These "revised" or rewritten beatitudes are from a screenplay I am
writing called, what else, Beatitudes. I started writing them from the
first moment I met this model on location. See Michigan Central Station
below as another variation of one of them.
Western professional photographers have tended to see a model as a
woman you position and take a picture of to express your objectives. And
so we get images of women which express how men have typically viewed
women over the last two thousand years.
I mean, I asked one of the best photographers in the country, "What is
the difference between taking a picture of a mountain lion in front of a
Yosemite mountain and putting a woman in front of the mountain?" And he
says, "There is no difference. They are both nature photography."
Even with a really great mountain lion you will get only a few mountain
lion expressions. I work with professional models and actresses who only
have between two and ten different "looks" on a good day. But a great
model has infinite expressions. That is the difference. Professional
photographers don't seem to know how to use their eyes to "see."
And so, once again, these pictures are tantra: you have to become one
with what you are viewing in order to discover the meaning. If you look
at them through the eyes of a Western male or the eyes of a professional
photographer, you will get exactly nothing.
Tantra? Become the light touching the woman's skin with its warmth and
its illumination. Become the darkness surrounding and within with its
currents, riptides, and depths of emotional force.
Feel the tension in the model's body, the weight distribution, what she
sees through her eyes, and the vibration within her mind. And especially
notice the hands. I know a number of Taoist masters of movement who have
practiced a life time and can not even compete with her hands when it
comes to fluidity and depth of feeling.
Become the image: form, color, feeling, and the expressions of
connections--available, vulnerable, sensitive, unassailable, near,
distant, withdrawn, engaged, demanding, commanding, wanting, in pain, in
rapture, in bliss, or on a journey though an unknown darkness uncharted by
any religion or psychology on earth. I am telling you that this model's
spirit is off the charts.
Become the inward journey that joins the inner and outer worlds in
one taste, one heartfelt embrace.
If I look carefully, I can see the Goddess of the Earth inside any
women's eyes. So I am asking women to be receptive the way the Goddess is
receptive so I can photograph that and capture part of Her magic in the
imagery. It is what I do in poetry.
Not being a photogrpher with any skill (as in, we can only pray that I
learn how some day), I do know that in magic you combine visual image or
color and form, with physical sensations, and also with sound in order to
produce the highest magic.
The picture is the visual; the sensation is the pose of the model; and
the sound or audio can be music, a note, the spoken word, or even the
written word (for words read silently are still sounds in the head).
To do magic, you become the sight, sound, and sensation so that nothing
else exists in your consciousness. And then you wrestle with the divine
for the blessing the words suggest--precisely in the way that the
"masculine" religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have failed to
suggest for the last 3,800 years.