Home Photography Sabbath Practice: It is good

We are bombarded by a great deal ugly in this world. Sadly, the commercialized media structure feeds off of ugliness and sensationalism and so the ugliness grows. But here is a reminder that creation is more than the ugliness our cruelty, ignorance, greed (and a thousand other sins) can create.


The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.
When world moves at a tree’s view of time, clouds pound against the hillsides like the ocean and seasons come and go like the passing of individual days. We are reminded that there is more to creation that ourselves, there are things far old, far more anchored in time than our fast paced world. A world that can come and go in the blink of creation’s eye.

We cannot afford to shut our eyes and ears to the world around us, or to isolate ourselves within a bubble of blindness. However, today there was a reminder to stop, look, and be aware. On the way back into the house from dropping my step son off, a glint of green on the porch steps caught my eye. I stopped and backed up, and found this beautiful creature hanging upside down on the riser.

I considered her, and she considered me, turning her delicate triangular head. She sat perfectly still, unhurried and unafraid. I don’t imagine sensational news reports, schisms, or controversies woud much affect this tiny Zen master.

I went inside and collected my camera and macro lens. She waited. I snapped and crouched and circled around her. She watched me, but without seeming concern; her head swiveling but her body remaining utterly still as she simply sat.

I reached out a finger and touched on of her gossamer fine antenne, she allowed this liberty, but moved just enough to keep me from touching the rest of her delicately painted armor. I marveled at the fine detailing across her back, at the way her plates of exoskeleton overlapped like tight petals, at the perfect balance of her delicately scaled legs which seemed to hold her magically against the step riser and against the pull of gravity.

God saw all that God had created, and called it good. It is so easy to lose the good among the ugliness that assails us, yet it remains at the heart of things. It remains in the creation around us, and in the people around us. It remains, waiting for our willingness to let go our distractions and seek it. When we cease throwing ourselves futilely against the past we cannot change, or the futures we cannot touch, and let ourselves rest and grow still in this very real present, we become like that tiny warrior on the porch step. Balancing with careful lightness, aware, alive, but without hurry or fear.

I invite you to the practice of awareness. I invite you into a sabbath stillness, senses open to the good God saw, and sees, in this creation. I invite you to let go the regrets of the past, the what ifs of the future and simply be in the moment. Creation’s goodness will find you, it does not have far to go, it is all around, and within.

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