Monday, January 17, 2011

The Gumbo of our Being

What we choose to do and who we choose to be. That's always the question we face. What I choose to photograph, whether it's places, people, events, scenes, whatever, it's always my choice. What I choose to feel. Or maybe not so much choice or just thoughts, feelings and emotions, all in one, a jumble of each into the whole. The gumbo of my being.

Can we choose the gumbo of our being? Or are we driven by an innate sense of being, in part from our instincts and intuition in concert with our thoughts, feelings and emotions? Or are we being someone and doing something amisdt our experience? Some would say it's the old nature versus nuture or our nature versus our experience argument and debate. But is that really what it is?

Or are we just like gumbo soup, something we make from what we have (being) and what we can find (experience) and even then we don't control what happens or how it turns out, except we're the pot, the contents and in the end, the soup in the bowl of our life and being? What and how much of the gumbo are we really in control of beyond our experiences, thoughts, feelings, emotions and then our actions within the whole?

Is the gumbo of our being just the result of everything from our life, and is the reflection of our experiences with our senses thrown in for flavor? And what is our gumbo versus what it is to others? Do they see the same gumbo we think we are, or a gumbo seen through their senses? We all see the world through our senses, including everyone we meet and more so we know.

So what is the gumbo of our being to them? Clearly not the same, but is it something which matters beyond knowing? After all, we are already here, the gumbo of our being, as everyone else is the gumbo of their being. So does it matter beyond knowing and enjoying it? Being who we are, our gumbo. And who they are, their gumbo.

All that gumbo, and we're just one bowl from the pot among many pots over time.

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