Sharanam Free Wallpaper - Big Sky
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I was surprised when my picture of a candle burning in the dark was awarded first place in a high school photography contest. It was a minor technical achievement but an altogether ordinary picture. Only later did I realize that it was not the picture per se but rather the image of illumination, of light dispelling darkness, that appealed to the judges and that make the candle flame a perennial greeting card image.
Over the years of taking pictures, developing film, and making prints, I came to the awareness that what I was seeking to capture through the lens of my camera was not a snapshot, a depiction, a picture, but an image, and that only an image would satisfy me. An image is a picture which in some way express or reflects essential qualities of that which it depicts, be it a person, a flower, or a cloud — not just a picture of a rose but an image of “roseness” — a picture of Mary in which “Maryness” shines forth.
There are millions upon millions of pictures of beautiful women, but it is only a rare picture, one in a million, which is an image of the quintessence of beauty, which imprints itself in memory and, when recalled, evokes the archetype of feminine beauty — Botticelli’s Venus, for instance. A picture is a depiction, a representation, of some object in the external world. An image is a picture which speaks to the soul, which reflects some divine quality so strongly that the image imprints itself in memory.×
My jyotish teacher said, “Anxiety is a natural condition for the mind, for the mind is smart enough to figure out that there is no way it can know everything. The remedy for this anxiety is for the mind to take refuge, sharanam, in something greater than itself.” Sharanam is a Sanskrit word meaning refuge or sanctuary, often used in mantras such as Ganesha Sharanam.
My personal aesthetic has come to value certain images as having sharanam, images that are spacious, tranquil, gentle, restful, peaceful, cooling, images in which the mind’s eye can rest and not even know it’s there. Sharanam images can also be beautiful, glorious, mysterious, enchanting, radiant, and illuminating, but the essential quality is that of rest and repose, like the white space of the alpha waves of deep meditation. Sharanam can be found in the image of something but it can also be found in the image of nothing in particular, like a stretch of water, a stone surface, or a field of green grass….
I have lived with these images for a long time and they have become a sanctuary, sharanam, for my soul. I offer these images to you as wallpaper for your computer screen.×