O. T. Holen Photography is a site devoted to sharing images and some stories, articles, commentaries and the occasional outburst of irrational but well-meaning blather.
Like a lot of people these days I’m not an especially religious type but I do believe there is something going on just behind or in back of the empirically verifiable. It seems to me, whatever happens–wherever you look–there is something mystical, wonderful, comforting, maybe awe-inspiring, we can embrace or explore. And, like a lot of people, I think there is a “flow” to the universe that it’s possible to slip into. When that happens, life becomes a lot more tolerable, and the fact that it doesn’t make sense doesn’t matter as much.
I firmly believe we have not arrived at any sort of pinnacle of understanding. I firmly believe the fundamentalists (those people who think they understand the “mind” of God) are NOT right. But neither are the finest scientific and philosophical minds; at least not entirely. Though I choose to think they’re probably on the right path to some sort of “understanding.” I’m not sure what that means exactly but I look forward to Wolf Blitzer’s explanation some evening in the not-too-distant future.
So while we wait for the breaking news, we have Art and Love (probably just different facets of the same thing) to comfort and instruct us. For me anyway, love and art are what this “human condition” thing and the stuff we”can’t-quite-see-or-measure-but-know-it’s-there,” is mostly about.
Like you, when I’m with a person I love I feel happy, content, safe–my existence somehow affirmed. And when I look at an image I have created that really works, I get a similar (though not quite the same) momentary sense of completeness and joy.
I take pictures of unnoticed, simple, quiet things (I call them “Unseen Moments”) that may be there briefly or for years–it’s all the same–I suspect. After all we’re all “just passing through.” For that matter I’m told the whole universe is “just passing through.” Against the backdrop of the universe, our individual lives–the life of this species–is like a subatomic particle flashing in and out of existence on the breeze of eternity. Of course very few of us get out of bed in the morning thinking about that all that cosmic stuff. And therein lies an interesting aspect of the human condition; this ridiculous, pompous little preoccupation with our little moment in time against the backdrop of impossible-to-grasp eternity.
I’ll share images from the McGuffey Center (more about that in a bit), from my trips to Upstate New York (a region renowned for cosmic-level partying–that’s a joke by the way) and from around this area–Fluvanna County, Virginia–also an area known for out-of-control hedonistic abandon. And I’ll share my thoughts and reactions to things like family members who struggle with life’s demands, world-changing political events, just watching the snow fall or maybe an event from my childhood in the Miocene era. And I promise to do it in a manner that people of normal intelligence would not consider overly stupid or annoying.
I know–exotic locales are a lot more interesting. Sure–I’d like to go to Venice or Stonehenge, or Angkor Wat and take pictures–write stuff. But–as of this writing–the universe hasn’t seen fit to front me the airfare. But I can however, occasionally afford gas to drive to Charlottesville, VA and the McGuffey Art Center (a community of artists) or the Downtown Mall (a restored historic district of shops, restaurants, galleries and street vendors) where I often shoot. And once or twice a year I go to Upstate, NY–where I grew up (that’s a long, dreary story) to visit family who so far have been kind enough to overlook my lunatic propensities.
So, with your patience and generous understanding I’ll write and take pictures and share, wonder, lament, puzzle, celebrate and hope, that at least some of this stuff is useful, interesting or diverting to you.
And I’d love to hear from you–hear about your journey through the joy and craziness. But it’s important–no–absolutely necessary–that I/we do this in a loving, appreciative spirit. People who are into violence and anger–the “I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong” crowd (especially the, “we-know-what-God wants” guys) have lots of other websites and blogs they can go to, to further their agendas.
Our love goes with them–but we will love them from afar.
Peace, O. T. Holen 1-9-10/7-29-13