Liberal Arts Education
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1w ago
A value-added ingredient for success  however  it’s  defined In classical Western antiquity the study of the liberating arts consisted of subjects considered essential for a person to be whole, well-rounded and take an active part in civic life. Today these include history, literature, ancient and modern languages, ethics, theology, mathematics, fine art, musicology and more. Today, these are considered the “humanities” as distinguished from the empirical sciences, professional, and vocational subjects. I chose this theme because of an article I read entitled Science Is Not Eno ..read more
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Subtle Attraction
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
2w ago
Paying attention to that which attracts There are many ways that photography can feed the soul. As the print of this image was taking shape in the developer, my heart was activated before I even had a chance to reflect on the subject matter. Later, I decided to contemplate the impulse of heart activation, what I regard as a force of subtle attraction. In common parlance, it’s quite simply the energy of love. When working creatively, there comes a pull—felt largely in the chest—that prompts a desire to explore the subject more thoroughly, to deal with it, perhaps to sustain or intensify the fe ..read more
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Cultivation
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1M ago
By our works we are known Blunt, South Dakota When I photographed these orderly rows of young corn extending to the horizon, I was thinking about the farmer and his work, evidenced by the tractor tracks and the amount of time, money and energy it took to plant this enormous field. Reflecting on the image now, I appreciate the contribution of all growers and marvel at the process of cultivation, from conceptualization and planning to planting and harvesting. Having had no experience with farming, I hadn’t given much thought to cultivation. But now, I realize that it’s a sacred process of decid ..read more
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Of Seeds And Roots
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1M ago
How to grow a living system—like a business Often in my contemplations there are both practical and ephemeral considerations. On the practical side, this image represents a critical lesson that, in my professional life, took me years and many trials to learn. It’s a lesson in strategy when trying to create a social entity such as a business or non-profit organization. Simply put the lesson learned is this: birth begins with a seed. Bottom up. I tried and was disappointed twice because my time, energy and money were invested in top down strategies, that is, developing business plans and initia ..read more
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Energy And Expansion
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1M ago
Drop a pebble in a pool of water and waves ripple out. Drop a word or  and idea and these ripple out as well. So also emotions, behaviors and the products of creativity. At some level, given enough time, everything affects everything. And everyone else. This is the entire image that I use for my home page. I share it here because it illustrates a fundamental property and process of the universe and everything in it—energy and expansion. From photon to cosmos, whatever the matter or medium, energy characteristically expands. It radiates in characteristic wave frequencies.  I find it ..read more
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Confidence and Trust
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1M ago
The safety of system’s syntropy against the forces of entropy Obviously, guard rails are intended to keep vehicles from running off the road and to reduce the severity of injuries when they do. Not so obvious is the observation that their presence indicates a lack of trust. Appropriately so. Bad accidents, even death, may have occurred had we trusted—ourselves and the other guy. This image reminds me that, because human beings cannot be trusted, safeguards are necessary, increasingly so in proportion to the level of distrust, which in highly mobile societies increases with population density a ..read more
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Context And Order
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
1M ago
Principles underlying information in human communication I was thinking about the complexity represented in this image when I noticed that it’s also rich in context, providing both time and space perspectives. The nighttime and elevated point of view displays pattern, while the time-exposure reveals motion. Combined, the image speaks to me of complexity, interaction, order, flow and intersection. My contemplation could have gone in any of these directions—and perhaps will another time—but for now I’m drawn to considerations of context and order. Information theorists consider “data” to be the ..read more
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Everyday Beauty
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
2M ago
It abounds when and if we look for it                                            Sunlight reflecting off sink fixtures Whenever I hear “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” I take it to mean that some people find beauty where others do not. An artist friend who designs and sells jewelry once remarked that he made it a practice to experience beauty every day. I thought that was wonderful. But between work and family life, the only time I found available to search for beauty was when ..read more
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What’s Your Story?
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
2M ago
Our backgrounds reveal who we once were and how we got to where we are While writing my novel Soul Train, I wanted to model one of the characters after a dear friend and colleague of twenty years. He’d recently passed away and I realized that the only thing I knew about his personal life, aside from what I learned from his wife, was the university he attended. I knew his worldview and philosophy of life, but I knew very little about the experiences that had shaped it. Fortunately, after contacting some of our mutual friends and colleagues, I was able to piece together some of the amazing plac ..read more
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Reflection
David L Smith Contemplative Photography
by David L. Smith
2M ago
  I recently encountered a metaphor relating to reality. I passed over it quickly so I’m not able to reference the source, but the image stuck with me—perhaps because it aligned with Plato’s notion that the reality we experience is akin to shadows projected onto the wall of a cave. In my reading, the author created the image of a rowboat floating on a lake. The author observed that we couldn’t see the boat, only its reflection. The boat itself represented ultimate reality and its reflection our experience of that reality. Similar to Plato’s observation, the point being made was that the ..read more
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