A Life Outside

Beech Tree in a Snow Covered Forest - fine art nature photography - Pennsylvania
Beech Tree in a Snow Covered Forest - fine art nature photography - Pennsylvania
Beech Tree in a Snow Covered Forest - fine art nature photography - Pennsylvania

For the longest time I held aspirations of moving to a narrow hemlock-lined hollow in the mountains, building a cabin and living out my days alone in quiet contemplation. Free from the distractions and hinderances of societal life, surrounded by beauty I would finally be able find peace and truth. But the older I get, the more I question the path of secluded beauty. While I’ve known for a while that all of life is connected, only recently am I understanding the true gravity of relationships, all relationships, not just romantic ones. I’m starting to think that life in its entirety is but one infinite relationship(s).

I am realizing how we connect with one another, as well as how we cumulatively connect to the greater reality, is directly tied to how we connect with and understand ourselves. The external and internal are two sides of the same coin. And yet even knowing this, I still grapple with maintaining a peaceful harmonious mind in a culture that literally does everything it can to destroy those qualities. I’ve attempted transcendence and to some extent dabbled in renunciation, but I believe my true liberation will come in the form of acceptance. Reason being, acceptance seems to be the most difficult path for me. I’m quite certain I was the angel who ruined heaven because I couldn’t forget about, read “accept”, those souls suffering in hell.

But what does this have to do with a life outside? Well, how can I learn the lessons of acceptance without the presence of exposure? The more I am exposed to the more I must accept. The more I accept the closer I get to acceptance. The closer I get to acceptance the closer I get to peace. To seek a life secluded in beauty is to seek only half of the story. For beauty is an object, stale, deteriorating, something to be maintained. While beautiful is a process, dynamic, always changing, and always present. So now I seek a beautiful perspective, capable of seeing beauty everywhere and in everything. For withered petals are future blooms.

thingsdoneframed

thingsdoneframed

Anthony Beaston is a photographer, designer and writer living just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.