Receive this image


I am doing more thinking about social media, especially Instagram. Why do I post the pictures I post? What is the reason others place a photo on this vehicle? Is it solely for ego reasons? Do I want anyone looking at my site to think I am a talented photographer? Do I want everyone to be envious of places I have been? Does ‘that person’ want/need me to think, ‘wow’, she/he looks nice. He/she is ‘hot’. Since Instagram is photo based, how do I think of photography?

I recently read a meditation from The Center for Contemplation and Action. It quoted the artist/photographer/author Christine Valters Painter. In talking about creating through photography she said: “Rather than “taking” photos or “shooting” them or even “making” photos, we will practice “receiving” images as (a) gift. The traditional words for photography are possessive and aggressive. Yet the actual mechanism of photography is that light is reflected off of a subject and received by the camera through the lens opening. We can create conditions for a “good” photo, but ultimately we must stand in a posture of receiving and see what actually shows up in the image.”

The story for the above image is: we were walking from the main entrance of the section of the Great Wall Of China, an hour to the west of Beijing. Out of the corner of my site, I caught a glimpse of this small souvenir shop almost in a hole in a concrete wall. It was overflowing out of the door with ‘unnecessary plastic items, magnets, things to hang from a mirror in a car, a few textiles and other miscellaneous…well…stuff. The colors, the randomness of things, the fact that we were in China, all caused me to think…’thank you for showing me this image’. I wonder what I could do with it? In any case, thanks.

I was putting up my daily flag when I glanced at a sunflower that I had stuck that tiny seed in the ground a few months ago and wondered if it would grow in this spot. My thought was, ‘thanks for showing me this – I receive this image…I wonder what I can do with it, or was it simply a gift, a free gift with no strings attached?

Do you ever wonder why you were impressed with an image? Receive it as a gift.

One response to “Receive this image”

  1. Denise Flanders Avatar
    Denise Flanders

    Nice. 🙂

    One typo – > > and wondered it it would grow >



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: