Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Half Empty?

Theme Day is here again for those of us in the City Daily Photo blogging community. This month's theme is Empty. It's odd to find an empty parking structure anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area -- and this one in South Pas just begged for a study in dramatic high contrast. Do you find it forbidding? Depressing? Bleak? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

But emptiness has gotten a bad rap by a great many Western thinkers who tend to frame the subject in messages of loneliness, despair, alienation and nihilism. Eastern philosophers, however, view it as a positive state. In fact, the Sanskrit noun sunyata has to do with the idea that nothing possesses any real enduring identity -- so insight into this phenomena (or non-phenomena) leads to wisdom and inner peace. The Buddhist version of emptiness resembles a thought-free wakefulness that focuses not on the past or future. Taoists view it as a stillness of pure mind. Ommmmmmm.....

Okay, I'm not sure I grasp it. But then again, my mind is far too cluttered to approach anything resembling Eastern wisdom. In fact, my view of emptiness has far more in common with Sartre -- or perhaps late 70s Woody Allen -- than anything Lao Tse might have written.

But look at how I've gone on. I've filled up half a page on a post that was supposed to be about emptiness. Why not check out some of the other talented City Daily Photobloggers to see their interpretation of today's theme: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

27 comments:

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

I like the dimension of spatial depth in this picture, Laurie!

Great choice for the Theme Day!

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

and the philosophical concepts of "emptiness" is very revealing.

"sunyata" btw is the root of an Indonesian word for quietude: Sunyi.

Julie said...

I like the text as much as the image, Laurie.

Good choice for a challenging theme ...

Jilly said...

As always your commentary is an interesting as your photograph, Laurie.

Actually I see those steps going up into the light as hopeful, although I agree that the word empty has a bleak feeling.

Judy Williams said...

Remember "One is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night? That song came to mind, despite the fact that there is no one in this shot. I like the angles and light playing with shadow.

Virginia said...

That's some mighty fine work with light and shadows L. I think this is a great entry for our theme today!
V

Sharon said...

Great choice for theme day. You made me think of a recent trip to Laguna Beach where I drove around and around in a parking garage looking for a place to park. I didn't think there were ever any empty parking structures in Caliornia.

Dixie Jane said...

Interesting angles and play on light. I'm not fond of parking structures. I've seen too many movies. But in some there is always a place to park in front of wherever they are going. That only happens in the movies and to Judy who has, "Parking Karma."

Abe Lincoln said...

Space is a state of mind that cannot be seen, heard, felt or tasted.

My mom used to tell me it was that part between my ears.

Tanya said...

Great post with the theme!

Double "D" said...

I see an art gallery wall painted black. 4 separate photo's depicting 3 dimension and perspective displayed on a flat 2 dimensional form. The first image is a box of light. The second image is arrival and departure, the way in and the way out. To where, no one knows. The third image depicts the runway home. The fourth beckons us to take a look.
Does anyone smell apple pie?

Cafe Pasadena said...

A: No. 1/2 Fu!!

Double "D" said...

Tremendous photo Laurie.
I bow to the queen of light.

Babooshka said...

You don't do things by half yourself do you. I agree to emoties one's mind can be so clarifying and zen like. Pity I don't then which is why I'm so hyper. Very classy image.

altadenahiker said...

Empty headed is a virtue. Who knew?

Ken Mac said...

i find this shot very soothing!

Petrea said...

I like empty. An empty day would be good.

Jean Spitzer said...

I actually just found it beautiful and peaceful, with the rhythm of the diagonals.

Shanna said...

Although I dislike parking structures, I really do like your photo - a wonderful puzzle of black and white shapes! I'm glad you included some openings to the outside world. Terrific commentary!

Margaret said...

Very nice. Love the contrast.

pasadenaadjacent said...

The westerner in me says to avoid unlit alleys/basements/stairwells/parking structures; or was that Ramona ....

Mister Earl said...

All my words come back to me
Like emptiness in harmony


Half full?
Half empty?
Too big!

WV = "jockbun" I rest my case.

Greg said...

Wonderful Photo, ideal for the empty theme day

Laurie said...

THanks for commenting, everyone! I'm having some technical difficulties tonight, so I'll keep this short before getting disconnected. I'll catch up with all of you tomorrow. Til then...

Sally said...

There's a wonderful afternoon radio presenter here who often has a segment called "Nothing"... he and the listeners manage to fill up half an hour riffing on "nothing". Well done.
Sydney Daily Photo

Mister Earl said...

As Dylan said, "Too much of nothin' can make a man feel ill at ease."

Andrew said...

That's really great photos...


I like this blog..


Thanks for sharing...


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Andrew
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