As a child, I felt that numinous quality walking in nature--but lacked the ability to express the felt sensation of mysterious, supernatural, intelligent holiness.
Certain places contain this 6th sense, that spirit of place, as here on the Carmel-Big Sur coastline--beautifully conveyed in the copyrighted photographs of Maria Draper above. Posted
here by her generous permission. (Please do not use without contacting mariadraper.com first, thank you). Her gorgeous site: here
I didn’t know Maria, or anything about her. But happened on her photographs and was captivated by their painterly quality. And how much they convey the secret moods, messages and feelings of a world-apart oasis.
Though for years I’ve made daily long walks in nature a habit—I’m always surprised by the palpable aliveness of the spiritual atmosphere. That ambiance is always changing with the light—and this is so conveyed in Maria’s images.
She was first a painter making photographs with a small digital camera to use as models for her canvases. Her passion grew and she became a photographer with the soul of a painter. The ‘soft power’ of her landscape photographs is doing the work of angels. Capturing the true wealth of the world and what we are in danger of missing--or forever erasing.
Maria’s work reminded me of Barnard educated Brenda Ueland who wrote, ‘If You Want to Write: a Book about Art, Independence and Spirit’--first published in 1938, and republished in 1983. It’s a classic that is still assigned reading in many writing programs. Carl Sandburg said it was the best book ever written on how to write.
Ueland said everyone is uniquely talented with something to say. She urged women especially to discover their true core self to express their gifts. She harkened to William Blake’s belief that nothing is as pleasing to God as “The invention of beautiful and exalted things." For we are all, like Maria Draper, capable of being co-creators with the universe.
Ueland recommended a 5-6 mile daily walk in nature—alone--to prime the imagination and creative impulse. In nature we begin to make connections between things and creative powers flourish when we are present to the beauty that awakens a desire to share it with others. A spiritual exuberance and resilience is born.
Ueland counsels that our imagination is the great blessing stifled by ‘too muchness’ or killed off by critical people (or our own critical voice). To seek out affirmative people and natural beauty—and you will be ‘…happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light-hearted and generous.'
I think the more one develops their spiritual side—the more they align with that numinous spirit that is said to be the cloak of God and angels.
Maria Draper illuminates that for me. More of her beautiful images set to music: here I thank her for letting me share it with you here to kick-off your shiny new, showroom fresh week.