The creative life is a journey not a destination. There is no end point were once reached all has been accomplished. It can accurately be described as Wynn Bullock put it; “The urge to create, the urge to photograph, comes in part from the deep desire to live with more integrity, to live more in peace with the world, and possibly to help others to do the same. ” That statement works well for me, wrapping up the individual processes that take place when out in the natural world; urge, desire, live, integrity, peace and help to others. Does there really need to be anything else for a fulfilled life?
Spending time recently in Southern Missouri on a bit of R&R I found myself (as I typically do) searching for the rest and relaxation deep within nature. It seems to be only when surrounded by the natural world peace finds its way past the confusion of the modern daily world and into my mind and soul.
I had discovered a nice public area with a few miles of hiking trails through the Ozark woodlands. Upon my second visit during the late afternoon hours I was compelled to stop many times during my hike to simply look and listen. Most of this trail was through heavily forested areas opening up occasionally to views across the hills and valleys, the sounds on the other hand were completely encompassing. Natures silence. The silence that is only broken by natures own melodies. Winds of cool seasonal change, birds in search of food and shelter, the occasional rustle of leaves from the gray squirrels scampering up the oak and hickory trees.
It became easy to stand still, difficult to continue on. When it seems most are in a hurry to get to the destination so they don’t miss anything, I was content to stay put as to not miss anything. During these times the urge to create is the strongest, a desire to live with more integrity and experience the peace that is needed for understanding those elements which are important in life.
It was during this time I looked at the canopy of leaves and branches that covered my small presence within the woodland, the brightness of the sky filling the spaces in between the back-lit greens and yellows. I knew at that moment there was an image amongst all this and remember telling myself, “it’s here I just need to find it.” I had the urge whether to create, photograph, live, experience, the exact nature of the urge may have been unclear but the need was not.
I found comfort in the seeming chaos of nature, a comfort in knowing that only with close examination can a presence of mind occur and the urge be understood.