This is a gift to all of us at home right now
Home knowing-- knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage.
If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.
-Glinda, The Wizard of OZ
First, what is home? A far-reaching seemingly mundane topic, yet the question will create a rich diversity of answers. However, a few things would be found to be in common whoever you ask. Home is place where we sleep, have our belongings, also has a roof, usually a place where one cooks and eats.
Being at home is one thing, but being told to stay at home even for safety reasons is another story, especially after weeks or more. Most of us at this point have found ways of being at home to help us in these times.
I want to add another activity that may not only be fun, but prove very interesting!
I am inviting you to engage in the process of making a Home Portrait.
All you need is a basic camera, a piece of oak-tag/bristol board or the like, scissors, tape, perhaps colored pencils and anything else you may think of. Oh, you will need to get your pictures made into 4 x 6. I recommend you take and make 49 of them.
The premise: Home Portraits asks you to look at your home as an extension of you--a reflection, but is not judgmental--if your home is clean or dirty.
Home Portraits are a process-oriented journey, meaning all what you find is part of a larger process and always changing. This means, as applied to Home Portraits that even though this is a kind of project, it is open-ended, that you may discover things by accident, during or afterwards. For sure and this is important, there is no one fixed meaning about something you see or find while in this process or after.
What is the purpose of a Home Portrait?
Simply put, it is an abbreviated version of an adventure I call:
As you will see when looking at the worldthrualens site, it is about taking journeys that cultivate and experiment with practices for enhancing our communication with Nature, the Universe and how the Universe “speaks” to us and so further developing rapport. However, with the Home Portrait, you are looking at your home and what is seen their which shows up in pictures you take.
How does it work? You use a camera (any kind) and are photographing things that attract you in your home. For example, to photograph a chair and photograph it in whatever way you are compelled to. The “idea” is not to deliberate over what pictures to take, but be spontaneous—photograph with what commands your attention at a moment. (No need to be a photographer or get the picture right—even if comes out blurry or out of focus, it is OK!) Then you will assemble a Home Portrait story board. Then you will tell a story.
Notes: Before going on this Home Portrait quest, you want to treat this adventure like it is something special! There are a number of steps you could put forth, but here are a few, you want to 1) engage in some activity that is different than ordinary life, for instance, put on rhythmic music without words and dance 2) readjust the lighting in your home 3)Pretend/makeup another language as you go about this.
OK? Go for it! When you have all the photos, lay them out in a way you like and affix them on the board the way you like. Then, reflect on what you did and make up a story-- Once upon a time I …for instance inherited this bowel from an aunt ____ and…
Now if there are more folks in your home, of course tell them what you are doing, and you may or may not invite them to do the same. If others do this, including children, in short, it offers the benefit of practicing listening and telling a story. (If you do this with a group or as a couple, a helpful rule is that only that person speaks at a time. Try to show support and appreciation for the others portrait).
Once, finished hang up the Home Portraits. Over time more and more reflections could come.
The foundation of Home Portraits is many-fold. In short, it is made-up of findings in the connections of physics and psychology, aspects of spiritual traditions--which impart the power of retreats and quest-seeking, then add, the far-reaching power of story-telling and more.
Home Portraits is shared with you by Brett Noel, a life coach and artist as well. He has lived a life where homes have been a refrigerator box to a mansion and a lot in between. A highlight in his life was 7 years as an audio visual assistant for the late mythologist, Joseph Campbell.
Home Portraits are explorations and exercises in reflection. If you have questions, they can be emailed.
On this Easter day, in the year 2020, we are being asked, compelled, and drawn to go deeply within ourselves to release (and allow to die) the parts of ourselves that are ready to transcend…
We stand resurrected in our new truth and beauty. Collectively, we move forward in to an uncertain and awe-filled world having shifted so deeply that a new era cannot help but dawn….
The writing below is a moment in time that was experienced last summer.
It was a brightly illumined summer’s day.
All should have felt right with the world….but…
First, there was an underlying sense of agitation.
This feeling grew to a deep feeling of anxiousness.
The choice was simple. I had to make my way to my favorite bench by the beloved waters of Lake Erie.
There, the sky kisses the waters and the waters caress the sand.
Eyelids close as I settle on ‘my’ bench; offering calm to breath and allowing the stillness within to permeate the air.
The message came quickly and was very clear.
“You feel anxious because you have been in this chrysalis too long. It is time to emerge.”
A single tear met my cheek as this feeling of panic and tension swiftly lifted.
Upon opening my eyes, what flew in front of me, but a single monarch butterfly.
A steady stream of tears met my cheeks now mixed with an awe-filled sense of wonder and gratitude.
I lost count that day…
This story, this myth felt so deeply personal that it has only been shared with a few cherished souls.
But now, at this incredibly pivotal moment in our collective history/herstory, it wants to be shared. You see, we stand at a crossroads of our souls deepest longing…
“You feel anxious because you have been in this chrysalis too long. It is time to emerge…”
I see the world with my camera as a poet driven to share the multifaceted dimensions of our universe. I am most eclectic in choosing photo ops and studies. I am equally drawn to nature, landscapes, and macro work, as well as the unusual in cityscapes. My eye is always searching for composition, much with the eye of an abstract expressionist, sometimes an impressionist painter, and always as a photographer-poet. I am, however, equally moved to capture and illustrate the surreal and explore how the 'eye' can be fooled.
The mantra, 'Art is all around us - take a look', sings through me as I go about with my camera. I am always looking for sharp contrasts of texture and, of course, the magic of light and shadow upon a subject.
My approach is a poet-in-awe. Whether in cities or towns, I am most fascinated with diverse and sharp contrasts that include nature against human-made structures. I am perpetually impassioned with my lens to behold and share the 'extraordinary' in what may typically be considered 'ordinary'. In cities, I can often be found in alleys and in the woods, off the trails. In nature, I am looking for the poetry of the obvious. In both, I am very drawn to shared geometry, the play of light, symmetry and the eccentric/boldness in composition.
Defining art or the creative process can be illusive, like trying to exemplify a sigh between lovers. So deeply personal is this endeavor, that one might be hard pressed to articulate its essence. But here, I will, in my own small way, attempt to grasp the nuances that make up both the creative process of photography and chinese brush/watercolor as it applies to my partner and me.
There is a perceptible shift in Brett when he takes camera in hand and is in some way moved by what he is witnessing. It is as if he and the camera are no longer separate as this flow of creation pulses through object and person. This interconnection quickens as just the right posture, movement and moment is selected to press the shutter. Here, in the depths of creativity, time stands still. A sacred document is created that reflects beauty, angst, juxtapositions or truth. It is with bated breath and deep anticipation that we make our way back to view on the big screen what secrets my beloveds soul has chosen to share with the world today.
On the other hand, we have the creative process that transpires when producing a water color or chinese brush painting. Here, the fingers, the brush and the paint become the means by which the soul’s longings can be made manifest. There is a dreamlike soft aura in the very texture of watercolor; like one could take a photo of a flower and dress it in gossamer threads. Here, there might have been and experience or an image of such beauty, that it is in some way wanting to be documented. When working with chinese brush, there is such an exquisite opportunity to be fully focused on the task, while simultaneously releasing all outcomes. Falling gracefully in to this illusive tension is what all artists strive to achieve. Here again in the depths of creativity, time stands still.
This creative seed dwells so deeply within each of us. It matters not what the medium. The truth is that before a photograph or painting is created, the world is a lesser place. By its very creation, a ripple of magnificence has been produced in this troubled and amazing world that did not exist before. Wow!
We hope that you view and appreciate this site with the same love and commitment that we have for the creative process.