"It's kind of like what Emerson talks about, like what a lot of writers talk about, it's the return to that wonder that you had as a child that you kinda lose track of."
Nathan Wirth is a photographer, teacher, and father living in Marin County, California. He's won numerous awards for his work and has published a book of his photography called A Slice of Silence. These are images of natural world, many of which were taken at Point Reyes National Sea Shore, about a 50 minute drive north from his house. It's gorgeous country, if you know it, and if you don't, Nathan's photographs will tell you.
Sometimes Nathan appears in his photographs, always from behind, always beholding the greater mystery in which he--all of us. really--finds himself immersed, enmeshed. The silence he captures in these moments, these "slices" of time, speak of deep relationship and connection, even though there is a sparse, vacant quality found in many of the images. Nathan would call this silence solitude, and it is anything but lonely.
"there is a whole society of birds, and creatures, and seals, the rocks themselves, the wind, the clouds..."
"I don't want the mind to be involved. I just want to create. I just want to be, I simply want to exist in those moments as best as I possibly can because I don't get that in my regular life."
So I was interested in Nathan's regular practice of photography and how he sees it affecting his quality of mind and his sense of well-being, I was curious about his practice especially--the almost ritualistic performance of the same kinds of actions over a long period of time which cultivate a skill, but even more importantly, a particular state mind, which doesn't involve the thinking ego.
"Silence, not in the way that there is no noise--there's actually probably a lot of noise--but maybe silence in the sense that my own inner voice is finally quieted and I can let go."
It seems in silence and stillness there is a lot going on.