Bliss, is that wonderful state of being which brings to the body the feelings of rapture, and to the mind the total freedom from the mundane, the everyday; the state of complete joy and fulfillment, that state of detachment beyond time and place.
However, for this post I am not referring to bliss as that state in which one reaches by certain disciplines like the practice of yoga, or jogging long distances to enter the zone of the runner’s high, or the climax reached by sexual pleasure. I am not referring to the drug induced state that wanes over time, where one gives up one’s ability to reason for its sake, nor do I mean that which takes no discipline, no practice, no inner will at all, but is stumbled upon like the “contact high”.
Perhaps one might ask, “How is it that you use the word bliss, but you do not intend by it that for which the word is coined? Are you not being a bit intellectually dishonest?” I am not rejecting the above usage, I am just not restricting it.
The meaning I am referring to is that natural state in which we were born, the one that young children are blessed with; as it is their birthright. You see it in their faces. You hear it in their giggles, their laughs, as they give you that reassuring glance that they are enjoying the experience of life. They live in that wonderful world of innocence. That is the bliss to which I refer. It is like love. I mean, do you achieve love, or do you just leave yourself open for it?
We cannot go back to naïveté after experiencing the world. The world seems not to conform to our wants, but rather demands so much from us. Yet there are some that can maintain the state of bliss even in old age; they ride that wave of happiness. Their state seems to be in letting go of what binds them to the material world. They have found how to transcend and maintain the joy and still be responsible people.
The image of this post is entitled “Bliss”. It is a visual for that state; the ecstasy that is given, not obtained. Its outstretched limbs are reaching out to embrace grace; an image of detachment, fulfillment and joy.
The composition I find gratifying and compelling. It reaches inside of me and causes me to reflect and to wonder about the beauty of that state of being.
In photographing this subject, my intent was to take it out of any attachment to the material world, to time, to place, to render it timeless and not of place, where its existence is above, not entangled with the world.
Since “Bliss” is in editions of twenty five (25), of which I have one, I have yet to hang it. I move it from place to place; from alongside my bed where I can see it when I raise in the morning, or leaning against a wall on the floor where I often sip tea __ since I enjoy to sit on a carpeted floor __, to placing it in the bookshelf among my books. This is one of my favorite photos that live with me, and could also live with you.
With all this in mind and my own observations, it seems that throughout our lives as human beings we are always trying to regain the state of which this image “Bliss” represents; that lost state, of which we are willing to do just about anything to regain. We grasp at a fleeting tangible thing trying to capture the intangible. Perhaps, our grasping for the tangible is what causes our fall, and perhaps one could argue that the fall from bliss is really the fall from Grace.
What are your thoughts on this theme? Can you maintain bliss in your life? If you can, how do you? If you can not, why not? We can all benefit from what you have to offer.