I picked up a camera in 1998 with the intention of making large landscape images full of drama and space with grand, far-off vistas in which I could hope to escape from childhood misery.
But what my images came to reveal is the power and intimacy of smaller landscapes, like that of a flower. I was increasingly drawn to the subtleties of petal and stem, and I found my camera diving more and more into the worlds of flowers. I stopped chasing the horizon and began to search my own backyard, what was just in front of me.
Earth, one hundred and fourteen million years ago, the first flower ever to appear on the planet opens to receive the rays of the sun. Much later, those delicate and fragrant beings we call flowers would come to play an essential part in the evolution of another species...Humans would increasingly be drawn to and fascinated by them.
As the consciousness of human beings developed, flowers were most likely the first thing they came to value that had not utilitarian purpose for them, that is to say, was not linked in some way to survival.
I’m often in awe of the color, design or expression of form when I’m in the company of flowers. My search for beauty in my surroundings is much like my own search for the Divine. A flower is the plant’s highest potential and promise of a new generation, giving of its energy for creating seeds. For me, it’s verification that goodness does exist and how God is knowable.
Seeing beauty in a flower could awaken humans to the beauty that is an essential part of their own innermost being, their true nature. The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness. The feelings of joy and love are intrinsically connected to that recognition. Without our fully realizing it, flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves.
Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of the physical form and the formless. When you are alert to contemplate a flower, it becomes a window for you into the formless. There is an inner opening into the realm of the spirit.
Look deeply into a flower and you can see the birthplace of a new generation. I feel the power of creation and the gift of creativity.
[*This statement includes words in italics from Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth.]