IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
There is a kind of standing-still quality, or stalemate, in which comments and remarks become unimportant, and seeing things as they are becomes the real thing. It’s like a frog sitting in the middle of a big puddle, with rain constantly falling on it. The frog simply winks its eyes at each raindrop that falls on it, but it doesn’t change its posture
Chogiam Trungpa Rinpoche
The courtyard of an old tenement in Cracow, a street food stall in Burma, or a rock in the Iranian desert, anything, anywhere, even the most ugly or boring, can, for an instant, become extraordinary and magic. This occurs when I actually begin to see what I’m looking at, when I immerse myself in reality and forget myself as the observer. The most important element of this process is the state of mind: attentiveness, openness and freshness – qualities characteristic of contemplation. Any presumed conceptions are simply a hindrance.
In practice, I simply wander with my camera, conscious of the fact that everything I can see is in the right place, I don’t need to change or interpret anything, just notice what is already there. I look into the small cafes, join strangers, establish contact – often non-verbal. Sometimes I sit there for hours, return over many days, as in the case of the bazaar café at the Inle lake in Burma, where I drank liters of sweet chai and photographed the beautiful faces of old men. Sometimes I feel as if I’m touching the sacrum sphere, when an old pot, in the brilliant light of a sun ray, resembles a mystical still-life painting of Francesco de Zurbaran.