A new beginning

Leave a stone, leave your life, choose a new one. Pick a stone, carry it with you, hold it in your hand, and leave it. Watch it lying on the ground, watch it as your past life, as something that happened and now it’s gone. Years are lying there, good and bad years, but all of them are past years. That’s the right way to look at the stone.

I have to look at my friends, my experiences, my conflicts, my work, my portfolio this way. Every night, I have to leave a stone, and go to sleep. Past as a stone behind… peaceful sleep.

The samurai code

The way of the samurai is found in death.

That is one of the first sentences of Hagakure, the book of the samurai, and I couldn’t get it out of my head while I was walking the way of St. Jacob. The samurai analogy suits photographers suprisingly well.

First, and this is the more obvious thought, we can relate the sword of the samurai, or the katana to the camera, which cuts out a moment from the continuous fabric of time. You have to find the right moment, the right situation, to press the shutter, and you have to develop tactics and strategy to get to this moment. And if you miss it, you cannot bring it back.

The second point is more subtle, for it concerns the way of the samurai itself. A philosophy, which can achieve the state of living in the present, and also preparing for the future. Preparing for it, but not being afraid of it. This notion can be illustrated by another quote from Hagakure:

It is good to carry some powdered rouge in one’s sleeve. It may happen that when one is sobering up or waking from sleep, his complexion may be poor. At such a time it is good to take out and apply some powdered rouge.

As I borrowed my view of the past from a stone, I get my view of the present and future from the samurai.