Crossing The Unknown - A Test Of Faith

Neil Ross

Brisbane, Australia

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CROSSING THE UNKNOWN – A TEST OF FAITH
754 viewings – 17 favourites – 14MAY 2012
Photo taken with Canon IXUS 80 IS and edited with Lightzone. SIMPLICITY is my niche!


Having personally witnessed the annual migration of wildebeest on East Africa’s Serengeti Plain, this artwork reminds me of the perilous journey they must make, one that is fraught with danger and uncertainty, particularly their crossing of the Mara River which is infested with crocodiles. For me, this simple abstract photo captures the essence of that spectacle so perfectly, more so than words ever could, and is something I can muse for hours just to loose myself in its motion and drama. The vivid yellows and stormy blues are representative of earth and water, but it’s the streak of red I find most compelling. It speaks of toil and tragedy, and represents the hidden, the unknown, the dangers of life and the risks that movement involves. The colour red resonates with the base chakra, depicting ‘instinct & survival’ of the basic, physical self and of the species. A very useful meditation. Live or die, this artwork is symbolic of a journey we must all make at some point in our lives, Crossing The Unknown.

When crossing this region, faith comes into play and it’s here that one’s faith will be tested to its absolute limits, although you don’t necessarily need a religious or spiritual inclination to have faith. I myself am a spiritual man so my faith is in God, and my greatest inspirations come from the beauty of nature. Yours might simply be faith in your own abilities, faith in family or friends or in the power of positive thinking, whatever your faith means to you, and if by chance you’re unable to identify faith in your life, ask yourself if you have trust (in someone or something?). Trust is the cornerstone of faith, so can one really exist without the other? For the wildebeest, I’m sure they (if we personify them) trust their instincts and have faith they will reach the opposite bank without being eaten or drowned. It’s an extremely dangerous time and not all will survive, but sheer instinct drives them forward much the same way that love or passion, courage, ambition, fear, obsession, etc. drives us. Regardless, survival is at stake so there’s no turning back. I am currently ‘mid-stream’ myself having to deal with Epilepsy, so my own ‘spiritual’ faith is vital because it’s all I have to get me to the other side, and I trust my faith will enable me to fund the strength and fortitude, both physically and mentally, to endure all that this condition entails. This illness ambushed me and has changed every aspect of my life, but it has also shaken me out of any complacency I may once have had, and that’s not such a bad thing because nothing is then taken for granted. That includes my family and friends for they live at the heart of my faith.

I firmly believe that in times of adversity every aspect of one’s life can be reviewed, personal boundaries established, and the opportunity avails itself for us to rate priorities, namely to identify the things in life that are most important to us. Everything else then takes a back seat or is jettisoned completely, and that lightens our load considerably because it’s only then that all energy can be focused where it’s needed the most. Every day is a test and some days are better than others, but then it’s the same for everyone, isn’t it? We’re all dealing with our own unique challenges and all challenges are relevant. How we deal with those challenges really defines us as individuals, because in times of vulnerability our strengths and weaknesses will be revealed and that’s an opportunity for personal growth and the development of character. Adversity can be the catalyst for that growth, so given time plus the benefit of hindsight our challenges may be seen in a totally different light. They might really be blessings in disguise, so take heart, trust the process… and have faith!


A couple of quotes to ponder regarding faith, both by Khalil Gibran:
- Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
- Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.


As for the artwork itself, it instantly revealed its form to me. It never ceases to amaze me what can be seen in inanimate objects or how we interpret them. I believe this is called Pareidolia, where we descry shapes and figures of things known to us from things that are otherwise random and naturally haphazard. The first thing I noticed was what appeared to be two antelope swimming across a watery expanse, a river perhaps, the head of one animal is mid-right, the head and back of the other mid-left. That’s what I see but you may see something totally different, so what does it look like to you? I would love to know.

Here, I have taken a macro photo of a section of ‘A’ grade Pietersite, a beautifully translucent crystal. All I have done with this image is saturate the colours, tweak the contrast and lightly sharpen the radius, nothing more. Even in a simple rock magic can be found. The beauty of nature is everywhere; all we need do is look.

Artwork Comments

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