The Inner Journey - John Warden
Rorschach

Heightened awareness is the cornerstone for my inner journey, the sense of which is best expressed by the poetry of John Muir, a naturalist and environmental philosopher: "I only went out for a walk and ended up staying out till sundown. For in going out, I found I was really going in".

Like Muir, my inward journey is one of mindful contemplation, of thinking about what I see in nature and how I feel about that experience. It was author and poet, Patricia Donegan who helped me put some structure around this pondering aspect of my quest. In an essay for the Kyoto Journal, Donegan wrote ‘transformation emerges from reflection’, suggesting that we are changed by being aware of and reflecting on, the moments in our lives.

While Donegan was referring to the transformative aspects of mindfulness, the reflections that visual artists might wish to express can also be about change.

My photograph, on the facing page, of a cloud and its inverted reflection are two halves that together, create a Rorschach pattern of sand, sea and sky. The surfers though, watching the sun set, don’t see the wet sand beach that’s mirroring the cloud reflection. It’s behind them. They see only the waves in front of them and a cloud that comes down to the horizon. If they were to turn around and look back towards the beach, they might see a reflection, but not the same one that I see. Separated by only a few meters of beach, the surfers and I experience different views of the very same moment.

Contemplating a moment’s reflection, I am offered the opportunity of insight and a step along the pathway of my inner journey. Thoughts coloured by emotion, transformation emerging from reflection.

Refections On An Inner Journey

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