(It’s been one year since I started a weekly posting, attempting to draw a connection between the act of photography and the act of contemplation, between having an attention to the life in front of me and paying attention to the spirit of God within and around me. I’ve enjoyed this forum for showing my photos and trying to convey what photography has meant for me spiritually and humanly speaking. Thank you for being a part of this journey.)
One principle of photographic composition is to leave space around the edges of an image, so that the elements aren’t squeezed up against the edges of the photo. Images need some breathing room to show their best.
It occurred to me that we also need to leave space in our life between one thing and the next simply to breathe, to center, to relax, to clear our mind. Many of us have a very busy life, going from one event to another, ticking one thing after another off our to-do list.
If events in our life crowd upon one another in an unending cascade, we, like our photos, usually don’t show our best. Our patience can wear thin; we can become tired; the joy of life can fade; and we begin to wonder what life is all about.
If we give ourself the gift of space, it’s like a mini-retreat, which allows for self-renewal and a purposeful return to the tasks ahead of us. A bit of self care in this way can reap dividends in our life. We come to realize that more work does not equal more creativity, and that leisure activity is not time wasted.
Jesus would take time out of his busy day to spend some quiet time in prayer. He realized that he needed to connect with Abba, his father, to renew the energy and purpose that would energize him to complete his work. He created that space in his life, and returned to his mission with renewed strength–a good example for us all!
“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed”. (Mark 1:35)