Some gifts are easily given and easily taken, while others surprise you with their generosity and knowledge and are the kind of gift that is hard to describe. I am going to try to tell you how I learned to see rather than just look, and how this has helped me teach others how to learn to be themselves and express this so others may see. This is a story about why teaching is sometimes the greatest gift we can give.
In the fall of 1966, off to a University I went with my ties, jackets, and all my emotions wrapped into an elaborate suitcase. I was full of wonder with powerful feelings surging through my body, like some mysterious energy that needed an outlet. It felt like a continuous flowing river that needed an outlet, similar to a river winding it’s way to the ocean.
I had hoped and assumed that literature was my outlet. I came with a love of words, hoping to find a way through novels to express my feelings. It is the great literature I love. I found a constrained, yet beautiful and graceful, way through books to delve into the human condition. There was something in this process that was liberating to me. It touched unconsciously on all my troubles. I was young, vibrant, alive and full of enthusiasm.
As expected, I quickly gravitated toward the English Department in search of teachings to help me continue my quest to find the heart of the matter. I found it in the literature but not in the teaching.
I found the teaching too banal, academic, and conceptual. While Leer is raging at the world of his blindness to see clearly, the teaching was unemotional and lost in the abstraction of the text. This did nothing to sooth my restless and needy soul.
One afternoon, I wandered into a class in the young, fledgling religious studies department. It was a theology and literature class, and all at once I had found my home for the next few years.
It was not that I was spiritually in need of help (although who isn’t) it was just that the existential questions of life (the nature of evil, the nature and destiny of man) were lauded and questioned. The questions we confronted were based on human existence, who are we, and what is our purpose in life? The questions that confront all of us as human beings were not avoided, but were rather allowed to come to the surface as if it were the cream rising to the top of a cup of coffee. I loved it. I didn’t understand why or how. But I knew this was the way for me. The game of life was afoot, and by no means was I going to be left behind.
I began the eternal search of who am I and what do I feel?
This quest lasted through graduate school and over 40 years of therapy and now I am willing to share this with you.
You see photography is not like the English Department was at the time, about the surface of things. It is about your inner thoughts and feelings expressed on paper. It is learning to expose your feelings so that others may see. You too may be blind like Leer and this class is your opportunity to learn to see. This is no easy task to learn how to be yourself, unenamored by restraints of family, society, culture, etc.
If you come you will learn as Socrates, “To know thy Self” in a way you never thought possible, and then miraculously in a very short time your pictures will change and you may never look at the world in the same way again. It is a once in a life time exprience. You may be coming to the right place at the right time for the right reasons. The circumstances may never be aligned again. So I look forward to seeing and welcoming you.
If you would like information regarding my upcoming workshop click HERE. The teaching doctor/photographer will be in when you arrive.