Between one breath and the next - between one shutter click and the next - a breeze has moved a branch, the light source has shifted - and Yosemite is born anew.
Any moment you spend within the wonders of Yosemite National Park becomes a fleeting image on your retina, a momentary visit to another place in time and space - and something only your memory can capture. You can never fully describe the transformation that takes place in your own personal manner of "seeing things" - because these tiny moments fill you completely and change you at depth. It is a spiritual awakening. An ah-ha-moment - with emphasis on the ahhhhh.
Fortunately for all of us, Yosemite Conservancy is coming out in September with a tenth anniversary edition of its little pocket-size book entitled Yosemite Meditations. Again they have invited Michael Frye to submit his world renowned photographs to be matched with thoughts from well known authors and speakers.
Between the first publication and this one the Conservancy was encouraged to create two additional "specialty" meditation books - all built around Frye's beautiful moments he has captured with his cameras: Yosemite Meditations for Women and Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers.
It is apparent to the casual observer why Frye has gained a following over the years. Yosemite holds such a deep meaning and purpose to him he is compelled to share his emotions. Some photographs are clean, precise and exacting in their focus that they appear to have been etched in a three-dimensional medium. Others have the slow shutter blurring of colors and lines to appear to be created through watercolor. Each captured moment is unique and arresting - as you turn the pages of this lovely book your eyes are held. Often it is in after-thought that you allow your view to slide to the words that share that specific space.
This edition is a bitter-sweet reminder of a long-time supporter of Yosemite. One of the editors, Steven P. Medley, died in an automobile accident on his way home from working at the Park. His contributions were far more than editing this anniversary publication. Medley was involved in writing and editing numerous books for children and adults - about the Park, ecology, wild-life and the flowers and trees that grace this sanctuary. He was well known and loved throughout several groups whose interests converge in Yosemite.
The other editor has been involved since the first edition was published. Claudia Welsh lives with her photographer husband in a quaint mountain town outside the middle entrance to the Park. She gathered photographs and meditations for the first three publications supported and encouraged by the many readers who, having whetted their appetite on the first book, begged for more.
Appreciating the focus and research utilized by these two editors for this anniversary edition, one can certainly believe that the words they chose to share each photograph could have been a time-consuming and arduous task. For this reader, the meditation happens on seeing, feeling and communing with each photograph. There were a few pages in which the words broke the spell of the scene instead of enhancing it. It almost seemed as if the words were chosen first, then a photograph was sought to describe it.
But those two or three awkward matches aside, this little book is one you will want to carry with you to pick up and thumb-through at random whenever you have an idle moment. It is a glimpse each time into another world, reminding you that all is well - all is right with the world - and God is in every detail of Yosemite
With Frye's obvious artistic eye and spiritual soul - It is this reviewer's opinion that we might ask the Conservancy to allow the photograph to take precedent - and if a suitable "saying" could not be found, allow it to ride the page in its own silent glory.