Adapting the lesson of an early Buddhist teaching, author Jack Kornfield wrote, “A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticeable.” This truth was how I came to photography.
No one escapes grief in this life, and several years ago I took a turn with a series of losses and upheavals that left little intact. While the “managing” mind was overcome, intuition knew I needed a bigger container for the transition. In short, I needed a lake.
I took that metaphor and lived it—both literally and figuratively. I spent as much time at the lake (three of them actually) as I could. I sat on rocks and piers. I watched from park benches. I laid on beaches. I walked the trails that skimmed their shorelines.
And in those hours, their views and sounds filled all the space.
Grief has a disoriented, out-of-body nature to it. I struggled with the physical aspects of life then. I felt disconnected from my own body and actions. But in the presence of that water, this sense evaporated. I evaporated. What remained was pure, enfolding awareness. I slipped unfettered into that open expanse—wholly absorbed by the sensory life and subtle stories around me.
It was a call to lightness that I’ve never stopped heeding—an entry point to life, and, now, art. ~ JW
All images © 2016-2020 Jennifer Wannen. All rights reserved.