It has been said by smarter people than me that the only thing that is constant is change. This is one of those universal truths that we either learn to live with or fight against from the earliest of ages. Even if we do nothing else in our life we will experience change. One of the core teachings of Buddhism is the recognition of this change through the four experiences of young Siddhartha. Upon wandering out of his father's castle walls he stumbled upon a man that was sick, a man that was old, and a man that was dead. All representing change. The last experience was seeing a monk or holy man to symbolize that we develop a belief system of some kind to deal with this state of constant change. I look at my own life and clearly see how many different parts I have played at times. How many characters I have been, and how many more I may be. I have played the bad boy, the angry man, the artist, poet, mystic, geek, father, son, tech, prophet, and so on. My plans have changed several times, often they will change in the course of a single day. In the middle of all this change it is no wonder that we cling to the ideas of an eternity ofter this life. I couldn't say with any certainty if there is an eternity after this, what I can say is that part of what makes this so very special is this constant change. That one moment will never be like the last.
Since I picked up a camera my photography has changed in many ways and on many different levels. Much of this is a direct result of internal changes. In fact what is so cool about artists is the ability to view their life like an artistic ant farm. You can really see the changes within them in their work. My work has been no different, and I must say the contrast is much much different. My Apocalyptic youth stuff was so dark and angry. My inner child was a wreck! Then I started to explore the city around me, seeing my friends through my camera. Then I began to see nature and man fighting it out finely finding a way to exist in some form of artistic harmony. Now my stuff is whatever is in that moment, really trying to experience what ever is in from of me to its fullest. This is the exact evolution that has taken place inside of me.
Most recently as my art has evolved the Photo-Monk project has evolved. It used to be more urban zen and less true scenic. Lately there has been much more scenic than urban. My goal would be to have a good mix of urban and scenic with some sprinkling in of the flat out weird. Again a good reflection of my insides. As it goes on it has become harder and harder to find new and interesting things. It has become a true art project in the sense that there is planning on some level involved. This is again, different than when it began. When the Photo-Monk project started it was spontaneous with no plan at all. I am striking the balance now between spontaneous and planned. I still do not plan a specific shoot, I just plan a place I would like to walk and shoot. This may not sound like much of a plan, but it is much more of a plan than I started off with.
My point to all this rambling is that as an artist and more as a mystic, I have learned to embrace change. I welcome artistic chaos and those finishing touches of randomness that only the universe can provide. Not only to my art, but to my life as well. I have discovered a very valuable secret, life is so much more rich when we do not cling to things that art obviously going to change, but instead fall in love with the change and enjoy each stage with equal enthusiasm. When I can do this my life is more amazing than I can even begin to express. When I can breath in the moment with all its change and unpredictability my heart is filled to its brim with joy. This too is a sign of great change for me. Ten years ago I doubt if anyone would have used me and joy in the same sentence. These days it may happen. My goal now is to try to capture even a small amount of that in my photographs. I want to share that moment with everyone. I was told by someone that my art was like a starting point for meditation, I could not think of a greater compliment.
So get out there and watch a leaf fall, an ice cube melt, some paint dry. Walk the same path in all four seasons, count someones freckles twice in a month. Begin to celebrate this amazing world of change. What I have noticed through my photography is when we do this the world is a very amazing and exciting place to be. However, my opinion could of course change.
The rantings of a photo-monk.