As is the case with many of my writings, I have not organized this article to follow an absolute pattern. I approached the subject of curiosity by writing whatever came to mind and in whatever order that it did. I am much too lazy to do a complete rewrite in an effort to make sure every paragraph diligently either precedes or follows a paragraph that is the most “on subject” with that one.
Curiosity can be both a curse and a blessing. It can make us restless and miserable, or it can be satisfying.
Remember curiosity and the cat?
I would guess that about half of the people who have known me in my life, would say he doesn’t seem to care enough about anything to be curious, and the other half would suggest, that sooner or later his insatiable appetite to know and understand things will get him killed.
They could both be correct. It all depends on when and how you knew me, and how I relate (d) to you. I can surely seem lackluster and unconcerned to those who I have known where our relationship was always a business one, and we kept at an arms length. To others who know me well, they understand that I have an absolute necessity to understand many if not all things.
I am willing to bet, that most of you can say the same about yourselves, if you take a moment to view yourselves in a self-reflecting manner.
On to my thoughts.
While I loved camping out in nature, or resting in the shade, most of my time in nature was spend exploring. I felt the need (obsession?) to explore every nook and cranny. To turn over rocks as to see what they hid. To hike over the next hill (or mountain) to see what I was missing. If I saw a bug on a plant I felt the need to look at it closely, and if possible, understand it. As I sat in the wild, I felt the need to find out what that land I sat in, might look like at sunset or sunrise. With clouds or without them. In winter or fall.
That curiosity, served me well as a photographer.
I rarely exchange more than cursory words when I meet someone new. Unless they have intrigued me, in which case on occasion, I will get to the heart of the issue embarrassingly fast.
I am not curious about most individual people, but if and when I am, we will likely be trading secrets soon after meeting, and maybe for life.
I am always curious about groups of people. Ethnicities, country of origin and on and on. Young people, old people, and middle aged people. Why do so many people from here, act like that? Why don’t young people, know anything about history? Why don’t teachers teach honest and factual history? Why does one religion believe this, and another religion believe that?
One of my greatest curiosities to broach, was why the Bible is so famous, and what does it mean?
At times my lack of curiosity has cost me potential friends, and it sometimes made me seem dull. On the other hand, my appetite and need to know (curiosity), has cost me friends and could have cost me my life a time or two.
It’s okay, I am a cat when it comes to that, and I have a quarter of a life to go. Eight and three quarters down.
Curiosity makes some people nosy, but lacking it causes others to fail to learn. Needing to know keeps us exploring. As long as we keep asking ourselves, why, or how, then we will learn.
One question I ask myself today is, do we build schools for children, or their teachers? We are the most powerful nation on earth, but our public educational system is ranked 26th in the world. Why that is, provokes my curiosity.
My curiosity has often caused me to inquire, how can political parties flip what they say they believe in, 180 degrees, just because another party says they believe in it? Is it against the law for two parties to believe in some of the same things?
I often ponder why so many religious institutions call themselves in one form or another Christian, when they either ignorantly or deliberately bastardize the meaning of the Bible to fit what they think it ought to say? Why Don’t they just call themselves something else and teach what they want?
It seems that I am quite often curious, as to why people do what they do. I imagine in my life, some have wondered the same about me.
Curiosity often causes me, for good or for bad, to frequently see things, that others seem to miss. That could be true of all of us. Seeing a side of the story that nobody is addressing. I often listen to a radio talk show host, primarily because he notices what I notice, or saw that the smaller part of the story is really more important than the part that everybody else is talking about. Having someone else with the same curiosity levels to search and find what I have found, sort of validates that I am not crazy, if you will.
In nature, if there are both snails and slugs, who’s physical appearances seem to be identical, why does one carry around a beautiful home on its back, while the other runs around unsheltered and naked?
So many questions, that only God knows the answers to.
As most of you know, I loved creating and sharing abstract images. Some of those images come from a sort of vision that sees a different reality than the obvious. The most common road to abstract photos for me was however, the curiosity to wonder how that same subject might look from a different angle, or under different light than what I first saw. Curiosity!
With our first picture, it was a different angle. Hard frozen water verses soft falling water.
As a child, frequently my friends were not allowed out to play as often as I was. My answer was to go out alone, and explore. Most exploration is born of curiosity.
There was nothing I enjoyed more than crawling around in the grasses and seeing what I could find. I continued that as a “grown up” (some would take issue with me being called a grown up), photographer and it not only brought joy to me, it was a fruitful exercise.
I was probably around 3 years old when I first discovered the joy and beauty of morning dew. Those experiences, along with a love of natural patterns, brought to me as a photographer, many wonderful subjects. Curiosity has been the driving factor.
It would seem, that it might be difficult to not find a nice scene to photograph in the Rocky Mtns. Still, everything on that summer morning in 2007 just seemed to miss the mark. I decided to hike for a while. Just because I was curious as to what I would find around the next corner or over the next peak.
Curiosity has both rewards and punishments. I was rewarded on that Colorado morning.
I loved photographing flowers. With that said, some days there is not much to find to inspire a photographer, no matter how enthusiastic he/she is. Of course, those of a curious nature might examine every blossom and find something else of which to make an image.
Most wildlife photographers I have known, have a keen eye and a sensitive ear for potential subjects. Still, often they are not curious enough to follow the sound. The Northern Bobwhite Quail, makes a shrill whistling sound. I followed the sound due to my curiosity and found this nice male near the side of a road. I could have driven on to subjects that I might easier find, but I was driven by my insatiable appetite to satisfy my curiosity.
Sometimes curiosity is about oneself. Can I go out today, and get a picture of a bird of prey, hunting from a no hunting sign? We don’t know until we try or at least go out to quench our curiosity.
Now I wonder if this American Kestrel has a permit.
Curiosity certainly might bring the readers of this blog to ponder, why does he (me) think we care about some of these odd subjects he writes about? The question is fair and I can assure each of you it is not because I think I have any special knowledge of such, it is just how my mind works, and well, I have this blog so I type it out and share it.
Have a great day and may God Bless,