

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Sparks Of Light – 9/11/11

Peace comes at a high price.  It’s cost – “Love for others what you love for yourself”

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Longing For Peace

It has been difficult for me in the last several weeks.  The new moon came and went, and even though I photographed it and made a beautiful composition of it I found it difficult to post anything about it.  I have been thinking quite a bit as well, and unfortunately returned to listening to the radio news and talk shows.  I really must learn to leave that nonsense, however I sometimes need to know what is happening in our world.  Let me tell you… what you hear is very depressing, so much so that it pushes me closer to being a cynic, which is never a good thing.

From the earthquake in Japan and the resulting nuclear catastrophe to the charlatans setting up fake aid organizations duping sincere folks wanting to help to the impending world contamination with radioactive iodine and cesium, the whole thing is infuriating.  We really can’t find better ways to boil water to turn turbines to spin generators to make electricity…really?

Then there is the unfolding war in Libya that is so unfortunate.   It is very frustrating.  But hey, call it support for the freedom fighters and everyone is on board.  Never mind that the citizens of Libya had free housing and free education and health care for everyone!  Now lets drop depleted uranium munitions there as well.  Argh!  We don’t have enough deformed war babies being born in the world.

But wait there’s more.

Let’s tax the poor and give the rich a tax-free pass so that we can turn our nation in to a dysfunctional third world country governed by an oligarchy rather than a democracy.  I could not believe this when I heard it. The top 1% of the U.S. population control 42% of the financial wealth! Huh?

And lets abolish Medicare and Medicaid so that our elders and children who can’t afford health care just vanish so we don’t have to worry about them anymore. And don’t even get me started on education.

Now I could go on and on venting about all that is wrong in the world but that would be wrong in and of itself because it does not do anything to constructively fix any of it.

So instead, in my longing for peace in our world, I asked myself what do we need to do so that we humans can be at peace with ourselves as well as with the world.

I think we need to foster 7 things in ourselves to see change take place in our world: Truth, Repentance, Resolve, Gratitude, Mortality, and Remembrance.

I expressed my thoughts with this short video.  I hope it will make a difference.

If you like it, please share it with your network of friends.  Maybe, just maybe it can affect a change.

Enjoy and as always, Peace!

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The Glow of Patience

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Glowing Stones

Glowing Stones on Pebble Beach

One of the most striking characteristics of being on a beach is the contrast between the constant tumultuous onslaught of the waves and the comely patience exhibited by the rocks, pebbles and sand.  The beach faces the waves of the ocean, big or small, without fear or even a wince but on the contrary, uses the power of its turbulent water to obtain a polish that evokes calm and serenity in the hearts of its visitors.

This polished look did not happen overnight.  Much time had to pass before the beach could help people feel peaceful as they walked along it.  Old souls are like that as well.  They have this tranquility about them, this glow that only comes from from years of endurance, years of riding out the tribulations of life with demanding patience.  I was thinking about this the other day when read a qoute about patience online that now, in all my impatient frustration, I can no longer find; that patience is  conducting oneself with constancy in the face of both good and troubling times.  I wanted to use that quotation and while searching for it again, I found the above quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When I read that, I said to myself – ‘Exactly!’  That is Mother Earth’s secrete.  Back in the spring of 2006 in Issue #10 of the Organic Light Photography Newsletter I examined what it meant to be patient.  Here is the last paragraph of that issue.  It seems fitting here.

Learning how to move at the speed of time: that is, finding a balance between haste and sloth, something that we call patience is really nothing other than living our lives at the speed of time. It seems like such a difficulty but in reality, it is not that hard. Everything is destined to occur when it is supposed to and nothing we do can bring a future moment in time to us any quicker nor can we do anything to slow time down. No one knows this better than one who has lived a long life. Something that occurred to me a few weeks ago while leading a workshop in Big Basin State Park in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Father of the Forest

 There in the middle of the forest was a tree that the park service had named the Father of the Forest. An ancient Sequoia Semperviren estimated to be older than 2000 years. With a girth of 70 feet at its base and towering more than 250 feet above the forest floor it truly did give the sense of standing at the foot of a great father. Its age most apparent from its shear size and wrinkled bark covered in moss. While other trees one-fourth its age or younger are found toppled over very near by, this tree stood firm. One cannot reach such an age without an immense amount of patience. Something the younger trees failed to learn from the ‘Old Man’ in their rush to uproot and just fall over. Patience is what allows one to grow old. It allows a person to live in the present, neither longing for the future nor sorrowing over the past, and to appreciate what one has from the many blessing we take for granted every day. It is truly humbling to think that this old tree waited all this time for me to come by to teach me the importance of patience. I can only hope that we as humans can learn to foster patience within ourselves so that we can live as peaceful a life as this ancient tree.

Peace to you all.

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Why PAN?

It seems like a strange name, Organic Light Pan for a web journal. Why did I choose that? Well one reason which is kind of silly, but of importance in the branding of my company, Organic Light Photography, are the initials OLP. From Organic Light Photography to Organic Light Press to, hopefully in the future, Organic Light Philanthropy, I wanted the web journal to keep the same three letter moniker of OLP.

This is where the search started in naming this journal. I went to great lenghts of searching words that begin with the letter ‘P’ that would capture the sense of what this journal would serve. My photographic work is in general concerned with nature and the landscape. More specifically I am concerned with our relationship with the Earth as well as our relationship with our Maker.

For one, I find it interesting that the natural world, taken as a whole, is at peace with itself. Everything is in balance and it would stay that way if we did not come along and upset that tenuous equilibrium. Thus I write about that in the reflections that accompany my photographs. I also tend to see that if we open our eyes to how the natural world functions we can learn a great many things in how to live our lives in peace with each other. However to do this, one has to “pan” across all the strata of existent things in the universe to see this. And that is where the name of this journal appeared. I also found it fortutious that in many instances a photographer has to pan the camera while following a subject in the viewfinder.

And so, Organic Light Pan became the title of this journal that aims to extract Insights Through Reflections on Nature. Hopefully these insights will lead us to living in peace with each other on this planet and in peace with the Earth itself, our home and vessel as we are hurled through the universe.

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