Home or Haunt?

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This home was a haunt of mine for a strange interval. I would visit this house and photograph it with each visit to Western Massachusetts. Holding onto a doomed long distance relationship. I would make my way up to the magic of Western Mass to see if I could finally make the thing work. Now this house is the thing that haunts me. It became a symbol of something I’m still trying to understand. Home.

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Birth of Awe

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Eastern Sierra Escarpment from the Alabama hills

Awe = Fear x the speed of light squared

In my trips to Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierras of California, I usually experience something I call ” Birth of Awe “right about the time the Whitney portal road comes into view.  I’m always inspired to fall in love with photography again when this happens. Photography gives me a way to follow the seeds of ideas I generate about how we relate to these beloved lands . The desert, the mountains, the sky and the camera. The writer Wallace Stegner described it as “To Behold wild country not reduced by man”. You can only be elevated here.

I can only hope to expose some of the secret poetry that exists in this landscape.  in-camera multi-exposures juxtapose the surface’s of this dramatic land with the wider vista’s that surround.

For more images from this  series travel over to www.jefffrazier.com/vertical-horizons/

© Jeff Frazier Photography

Neo-Animism

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The Animist

“The way of nature is the way of the Tao.

Therefore you cannot improve upon nature. Those who try to change it in the end destroy it.” ~ Lao Tzu

A Growing awareness of Climate Change, and of the sentience of other animals, has meant that the human circle of ethical consideration has been expanding.  Only since the Enlightenment have ‘we’ in the West included all other humans as ethical beings.  Now some of us, at least, are beginning to consider other-than-human animals, and plants, as persons entitled to certain rights.  As our perspectives change, so does the basis upon which we make ethical judgements. This is a new evolution in the way we humans perceive the world. I highly recommend it. For the sake of our planets future.

“In the oldest religion, everything was alive, not supernaturally but naturally alive. There were only deeper and deeper streams of life, vibrations of life more and more vast. So rocks were alive, but a mountain had a deeper, vaster life than a rock, and it was much harder for a man to bring his spirit, or his energy, into contact with the life of a mountain, and so he drew strength from the mountain, as from a great standing well of life, than it was to come into contact with the rock. And he had to put forth a great religious effort. For the whole life-effort of man was to get his life into contact with the elemental life of the cosmos. mountain-life, cloud-life, thunder-life, air-life, earth-life, sun-life. To come into the immediate felt contact, and so derive energy, power, and a dark sort of joy. This effort into sheer naked contact, without an intermediary or mediator, is the root meaning of religion …”

~ D.H. Lawrence, “New Mexico”

Photo © Jeff Frazier

Monsoons and Meteorites

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Post monsoon, meteor shower yoga.

Day 5, Being under a New Mexico sky during any meteor shower would be good enough, being under those skies during the Perseids is a gift we had to take advantage of. We planned on watching the Perseid meteor shower at a camping spot in the mountians.  Our journey took us up some mind benders in the Carson Natl forest. We found a perfect location at about 8000 feet. Full exposure to the sky, twenty miles outside Taos. It was a perfect. The tent went up quickly in the fading light. The ground was “moist” , Didn’t register that it could rain at all in New Mexico in the middle of August on such a beautiful evening. The sky was clear. I had no idea it was Monsoon season in New Mexico. I’m sure I should have known that.

Being fully exposed to the sky that evening allowed us to experience the full force of a New Mexican Monsoon downpour… The lightning and thunder was a perfect accompaniment to the huge rain drops that were exploding on the surface of our little two person tent.

The rain spirits smiled on us that evening. In fact, we stayed perfectly dry. The storm persisted for several hours. Around 3 am I unzipped the tent and looked out  to see a fog diffused milky way unfolded against a very black sky.. I watched for all of five minutes. A small meteor passed through Ursa Minor. Radiating out of Perseus…not enough to keep me out in the cold as I slid back into the tent.

The next morning  a cool misty sunrise over alpine meadows gave us the perfect awakening. Laura started her yoga practice as the fog lifted out of the creek beds and valleys.

Route 66 series

 

Axis Mundi

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“The axis mundi or cosmic axisworld axisworld pillar, columna cerului, center of the worldworld tree,  in religion or mythology, is the world center or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all. The spot functions as the omphalos or navel, the world’s point of beginning. 

The image is mostly viewed as feminine, as it relates to center of the earth (perhaps like an umbilical providing nourishment). It may have the form of a natural object (a mountain, a tree as illustrated here, or almost any other element in nature or a product of human manufacture (a staff, a tower, a ladder, a maypole, a cross, a steeple, a rope, a totem pole, a pillar, a spire). Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly religious (pagodatemple mountminaret,church) or secular (obelisklighthouserocketskyscraper). The image appears in religious and secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, and in technologically advanced “urban centers”. In Mircea Eliade‘s opinion, “Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; that is to say, a place that is sacred above all.  The axis mundi is also associated with mandalas.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_mundi

© 2013 Photo Illustration Jeff Frazier