Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Awareness

Ask yourself, 'Why am I seeing and feeling this? How am I growing? What am I learning?' Remember: Every coincidence is potentially meaningful. How high your awareness level is determines how much meaning you get from your world. Photography can teach you to improve your awareness level.
--Ansel Adams (1902-1984) American photographer and environmentalist

This quote reminds me of my literature professor in college, George Colby. We affectionately called him 'Old Man Colby.' I remember him walking into class on the first day and without much introduction writing in large letters on the board, "L = C". He then proceeded to explain to his sleepy, apathetic gathering of nineteen year olds that "Life equals Consciousness." It's a good thing he didn't ask us to finish that equation; I think a few in there might have suggested that life equals beer. I really don't remember many lectures from college, but a lot of the things he said to us remain with me today. Something about Old Man Colby got to me. His passion for literature, for ideas, for life -- was infectious. He challenged us to read critically, think deeply, and constantly ask questions. Here it is twenty years later, and now I'm on the other side of the lectern; and Old Man Colby continues to challenge me.

5 comments:

  1. i love this: the painting-like photo, the poignant quote, the affectionate memory of a professor's lasting influence (i have a lot of those, too).

    thanks for the ansel adams quotes lately; you've inspired me to ask santa claus for an adams biography this year. do you recommend any one in particular?

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  2. Thanks for visiting! I recommend his autobiography: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0821215965/ and also the wonderful Ric Burns video documentary on his life: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BITUFM/
    Very inspiring!

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  3. i really like this photo mark. you've really nailing them lately

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  4. I love the photo, and the comments about life. I like how you remember the lecture that day when perhaps many others are long forgotten....I had a lit prof too who deeply impressed me when I took a few classes long ago, and your reference to your professor reminded me of him and the way he also looked at life.
    Marie

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