“I’m stimulated by learning
and if I’m not learning then I’m not stimulated,
and if I’m not stimulated then I’m not living,
and if I’m not living then I’m dead.”
-Ryan McGuiness, Human Being Journal. Issue 4.
- Huntington Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles -
At the time, I would say I was intrigued with the idea of perfection.
As if capturing the cleanest, most flawlessly arranged photographic form was superior to the reality of a messy, un-cropped life.
For a while, I shunned one, then mocked the other. Who am I left with, if I am both?
If questioning, and re-questioning everything is learning, then I'm learning, and re-learning a lot this year.
I want to understand more than the aesthetics of a photo. I want to know why a photo illicits a reaction. Is it the soul the photographer brings to the image, a rawness, or happiness, or yearning, the viewer then shares?
When I look at these photos, I'm reminded of a love for shadows, for organic plants unfurling their limbs in soft light. I never want to lose this innocence. I'm also reminded of a true struggle now, to release control and symmetry. To undo perfection.
A friend took me to this spot not so long ago. It's beautiful, and I look forward to the ease I felt walking through the gardens. Just getting lost in the plants, laughing, wandering, wondering out loud.