"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Summer 2020: Lily Variations (8 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (8 of 10)

From Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn:

“Picture the most beautiful mountain you know or know of or can imagine, one whose form speaks personally to you. As you focus on the image or the feeling of the mountain in your mind’s eye, notice its overall shape, the lofty peak, the base rooted in the rock of the earth’s crust, the steep or gently sloping sides. Note as well how massive it is, how unmoving, how beautiful whether seen from afar or up close…. 

“Perhaps your mountain has snow at the top and trees on the lower slopes. Perhaps it has one prominent peak, perhaps a series of peaks or a high plateau. However it appears, just sit and breathe with the image of this mountain, observing it, noting its qualities…. 

“Now, as well you know, throughout the day as the sun travels the sky, the mountain just sits. Light and shadow and colors are changing virtually moment to moment in the mountain’s adamantine stillness. Even the untrained eye can see changes by the hour…. As the light changes, as night follows day and day night, the mountain just sits, simply being itself. It remains still as the seasons flow into one another and as the weather changes moment by moment and day by day…. 

“Calmness abiding all change.”

Since tomorrow is Election Day here in the United States — and it may have some … shall we say … volatility to it — I picked out a quotation of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” variety for this post, instead of one about lilies or flowers. The quote is extracted from a meditation exercise in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book — and while I don’t practice meditation, I’m fairly well read on mindfulness and present-moment awareness as psychological concepts. Short version: exercises like this — along with many immersive nature or creative activities — can help center you as a living being in a moment of time, linking you to a nearly endless experience of light, color, sound, and calm breathing … rather than whatever chaotic, noisy, ratty-ass crap is going on around you. So if you get tense watching election coverage tomorrow … just imagine your mountain, instead.

Below are a few more lily photo galleries, the first of which is a before-and-after image of one of the photos, stylized as I described previously (see Summer 2020: Lily Variations (7 of 10)). We are approaching the end of this series just as colder weather — including a few frosty nights — has made its way into Atlanta, and finally I’m starting to see some autumn yellows and oranges brushing the leaves nearby. Big photoshoots planned! So stay tuned!

The previous posts in this series are:

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (1 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (2 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (3 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (4 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (5 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (6 of 10)

Summer 2020: Lily Variations (7 of 10)

Thanks for taking a look!


    1. Dale

      Hey, thanks. It’s strangely relaxing to spend time brushing out those backgrounds … sort of like coloring, or finger-painting … or mouse-finger-painting!

      Good luck with the calm breathing! There’s no mountains visible from my house — just skyscrapers, which don’t work nearly as well — so I may build one out of mashed potatoes tomorrow afternoon and stare at it for a while….


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