P N C O

Mostly photography, with the occasional philosophical contemplation

13: Slow down now

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Slow down now. Take it easy. Take a deep breath

Sometimes i really need to remind myself of this. Slowing down comes natural for snails. Home is wherever they are.
I think we humans can learn a lot from snails. For me snails represent beautiful metaphors and a powerful reminder that it’s ok to take things a little more easy.
Why worry and hurry if you can achieve the same thing while being relaxed? Focusing is much more easy when we’re relaxed.
And we’ll get there in the end, just like the snails do. Just glide towards where you want to be and you’ll arrive there one day.

Speaking about the heart, why not see our heart as our true home? Everything else can be taken from us, but as long as we are alive our heart is with us. And if we take up compassion as our armor, we even have our own little shell protecting us just like the snails have…

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Snow and Wood

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sneeuw-paaltjes

A photograph from last Saturday when there was still quite a lot of snow left. Image taken at the children’s farm at the natural playground

Natural fence

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Willowfence

At the children’s farm they have this little piece of fence made of willow branches. In the adjacent forest there is a larger natural hedge. As i was strolling took a few images.. Used HDR to create a more dreamy look. Wish you all a lovely weekend (or what’s still left of it 😉 )

Lake Reflections

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Hilgelo met Riet en molen

The clouds reflect on themselves
As they drift off in the evening sky
Contemplating their existence
They’re sure to vanish in thin air

The water is receptive to all
View and motion touching
Its surface while the deep
Remains still and unmoved

The mill stands proud
As a tiny point in history
She carries the past in her bones
Long gone on this present day

Standing on the shore of the lake
I see that natural and man-made
Are not so different after all as
Each is contained in the flow of life


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A dedication to Pooh

Pooh2Pooh

Today a bit longer post, since i feel that i want to write some things of my chest.

My deer feline friend Pooh is suffering from Diabetes. For the last few months it’s been on and off to the vet, trying to restore his blood sugar to normal levels. Sadly giving him insulin hasn’t worked out. So now he’s no longer on insulin, only on diet cat food. He is experiencing increasing difficulty in walking and it’s sad to see him not being able to do what a cat normally does.

In meeting with his suffering i receive an important lesson from Pooh. He shows me what it means to be truly compassionate. As his health decreases a motherly care came over me. At the same time i was confronted with me being attached to him. This mixture has caused quite some confusion within me as i try to help him without projecting my own fears and insecurities onto him. Pooh is a powerful mirror!

As i practice and follow the Buddhist path, i´m confronted with my own impermanence. Nothing lasts forever, so it is only natural to have to let go of the ones you love. But earlier experiences in my life have made it difficult for me to accept it once it´s really up close and personal. As i don´t want Pooh to suffer, neither do i want to suffer. And yet, the truth is that there is always going to be a little inconvenience, or major pain in our lives. To see Pooh accepting his faith without complaints is really an inspiration.

I never expected this moment to have come, to see my little friend suffer like this. I guessed part of me had the childish belief that they would live for a long time. I never realized that a cat could get seriously ill. And yet, that is the case now. The vet told me the last time i was there that Pooh is no longer having a cat-worthy existence. And that might be true. I don’t know, never been in this situation before. I see him having difficulty walking and yet i also still see his essence shine on through.

So i did a little research on the internet and with friends, asking what would be the best to do. Putting your good friend to sleep is no easy decision. And from a Buddhist perspective it’s better to let the animal die a natural death. I don’t know at this point what to do. I’ve noticed that i’ve been delaying making the decision for weeks now. These two views run counter to each other, but they exist side by side in my mind. On the one hand i don’t want Pooh to suffer and so i think it’s best to put him to sleep, and on the other hand i want to give him the opportunity to die a natural death. I don’t know how long it will take before Pooh will die of a natural cause and i don’t know how much he suffers. It is not my intention to make him suffer more. But i find it hard to having to take the decision to put him to sleep.

And so my mind has been in confusion for quite a few weeks now. It affects me on quite a few levels, though i’m beginning to see that maintaining the daily practice and relaxing the mind by meditation and mindfulness will help me best as i go through this phase. It’s weird to allow the grief to be here, while Pooh is still alive. But on the other hand, denying the grief only makes it stronger. So as i try to do my best, i realize that there is no true answer to it all. And so i wish for wisdom to do what is right and to support Pooh the best way i can.

Thank you for reading!

Plitvice Lakes

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I just arrived back from Croatia. Such a marvellous country with beautiful nature and old cities. This is a first photo i’d like to share, from the very famous and pristine Plitvice lakes. A complex of lakes are connected through waterfalls. The water is very clear and it’s full of fish. Absolutely amazing to be there, though it was a bit difficult to use the tripod as the boardwalks were crowded with people. Which is not too crazy, as more people see and hopefully for a long time will see the natural beauty of this place.

The Bridge (HDR)

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Today i went out again to capture the coloring of the forest. I ended up at a spot i’ve visited often in the past. And since i was there and enjoyed myself, i made some pictures with various exposures. Back at home using the computer i was able to create this HDR of the bridge and the creek. I tried to keep it as natural as possible; i don’t really like the over-the-top HDR. it was good to be out photographing again!

Brug over beek2_2_klein

Flowing through the City

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City Creek klein
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A couple of years ago parts of the original watercourse of this local creek were restored. And i must say they’ve done an amazing job. Not only does it give our small city centre a natural feel, it also helps the local Kingfishers. I’ve been fortunate to have seen one Kingfisher right here on this spot i’ve photographed. It was sitting right next to the back corner of the building on the right side of the picture.. So one day i’ll hope to photograph our blue feathered friend at this spot 🙂

Used a ND-filter for this picture, EXIF-info: F 5.6 3.2 sec ISO 100 focal length 22mm