Whenever I present Miksang classes, at some point I bring up the notion that in terms of seeing, one does not have to go anywhere special. At the beginning of my own journey of seeing, my personal trap door was the thought that if only I could go somewhere special, somewhere new, somewhere exotic, then I could really see and take great photographs! It turned out to be quite the fallacy. The truth of the matter seems to be that if you can't see where you are, right in your own backyard, then you can't see anywhere.As many of you already know, I began this adventure in my own backyard and continued in my back lane way, all of which took the better part of a year. Over time, wherever I have lived, I have spent a lot of time investigating the area I lived in. Part of this arises from the fact that, not having a car anymore, I usually walk everywhere.For the past five years I have lived on Oxford Street in Halifax. During any given week, I walk to the bank, the corner store, Julie's house (which is on the same street), and the grocery store. I almost always take my camera with me, mostly as a reminder to look and see. Sometimes, I don't shoot anything, sometimes I shoot a whole roll. Either way, I am more aware of things around me than if I didn't have my camera, and the walk is much more of a joy than simply going from point A to point B.
On many occasions over the years, my friend Andy Karr will drop by and we will go shooting together. Mostly, we simply walk around the few blocks that surround my house. We always have such a great time, making little discoveries along the way, and simply appreciating things as they are. The neighborhood is nothing special really, just houses, lawns, driveways, front porches, sidewalks and telephone polesóbut nonetheless there is no end to what we see. As Trungpa Rinpoche said, 'there are endless fields of perception' and walking around the block, I could also add that each of these fields themselves are also endless. I have put together a few of the hundreds of shots I have taken in the few blocks near where I live. Click below to see them.
Go to the Neighborhood Gallery
May 26, 2005