The lodges in National Parks I’ve visited are always similar… rugged timber construction, fabulous locations and a place to sit and enjoy the view. There is always a row of chairs, rocking or otherwise, placed where you can sit and just be. Notice how they are empty? Not so many people take the time to do that. We keep busy. Have to see this, do that. Fill up our time.
I am struck by these images of inviting but empty chairs. Where are all the people? They were certainly around, but not sitting. I wasn’t sitting. The empty chairs perfectly highlight what I just read in The Practice of Contemplative Photography this morning:
[W]hy can’t we relax when we have nothing to do and enjoy a little bit of space in our lives? The problem is we are afraid of our own hearts. There are many, many things we haven’t wanted to look at. The heart is so sensitive, so ready to resonate with the world, that we keep it covered, fearing we won’t be able to stand being touched. It might be too intense. We might be overwhelmed. We can’t affort to open up, because who knows what we might feel. It seems safer to armor the heart, even if that shields us from the vitality of life… When you have nothing to do, whatever accumulated agitation, restlessness, or existential anxiety you might have begins to surface. You become aware of feelings that are normally submerged. Boredom is the forerunner of this distress and a signal that you should seek some diversion to hold your heart at bay.
This rings true… it’s hard to sit a while and just be. It’s hard to open that channel to our hearts. We don’t know what we might feel, so it’s better to keep it wrapped up safely and covered with all of our busy-ness. That’s why the Photo-Heart Connection has become so important to me and many others. It may not be sitting quietly with our selves while looking at a fabulous view, but it is a process that allows the heart to open. It allows us to feel the messages that are there for us, just under the armor we’ve created by filling our lives with things to do.
Today is the last day to link in to the Photo-Heart Connection for July. I invite you to sit a while today. Enjoy the view. Connect with your heart, and the hearts of others in some way. Join us.