Year eight: Still basking

Harold and Judith, 2010 © Ruth Thompson

HAROLD FEINSTEIN (April 17, 1931 – June 20, 2015)

This year I am marking the commemoration of Harold’s passing by preparing to head to France for the exciting retrospective of his work at the Mougins Centre for Photography. If you missed my post of that you can find it here.

Thus, on this solstice day I find myself not only in a state of honoring my beloved, but also celebrating the big event to come. That’s a joyful place to be. And Harold was all about joy, and all about the solstice too. The photo above conveys this. Warmth, light, radiance. As I’ve said before, I called him “the man who swallowed the sun.” You could say these words are the murmurings of a loving partner, and indeed they are. Yet, if you were lucky enough to know him, you’re probably smiling and nodding your head in recognition of what I’m saying. Even though he’s gone, his legacy shines on not just in the art world, but inside all the people he touched. Shine on!

Wishing you all the radiant light of the summer solstice and of the man whose light I was able to bask in for 27 years. Still basking.

In his own words:

“Where am I? Am I imprisoned within a narrow vision or in the richness of all the possibilities, of all the landscapes that my soul rides through and around? Am I alone right now? Am I lonely, or am I indeed a part of all this energy that surrounds me, that is within me?

Which reality do we want to live in?… We can focus on that abberation, that rigidity or we can focus on joy. And so they say love begets love, and fear begets fear. And I think the most positive projections will reap their own kind of reward. I think we’ve dwelled too much on problems and recriminations… on what happened in the past, and not on all the possibilities that are immediately, right here and now; changing our presence, this moment, into bliss.

Somehow things don’t seem quite that hopeless when you realize that you have the ability, the power within you to transform this moment that you’re existing into one of joy. All joyness and sadness is a projection of your consciousness. Now, this will not simply change the moment as you perceive it, but undoubtedly will encourage the same sort of change in other people. To sit and smile in the bliss of your own making – it’s really nice, it’s a nice feeling.

Now, this bliss, this joy is not something that I own, not something that I have copyrighted, not something for me to withhold; instead, I can bathe in this bliss and I can offer you some. Now, you look at my photographs, and in a sense, my photographs are part of the bliss that I’m offering to you.” Harold Feinstein, 1990

Blanket Toss. 1955.