Photography is how I save myself. Perhaps this sounds melodramatic, even stupid. But it’s true. Someone once said that painting trains the mind’s eye to see more clearly and live with a deeper sense of presence. I love that, as that is exactly how I feel about photography - particularly these days. When all the news, it seems, is about the collapsing of the world’s scaffoldings, photography boomerangs me back into the grace of now. There is no past. There is no future. There is only this tiny world in front of my camera. It’s there I am lost in a sanctuary of stillness, and find pieces of peace.
Perhaps that’s why I was so drawn to Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery. Kyudo began in the 7th century as a way of combat by Samurai. However, over time it transformed into ritual, becoming less about looking outward towards a target, and more about looking inward towards spirit. So much so that witnessing this young woman practice Kyudo felt more akin to witnessing prayer than fight. There was this ineffable stillness to her actions that reminded me of something Miles Davis once said: “The real music is in the silence, and all the notes are only framing this silence.” That’s Kyudo: silence framed by movement. Maybe one day I’ll shoot pictures like she shoots arrows.