I crave mindless staring now more than ever. I think it's a subconscious, maybe even spiritual, reaction to having to pay attention to all the trivial-yet-urgent matters that come with living perpetually "online." What worries me most in doling out brainwaves for these things is not that I'll become a zombie, necessarily, but that I'll lose the ability to stand and gape, as Carver says, at ordinary things with simple, serene, even foolish amazement.
And recently I noticed this habit of gape-staring manifested in my photographic style.
After going through the hundreds of photos I've taken over the last decade, I started to see a recurring theme in subject matter and composition: open, negative spaces with either nothing at all or a single, mundane object front and center. Without quite knowing it, I used photography as anoutlet to practice the Zen-ish habit of appreciating the mundane scenes around me every day.
Instead of reflecting a kind of vacant-staring, these photos show--at least to me--a fully-present, deeply-engaged stillness and awe at the foot of wonderfully regular things, which is pretty nice given the increasing extravagance and drama of the world at large.