Winter–A Metaphor

I went out yesterday with my hiking club. I gave up carrying a camera on these hikes because we move along at a pretty steady clip. By the time I got my hands clear of my hiking pole straps, removed my gloves, and took my time to compose, everyone was long gone. However, one of my

Emptiness/Dormancy
Emptiness/Dormancy

photographer friends showed me some pictures he took while hiking with another group. They were very good. I asked how he manages this and he said you have to be quick. Don’t worry too much about composing. Shoot what grabs you and with any luck you might get some good shots. In fact, while thought and composition are necessary most of the time to get good shots, “shooting from the hip” was one of the topics covered in a workshop that I participated in last summer. So, here are my results, along with my interpretation.

In an earlier post I explained why parks, woods, and wilderness are so

Steps to Somewhere
Steps to Somewhere

important as refuges for reflection. They offer a place away from the “noise” of our lives (assuming we turned the mobile phone off). Thus, they help us focus and think more deeply. This is what ran through my mind as I shot the photos.

Winter is so often seen as a metaphor for dormancy, emptiness, and the end of life. It is cold, generally overcast, lacks color, and shows no obvious growth. It is much like we experience with the loss of our loved ones, getting fired, or looking for love. The difference between winter as a

Which Direction?
Which Direction?

season and winter as a metaphor is that the warmth and rebirth of spring rather predictably follows the former, while “spring” rather unpredictably follows the latter. During such times we tend to question the purpose and direction of our lives. It is a problem we have to solve on our own, no one can do it for us. Perhaps a weird statement coming from a sociologist.

Author: Stephen Fielding Images

I'm a retired medical sociologist from the University of Rochester. My publishing experience includes a wide variety of academic articles and a book, "The Practice of Uncertainty" (1999). The mission of my blog is to provide accounts of the natural environment, including photos, in order to raise awareness of its fragility and the impact of climate change. Climate change is the greatest challenge currently faced by humanity. I occasionally write about the impact of climate change using the principles of social scientific writing. To do this I read reputable books and articles on the topic. So when I make statements about climate change you will see a link taking you to the scientific source(s) of the information I provide. As for my independently published photobooks, each has gone through several layers of editing and peer review for both readability and accuracy. This is not to say that everything I say is accurate. Even the New York Times makes mistakes. So, if you find something that is factually incorrect, let me know. I hope you find reading my blog a positive experience. If you do, please encourage your family and friends to have a look. Best wishes, -Steve

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