Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Patterns - exotic

Color of India, Akbar's Tomb, Sikandara, India, August 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/325 sec @ f4.7, ISO 115, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Patterns are everywhere. But sometimes they seem "different". A little foreign. A bit exotic. And how does that make you feel?

Do you fear that with which you are not familiar? Perhaps you feel like an outsider -- not party to the customs and traditions. Of course, it may be difficult if not impossible to communicate using words. But, if you can get into the right mindset, that might even be an advantage. We've talked before how words can get in the way of profound observations and insights.

One unmistakable trend in our lives today is that the world is getting smaller. We are becoming more globally connected. More people have the means and wherewithal to travel to distant lands. More unique goods from remote provinces are now as close as your mouse and internet connection. Crude translation tools are available to get at least the jist of the message. And in many of our larger cities, you will find collections of immigrants, often working hard to maintain their traditions, their unique clothing, and customs.

To me it is something to embrace, rather than fear. (Although that fear may be instinctual, so it will require active awareness on your part.) It helps us recognize what we have in common as well as what is unique about each of us. We have in common our humanity. Our desire to avoid suffering. And from this shared humanity, we have the potential to find common ground. To act for the greater good. To embrace our brothers and sisters, no matter their nationalities, their faiths, their traditions.

Beyond this planet there are billions and billions of miles of cold dark space. Right here, right now, there are billions and billions of human beings. Do you see that we are made from the same cosmic stuff? And that which has made us "different" is so small compared to that which has made us the same. Those differences add color and pattern to life, like the spices we add to our food, to improve the flavor. Embrace those differences. Explore them. Look deeply into them. And see in their eyes the same longing they see in yours.

4 comments:

Heartlight said...

Hi Steve,
I like what you saw, captured and wrote. They are beautiful!!!!!One fren - Eliszie introduced your blog to me after she saw what I captured what I saw through the lenses. I am grateful to her showing me your blog and that has inspired me to take more photos and to write like you.
I guess we appreciate life as life is so beautiful. here is my blog which I started last year but I have been taking photos since young days and I did travel a lot as well. http://weehensworld.blogspot.com/
With love,
wee hen
Malaysia

Steven Crisp said...

Heartlight,

Thanks for the visit and kind comment. I think your photos and commentary are wonderful.

It is amazing how beauty just "shows up" when you are looking for it.

I look forward to seeing new additions to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I like your comment above Steve, that beauty shows up when you are looking for it. It is amazing isn't it. And so true. A lot of things are like that - so we have to be careful about what we are looking for.

Unfortunate that it is sometimes hard for us to really be aware of what we are looking for. Do you know what you are looking for? How well can you sense what the people around you are looking for?

He is looking for someone to cheat him. She is always looking for someone to hurt her. That guy over there is always finding hardships and problems. See what I mean? Don't you know lots of folks like that? Me too.

Great that you, Steve are looking for beauty. Looking for friendship is great too. Amazing how it just shows up. Looking to appreciate other's points of view is harder to do, I think. Looking for the divine and the sacred in the midst of ordinary life, looking for the miracles and the wonders around us all the time...think about it. Many of us have the freedom, and time, to decide what we are looking for, and that means that many of us have the freedom and the power to decide what we find! Today, more people than ever before have power to transform their lives but are not doing it.

For example, thoughout history millions of people were born into slavery, simply to be used and abused by those in power. They had no freedom. But today so many of us are fortunate enough in the world today, have the freedom to live great lives - but apparently do not know how, and end up living in self made prisons, in various forms of slavery.

But most who can read this blog today are able to transform their lives by "looking for" what they want to find. What is holding them back?

Steven Crisp said...

Anon, those are great insights.

What is holding them back? Ignorance, I think. Lack of awareness. Lack of insight.

And that is not really such a surprise, is it? The way we teach our children. What we emphasize. what our religions emphasize.

So little emphasis on experiencing the Divine; so much emphasis on rules, exclusion, hell and damnation.

But a friend and I were having an IM discussion this morning, and he helped bring something forward in my mind. It is all about choice, isn't it?

Choice is Divine. No blame. No fault of others. Not even our conditions. We get the choice to choose how we will see the world. What actions we will take. Whether or not to bring more or less suffering into the world.

And that choice is a beautiful thing. Because it scales. Because it seems to be all we need to know. From that, we can choose to find out more about life, beauty, the Divine.

Thanks so much for the visit, and the comment.