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 that whatever happens–wherever you look–there is something mysterious, mystical, wonderful, comforting, maybe awe-inspiring, to be embraced or explored. And, like a lot of people, I suspect there is a “flow” to the universe that it’s possible to slip into–life then becomes a lot more comforting, successful, and beautiful, than a life lived outside or against the flow.
And I firmly believe we have not arrived at any sort of pinnacle of understanding. It’s my sense that the fundamentalists are not right, the finest scientific and philosophical minds are not right either–at least not entirely–though I choose to think they’re probably on the right path to some sort of “understanding” (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 these are what this “human condition” thing and rough access to 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 is somehow affirmed. And when I look at an image I have created that really works I get a similar (though not quite the same) sense of justification, purposefulness, affirmation, momentary completeness, joy.
I take pictures of unnoticed, simple, quiet things (I call them “Unseen Moments”) that may be there briefly or may be there 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 life of the universe our lives, the life of this species, is too brief to measure–less than a subatomic particle flashing in and out of existence on the breeze of eternity. On the other hand I doubt that very many of us get out of bed in the morning thinking about that as part of the day’s agenda. And therein lies an interesting dichotomy–this ridiculous, pompous little preoccupation with our impossible-to-grasp miniscule 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) 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 appear to succeed or fail in the business of life, world-changing political events, just watching the snow fall or maybe an event from childhood 50 or 60 years ago. And I promise to do it in a manner that most people would not consider stupid and annoying.
I know–exotic locales are a lot more interesting to most folks. I mean, 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 provide me with 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 maybe once or twice a year go to Upstate, NY–where I grew up (that’s a long, curious story) to visit family who so far have been kind enough to overlook my sundry lunatic propensities.
So, with your patience and generous understanding I’ll write and take pictures and share, wonder, lament, puzzle, remember 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. But it’s important–more than that it’s necessary–that I/we do this in a loving, gentle, appreciative spirit. People who are into violence, anger, “I’m-right-and-you’re-wrong” thinking (especially those who believe they “know what God wants”) have lots of other websites and blogs they can go to pursue their agendas. Our love goes with them but we will love them from afar.
Peace, O. T. Holen