#013 KOKORO Life Lived in Moments • A Brooks Jensen Arts Publication #013 KOKORO #013 KOKORO Our group of photographers was spending three weeks in the sub-freezing edge of the Gobi desert in inner-Mongolia. I have fond memories of the people and events, but this moment — about 30 minutes, alone in the desert, photographing the skiff of new snow on the dunes — is the most intense memory of the trip. I walked away from the chatter, the hubbub, away from the structures and machines. I walked across the snow toward the freshly-covered dunes. I can still hear the scrunching-squeak of the dry snow as it compressed under my boots. The sun dropped below the horizon of the dune above me. The silence became all-enveloping. The Moment swallowed me. The universe distilled to Now. Crunch, crunch, pause — patterns in the dry snow and cold sand. The beep/snap of my camera. Then crunch, crunch, crunch, pause, more patterns in the dry snow and cold sand. #013 KOKORO #013 KOKORO #013 KOKORO It may not be true, but I’ve heard that passionate golfers can remember every shot on every hole they’ve ever made. Sounds a bit far-fetched, but as a photographer I can see the kernel of possibility in the tale. Photographs function as a kind of visual diary of my life. I can remember the making each one upon seeing it. More than that — I can feel it, hear it, as though it were now. Crunch, crunch, patterns in the dry snow and cold sand. #013 KOKORO #013 KOKORO The image narrative in my photographs recounts my life — not for anyone else, but clearly and with precision for me. The narrative intensifies certain moments — or do I have that backwards? The more I think about this, the more it feels as though the moments spent with my camera are somehow more real, more intense, more engaging than so much of the rest of daily life. Is it that looking intently impregnates the memory more deeply? Is it that the act of artmaking clarifies the moment so that we are more present and available for The Immediate to affect us? I’m not sure. I just know that somehow these moments of my life seem more real to me than others. Crunch, crunch, patterns in the dry snow and cold sand. #013 KOKORO Life is experienced as a conscious stream, but memory is a series of moments, connected only by the most gossamer of threads, separated by wide, wide gaps of — nothing. To be an artist is a life lived in moments.
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