Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Eyes of the Heart
I spent part of my New Year's Eve trying to explain the first chapter of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valters Paintner.
I was failing miserably.
In part I was failing because I really do not understand it myself fully. Actually, I'm not sure I even understand it partially. Perhaps I don't believe what she is trying to say. I don't know yet.
So I've decided to try to blog about the experience in the book. Each chapter is meant as a meditation of sorts. It incorporates photography but not in a typical fashion. I'm hoping that if I share the chapters and some of my photography here, it will increase my own understanding of the mystery of contemplation in the world. Contemplation through the lens as it were.
In thinking about contemplation, Paintner speaks of two types of time: chronos and kairos. Chronos time is linear and sequential, time we are all bound by too much in our culture many days. Kairos time is dwelling in the fullness of the moment, a moment that may be special or unexpected. Dwelling in kairos time allows us to linger above chronos time to take in something that I think may be mystical in some way.
I like this quote from the introduction on page 4, " Giving ourselves over to the act of art-making is one way we find this moment of eternity, or even better, how we allow the moment to find us."
Reading this book is a journey that I want to savor and take in slowly. I hope by sharing the journey here it may help you find your own way to those mystical moments in your own lives while helping me make sense of my own journey.
If you want more information about the author, check out her website: Abbey of the Arts.