The Earth and the River

Diving into the reading today, which takes a tangent shape into the Internet ether as well as my beloved printed page. I call it research. And it is. But I’m feeling so much joy in discovering these photo/spirit/poetic/nature connections. These two quotes from the book Aperture at 50 (bold emphasis are mine):

Though not a poet, nor a painter, nor a composer, he is yet an artist, and as an artist undertakes not only risks but responsibility. And it is with responsibility that both the photographer and his machine are brought to their ultimate tests. His machine must prove that it can be endowed with the passion and the humanity of the photographer; the photographer must prove that he has the passion and the humanity with which to endow the machine.” – Dorothea Lange and Daniel Dixon

“A photograph that celebrates is an affirmation of existence. It may celebrate life by documenting the actual celebrations of man and the commonality and continuity of human experience. It may rejoice in life through visual equivalents and expressive symbols. A photograph that celebrates may glorify the elemental forces of birth and death, sex and energy. A photography that celebrates may exult in the imagination and the intellect, in consciousness and intuition, in the spirit and the sublime. A photograph that celebrates delights in the transition from sight to insight and extols the mystery that falls between conception and creation.” – Jonathan Green

And after finding this quote from a poem by Jim Harrison: “God’s toes are buried deep in the earth.”, I found this poem … so familiar to me. It’s like a hymn we sang in church when I was a kid.

The River
by Jim Harrison

Yes, we'll gather by the river,
the beautiful, the beautiful river.
They say it runs by the throne of God.
This is where God invented fish.
Wherever, but then God's throne is as wide
as the universe. If you're attentive you'll
see the throne's borders in the stars. We're on this side
and when you get to the other side we don't know
what will happen if anything. If nothing happens
we won't know it, I said once. Is that cynical?
No, nothing is nothing, not upsetting just
nothing. Then again maybe we'll be cast
at the speed of light through the universe
to God's throne. His hair is bounteous.
All the 5,000 birds on earth were created there.
The firstborn cranes, herons, hawks, at the back
so as not to frighten the little ones.
Even now they remember this divine habitat.
Shall we gather at the river, this beautiful river?
We'll sing with the warblers perched on his eyelashes.

 

Photo Credit: Cyd Peroni

 

Cyd Peroni