Lynn Anderson Fine Art

Beauty and The Eternal Yes

At a recent gallery opening at the IMC Media Center in Urbana,IL., I met a woman who was searching for a large and beautiful print to hang in her new sun room.  She gazed at my exhibit, considering the possibilities of a number of photographs of brightly colored fall leaves.  She called me over to show me a photograph on her phone she had taken of a crimson maple tree saying,  “Everyone wonders why I take pictures of fall trees.  I can’t stop myself.  They are so beautiful.”

I responded,  “Yes, those fall leaves take us beyond ourselves, to a realm that is peaceful and joyous.”

She nodded. For those moments we were kindred spirits sharing a wondrous secret – our love for the seasonal transformation of color. Read more about the IMC Media Center exhibit.

Woodland Feast

Woodland Feast

What is it about our search for beauty in our everyday lives? Emerson wrote that beauty is “God’s handwriting.”  If this is so, beauty is good, healing, and transcending of ordinary experience.  It can grab ahold of us and carry us away for a moment where we are moved beyond ourselves. As we take-in beauty in any form, we are joyous, alive, and connected to the eternal all-that-is.  Beauty can be experienced in harmonious conversation, engaging music, graceful movement or captivating lines of poetry or verse, not limited to a visual composition.   We welcome it in all forms.  We are drawn to it. We say “Yes” to it because what is lovely offers us the opportunity to be in positive flow with the larger current of life, so essential for our well- being.

In my Tai Chi class the other morning my instructor spoke about the importance of saying “Yes.” Yes, to a traffic delay, yes to an awkward moment, yes to our imperfect creative explorations. Yes, to what is mundane. By saying yes to the truth of the moment, our resistance melts, and we can discover a way to be in harmony with the moment at hand, regardless of the chatter in our head.

This fall I was on a photo shoot mission scanning the underbrush for elusive beauty. What flora had I overlooked as I walked through parkways ablaze in fall splendor? I drove past a stand of red sumac exploding with color in the back of a vacant lot. Should I forget it, or park my car and walk through the tall thistles to capture the image?

Flash I

Flash I

My creative inclination took hold. I must photograph those gangly specimens. With camera in hand, I trod into the autumn jungle. The sky was dreary. It was a long walk and the Sumac were just weeds. Yet, my practiced eye recognized an opportunity. Somewhere in the midst of the chaotic variegated color were photographs. Click, click. Click, click, click. I looked at the display on the back of my camera. Not quite right. I adjusted the composition in the camera frame. Click, click. Oh my gosh! The amber orange and red leaves sported a flaming line of leaves. I was transfixed. This was it! I couldn’t wait to get home and print.

Working with the ordinary and mundane I had captured a beautiful yes.

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