Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #15 Change

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.~Mahatma Gandhi

This week it’s Amy turn to post the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.   Her challenge is all about change.  Perfect!  I should be a change expert.  Certainly, my life over the past few months has involved a great deal of changehandling our 7th interstate move, traveling to several countries, learning another language, and finishing a huge consulting project.  So, I should be a change expert, right?

Well, not exactly.  I welcome some types of change, but resist others.  Sometimes I’d rather walk on a path of predictability than get off and try something new.  (Try a new type of cheese?  Sure.  Change my favorite brand of tea?  No way.)

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Shot with a Canon 70G.

But at the same time I know change is necessary.  Next, I’ll take a look at several different types of change.

Change Agents

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.― Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is right:  he tells us that the world is a reflection of our thoughts.  Therefore, our societies mirror our ideas about justice, or the roles of men and women, immigration, or the distribution of wealth and resources, for example. Many of these fundamental ideas are being questioned and issues are being raised that underpin the very foundations of society.   Some of us will change our thinking and act;  others will resist and cling to the familiar, the known.

Instead of saying “what can I do” or “it’s hopeless,” some people of passion, of vision become change agents, who show us the path to a more hopeful and more just future.  Ai Weiwei is one of these “agents” with powerful, creative vision that has drawn attention to corruption within China and human rights abuses around the world.

In his exhibit “Natural State” at Meijer Gardens, he designed and created everything in the gallery–the wallpaper, the clay pots, and a triptych of himself smashing a priceless clay pot.  Each object mirrors his earlier work and pivotal events in his life, such as his imprisonment in China.  If you examined his 3 huge canvases closely, you’d be surprised.  They aren’t canvases, but giant murals made out of Legos.  How creative is that?

Ai Weiwei, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Changing Seasons

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.― Lao Tzu

I should listen to Mother Nature more often.  She tells us that change is an essential part of our existence and a natural part of life.   In the spring and early summer, she gives us a chance to appreciate the beauty of a bud changing into a flower….

Pink Posy. Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Vancouver, B.C. Shot with a Fuji X-T2

...and in the fall, a leaf changing from summery green to russet and orange.

Changing Seasons. Watkins Glen, N.Y.  Shot with a Fuji X-T2.

Climate Change

I know it’s not wise to ignore Mother Nature.  She demands our respect.  Regardless of what you think about climate change, you can’t deny that our weather has become more erratic and extreme.  I took this shot in Cocoa Beach, Florida a day after Hurricane Joaquin roared through the state.  Since then, dozens of hurricanes have raged through Florida and other states (most recently Hurricane Michael), as well as countries around the world.  Record-breaking floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes have hit scores of places causing untold damage.

After Hurricane Joaquin. Hollywood, Florida. Shot with a Canon 40D.

Some Final Thoughts on Personal Change

Despite my misgivings and reluctance to change sometimes, I also know that change can bring unexpected benefits.  The spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle expresses this idea beautifully:

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.

I think the same is true for all of us today.  All the upheaval and change in the world will ultimately lead to a better future, a better society–one that we can all be proud of.  This is also true of personal change.  We will become better people because we have dared to resist complacency.

A special thanks to Amy for this thought-provoking challenge and to all of our participants for their responses.  Tina of Travels and Trifles will post the next challenge on Saturday, October 20th at noon.  I hope you will join us!

For more information on how to join the photo challenges, click here. Most importantly, remember to TAG your post ” Lens-Artists ” so it appears in the Reader.

And finally, have an inspiring week!

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48 replies »

  1. A truly marvelous post Patti. You’ve woven so many ideas into your text and your photos as always are terrific. Really enjoyed this one – very thought provoking. BTW that photo after the hurricane is a stunner!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your interpretation on change is inspiring, Patti! Words and photos here make us think a little deeper of the changes around us, and also the changes we are facing. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a rich and inspiring post, Patti. I am grateful for your optimism too. Mine has been flagging lately. Your piece on Ai We We is especially telling too – how much we need art and artists to nurture the best parts of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tish. Thanks for your comments! I’m so glad my thoughts helped. It is impossible not to feel discouraged in times of upheaval, but I am still an optimist at heart. And if history is our guide, we will come through this upheaval with some positive outcomes. I am sure of that! Artists are the bellwether of change. We must as a society nurture their talent. They have so much to offer us!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would change your personal description from “writer” to “AUTHOR” – everybody can be a writer, but you are a published author!  Thanks for including me in your interesting infos. How is your sweet son?  What’s new in his life?  Please send him my best. Love to you and your sweet husband, whom I’ve yet to meet…! HMR

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re absolutely right, Henny. I should change it to “author!!” The same is true for you. 🙂 Alex is doing well professionally in Vancouver. Some of the film work moved from L.A. to Vancouver. I will tell him and Rich that you were asking for them. I’ll email you separately and tell you the latest. I also want to know about you too. 🙂

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    • Hi, LG. How wonderful to see Ai Wei Wei’s work in Marseilles! He is truly an international artist. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I agree that change must happen soon on many levels. 🙂

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  5. I enjoy the staircase towards the fish pond the most. Thought provoking blog. While there are various theories on what causes climate change you climate change itself is certainly a reality. 30 years ago soft rain dripped down for 2 weeks at time, so mush so that students in Stellenbosch wore gum boots (cheap but waterproof plastic boots). The soft continuous rain is gone now it is showers of rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Abrie. So glad you like the staircase. I was sitting by the gold fish pond and looked up. The view was amazing. Then I climbed the stairs and tried the view from the other direction. 🙂 I liked the .gif effect–thanks to Google Photos. It’s true that the change is becoming more and more dramatic. There is more and more flooding in low-lying areas–like Miami in the USA. I’m sure you’re seeing that too in So. Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a thought-provoking post. I know that has been said already in the comments, but really it is the first thing I thought while reading this. I do like that first image you have, it’s different than what you normally post so fits perfectly for the challenge as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Change is a little hard at first but it is also a new chance every single time.
    In 2016, when I was single again after nine years of relationship, instead of being heartbroken I thought of all the personal things I had given up for so many years and started taking control of my life again, working on my happiness like a project – telling myself I had two years until thirty. I wanted to turn thirty and be 100% happy with my life and here I am, a little tired but incredibly proud I pushed through so much things – mostly getting into my art and photography again – and changed everything I planned to, two years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kudos for you for seizing your opportunities and working on what gives you happiness and fulfillment. Brava!! I’ll take a look at your site next. 🙂 Happy to meet you here.

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  8. What a wonderful post, Patti. I love the ways you’ve approached change: social, cultural, political, environmental. Ai Weiwei is such a provocative artist. He’s certainly and agent of change and perfect for your post’s theme!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed this post Patti, lots of things to think about. Like Tish I have been feeling somewhat down about the current state of our world so it is nice to be reminded that there are some people pressing for changes and try to be optimistic about the future. As for the beach photo, it is simply stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

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