My first post, I mentioned that one of the things I wanted to do with this blog was highlight the ways in which other people I meet are implementing their own version of daily spirituality. This will be the first post along those lines, and it is going to be a three-part series highlighting three different “ThreeDeeLifers.” ! I met all three people this past Sunday, at this very cool charity art event “Com Coracao” put on by Marilinda Rivera and TasteNation, feauturing artwork inspired by Brazil. What better place for daily spirituality than Brazil, right? If anyone mixes the streets with the divine, it is the Brasilieros. Axe!!!
Alright, first person up to bat is the person who invited me to this event, the wonderful Gary Alan Krueger. One of the reasons why I think spirituality is so important (more on this later) is because it creates a sense of CURIOSITY about your world, and makes you PASSIONATE about living in that world and contributing to it in some fashion.
Gary’s story is a perfect example of this. Gary was presenting his photographs of Brazil at the event. He has gone on two two-year trips around the world, through 23 countries, including Brazil. As he started to travel, he began to take pictures. You can see his work here.
Now, plenty of people take photographs, and it is just that. Taking photographs. For Gary, it was a deeper practice. His bio on his website is very heartfelt, but this one phrase really called to me: ”I am constantly humbled by an eternally deep and profound respect for nature.” Wow, that really nails it. When you are humbled, you are aware that you are in the presence of something greater than yourself. I don’t care what your mind “labels” as that larger force–God, Nature, whatever it is. It has touched your heart, and it has moved you. That’s what I am talking about.
As he was showing me his photos, he was explaining how each one of these photos involved an incredible investment of time and energy. This one… shows a place that took five hours to hike to. That one…required time lapse photography that took hours to perfect. This one…he had to lay on his back to capture the perfect shot that avoided the crowds.
But the one that affected him the most was a shot of Iguazu Falls, visible on his blog as the sixth photo in the oceanscapes category. He told me that he spent two weeks at Iguazu Falls, and over eight hours trying to get this shot. When it finally came got the shot he wanted, there was a cloud that looked like an angel overhead. And this photo helped him celebrate and mourn his dear friend who had just passed. What a beautiful story of curiosity, passion, and heart.
Recognizing spirit around us humbles us. It makes us passionate. It inspires us to invest hours of loving care into a practice that connects us more deeply with that spirit. And ultimately, it can help us heal when there is pain, and find beauty around us even when we are alone. This doesn’t happen in a church, it happens whenever and however we are willing to let it in.
Thank you for sharing Gary.