After first seeing my photography, people often try to understand the man behind the lens. "I'll bet he is..." Lonely. Sad. Depressed. Tortured. Lives alone. About the work itself, it is often quite positive, but about my personal life? Wayne Wirs is invariably... misunderstood.
It is true, that as of this writing, I live alone, but as for the rest - I seem to suffer those burdens far less than most. As a serious spiritual seeker, I naturally had to travel through those dark lands of Sadness, Depression, Loneliness and deep Inner Conflict. These trials I have described in Fading Toward Enlightenment, but those forsaken lands are mostly behind me now. What is it then, that prompts these remarks?
The misunderstanding, it seems to me, is simply a result of perspective. As any artist will tell you, where the artist stands in relation to the subject, their "viewpoint" so to speak, has a tremendous bearing on the aesthetics of the work. My viewpoint, in terms of spiritual growth, is simply on the far side of the darkness that lies within our souls. Simply put, where most see Lonely, I see Solitude. Where most see Isolation, I see Unity.
For those familiar with my writings, you'll know that I see life as a sort of Hero's Journey. A journey that is fraught with many trials to be passed and demons to be slain with only the promise of the Holy Grail of Enlightenment somewhere at the end. One of those terrors to be faced, one that lies buried within every human soul, is found in the heart of the dreaded Woods of Isolation. It is the subtle yet persistent feeling of Aloneness.
For most normal people, people who are not called on the Quest, Aloneness often has a darkness associated with it, a subtle, hollow feeling - something akin to worthlessness and futility. Buried deep within the back of our minds, we know that we will always be alone, that no one will ever truly understand us, and that, when we take our final breath, no living person will be able to help us with what we are going through.
But for those Seekers who have found their way through the Woods of Isolation, Aloneness has a wonderful, paradoxically unifying effect on our souls. The seeker realizes that all humans share the feeling of Aloneness, that it is an emotion that all of us experience, that it links us. The core of my Aloneness feels exactly the same as the core of your Aloneness. They are the same Aloneness. Not Two, but One. One and the Same. To the spiritual seeker, Aloneness is often one of the first signposts indicating that their Path is true - that at the core of everything, everything is the same. One unified whole.
This unity, this commonality, this all pervasive stillness that lies behind everything, is what I try to capture in my photography. It is this Stillness, this common feeling of Aloneness that pulls the viewer into the photographs. It is simply my soul talking to your soul. It is what we all have in common. It is the result of a simple man trying to take a picture of God.
Wayne Wirs is the photographer and author of Fading Toward Enlightenment - Life between the Ego and the Ethereal. For more information about Wayne, his writings or his photography, please visit http://FadingTowardEnlightenment.com
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