An image keeps returning …

I can’t remember where and when I saw the image, but it has stayed alive in my mind.

The black and white photograph is of a young woman stepping over a dry stone wall in an arid field on a Greek island. She wears a short embroidered vest over a white blouse, together with a medium-long skirt and laced boots. Her dark hair is neatly gathered back and braided. It may be Sunday and she is on her way to visit a friend, a relative, a lover. Whatever her destination, she means to get there the shortest way possible, without diversion. What strikes me about the woman is her clean aura. It shows in the way she dresses, in the way she holds herself upright, in the easy way she strides across the low wall, in her fine and strong face and in her eyes, eyes set on the horizon, eyes holding gentle presence and clear intention. It is a woman who knows where she wants to go. The image left a deep impression in me, and it keeps returning as an inspiration, an emblem of clear intention, beauty in motion.

Much of our lives ricochet between boredom and anticipation, excitement and depression, or waiting, mostly waiting … all tied into our changing ideals … but moments of clear intention are rare and wonderful. They bring peace to the mind.


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8 responses to “An image keeps returning …

  1. Beautiful thoughts today.


  2. Thanks, I woke up with the image and thought I share its significance. Like the farmer in the Permaculture link I just put up. Check it out the, worth looking at if you have 30 minutes. He dreams about his projects.


  3. This is a lovely – and astute – observation. Yes, we spend too much time looking forwards or backwards and so little actively immersed in the moment which you describe beautifully as “moments of clear intention”.

    Also there’s something about the camera and how it can capture this – by fluke rather than design. Those unposed for photos are more beautiful, I think, than any forced image.


  4. Smile here, thanks. And a good point. There are these exact moments that encapsulate something powerfully iconic. Not necessarily fluke. You probably had the experience when taking photographs of knowing instantly when you captured such a moment. It makes me happy when this happens, using my old 35m Nikon.
    Henry Cartier-Bresson calls it … putting one’s eye, one’s head and one’s heart on the same axis …
    Difficult to achieve with a digital camera, because of the slight time delay, enough to miss the moment entirely.


  5. silentnovelist

    ‘moments of clear intention are rare and wonderful. They bring peace to the mind’ – Yes indeed, and beautifully observed, Pia.


  6. Hannah

    That is indeed a piece of crystal-clear writing. Lovely!


  7. Oh, but where, oh where, is the image? I want to see that woman. Of course, I can vision her in my mind’s eye…but then she is mine, not yours – and I wanted to see your woman. 🙂


    • It’s remarkable how we let some images impress us so deeply. I mourn the fact that I can’t trace the photograph. But at least I resurrected the essence of the image. If you caught it too, I’m happy.


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