This series of photographs centers around the ancient symbolism of the eye to represent the insight and wisdom used for mental and emotional healing. The opening of the eye is symbolic of a time of awakening and the evolution of consciousness. We view the world, our reality, through this lens and this perception in turn colors and tints the way we perceive ourselves.
When we turn our gaze inward, honestly and compassionately, fearlessly ready to see whatever is there, we utilize our perception for healing. This is our fundamental birthright, our uniquely human ability: to begin to cultivate an awareness of our own cycles, patterns, imbalances, and confusion—our neuroses. We notice the subjective storylines we write with our thoughts about our very experience of reality, and start to see these creations for what they really are: just stories, echoes of distant yet familiar voices, a shifting kaleidoscope of colored waters in our minds.
These images commemorate the process of healing, when we calm the waters and tear out these old storylines—the painful, ineffective, harmful ones—and we lay their tangled bloody messes to rest. We step forward into a clearer perception of ourselves, to see with new eyes: in harmony with the flow of life around us, and the energy within us. This transformation remains an important goal in my own life and an ongoing motivation for my art.
“From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”
“We know that the more he becomes aware of himself, the more he will learn about what his self is. As he experiences the ways in which he prevents himself from ‘being’ now—the ways in which he interrupts himself—he will also begin to experience the self he has interrupted.”
“Awareness always takes place in the present. It opens up possibilities for action. Routine and habits are established functions, and any need to change them requires that they should be brought into the focus of awareness afresh. The mere idea of changing them presupposes the possibility of alternative ways of thinking and acting. Without awareness, there is no cognition of choice. Awareness, contact, and present are merely different aspects of one and the same process—self-realization.”
“The true nature of man, like the true nature of any other animal, is integrity. Only in an integrated spontaneity and deliberateness does he make a sound existential choice. For both spontaneity and deliberation are in the nature of man. Awareness of and responsibility for the total field, for the self as well as the other, these give meaning and pattern to the individual’s life.”
“The only reason that we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.”
(Quotes selected from Pema Chodron “When Things Fall Apart” and Fritz Perls “The Gestalt Approach.”)