Thanks to the sum of my experiences to date.
Last week I witnessed ANZAC Day here in Wellington, New Zealand.
A national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders ‘who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations’ and ‘the contribution and suffering of all those who have served’.
Over the last few weeks, 5,270 White Memorial Crosses have been planted in the Botanical Gardens as a community field of rememberance. As the place I’m taking to when I want a peaceful walk or run, it is quite a contrast to be greeted with a reminder of war.
For many years I’ve not wanted to photograph or involve myself in anything to do with war. Patriotism and conflict are not ideologies or approaches I want to focus on in my life. Yet this year, what I see when I view this field are the important qualities of rememberance, ritual and realisation.
I was intuitvely drawn to making this set of photos. Through my photography practice I notice that I’m starting to see and engage in the world in a different way. In death is the reminder that we are alive and we have the opportunity to use this life energy to learn and move on from our past.
I’m very appreciative for the peace focused people and organisations that I encounter here in Wellington. And I’m grateful to be learning about New Zealand – the first country to be a nuclear free zone and last year celebrated 30 years of it.
I also notice the peacefulness inside when I engage with the metaphor, symbolism and ritual in living. When mindfully going about my day, which my current experience in Wellington affords me, I notice my thoughts and feelings more and a better ability to reframe.
I realise when there are peaceful conditions much can happen: projects can be born, love can grow and people can unite. It is my hope that as the seasons change this peacefulness continues.
And I look forward to sharing more photo stories 🙂