Lens On The Human Condition.

Via on Jan 4, 2012

I had a profound experience recently. I took a photography class.

I’m a huge proponent of practicing art. Especially learning art forms aside from your primary art form. It adds dimension to your work when you can use multi-medium perspectives.

I am a writer. I want my writing to sing, to paint a picture and to get underneath your skin with visceral metaphors, so I signed up for The Photo Essay Project, taught by Bindu Wiles. I hoped I would learn how to take a photo that would read like an epic poem. Then incorporate that feeling back into my writing.

binduwiles.com

That happened. Also, so much more.

Bindu is one of these rare and precious teachers in the world who speaks from a radical, tenacious depth of experience. I hired her first as a coach and later we became friends. I was immediately attracted to her humanity, her brilliant eye for capturing tender moments and her bravery. She talks about having exceptional sensitivity paired with a lifetime of feeling isolated. I know that feeling painfully well. Instant connection. She says the practice of photographing people has brought a tremendous release from this pain. I found this idea utterly compelling.

A powerful teacher teaches both from their points of darkness as well as their brightness. We connect to them in polychromatic, full spectral light.

I’m telling you all of this, because chances are good that you are an amazing teacher. Of some kind. Maybe you teach yoga or opera or cooking classes. Maybe you teach your children how to weather the world, or, by example, you teach peace to your family and friends. We are all teachers. And it’s important to remember the power of humility, our own humanity. It’s also important to take the time to uplift each other.

binduwiles.com

So, in five weeks, The Photo Essay Project definitely took my photos to a new level of emotion. Here is my tumblr from the project if you care to check it out. We shot photos on the themes such as beginnings + endings and lost + found. She invited us to see our subjects deeply. We learned pragmatic photography tools and applications as well as a whole new way of looking.

And the photos of everyone in the class improved dramatically. But the real magic was in what happened underneath the images, through the images. What happened to us.

After this class, I understood in an experiential way the release Bindu talked about. My photo walks brought calm, purpose, and joyful effort to my life. When shooting, in my heart where there was previously anxiety and separation, there would be union. Where there was fear, I felt compassion, peace. There was a transformative, yogic, softness of spirit as I started to see the world through a literal lens, given a spiritual slant by a gifted teacher. I literally felt less alone in the world. Strangers became beautiful rather than threatening. I saw people vividly who would have been invisible to me once. It was the same rhythmic connectivity I learned through practicing and teaching yoga. Through meditation and intention.

binduwiles.com

So here’s the thing. When, as a teacher, we walk into our leadership with responsibility, respect and courage for our students and their communities we can cast wide ripples into the world. Among all of the other things I learned from Bindu Wiles, I will remember this with my own students and clients. Humanity. Honesty. Love.

Also, while art in many forms has always been a part of me, my lean towards using art to feed my life has gotten so much richer. It has become an imperative. A non-negotiable. Art is transformative, it’s uniting, synergistic and uplifting. Artists are the barometers of a culture and the true writers of the human story.

If you want more information on Bindu’s next class, go here. It’s called Lens On The Human Condition. I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

I would love to meet you there.

 

All three photo credits: Bindu Wiles

 

About Meg Worden

Meg Worden is a Writer and Holistic Health Coach using love + fundamental nutrition to empower client's relationships with food and their bodies. She believes a sense of humor is more important than a sense of direction and she'll eat truffle oil on anything. She is the author of ebook, Salad Alchemy and continues to be published in a variety of places on and offline. Find her at http://megworden.com. Twitter @megworden.

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10 Responses to “Lens On The Human Condition.”

  1. Robert says:

    Love this: "Artists are the barometers of a culture and the true writers of the human story."
    So true. What a remarkable opportunity and responsibility to tell the story. And, to think, most Artists don't realize this. It's the only profession I know of where our works are guarded til the end of time in multimillion dollar structures called museums and 24 hour security guarding the work.

    • Meg Worden says:

      Thanks for commenting, Robert. I love your work. Have been especially taken with your prison/yoga photography. I have my own yoga prison story which gave them extra dimension. What a wonderful job you did capturing beauty in an ugly world. Glad to be connected. Have a great day.

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

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  3. Carl says:

    Wonderful words and as a photographer and teacher I can relate, keep up your worldly visioning.

  4. [...] the same way, when a leader is confronted with a difficult situation demanding resolution, he must remain steady, mindful of the inherent [...]

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