Respect For All Life

I met this mom and her new baby on my morning hike and my heart melted. To me all life is precious and beautiful. But not all cherish nature or have respect for all life.

Deerly Beloved, by Joseph Liberti
Mom and new baby in the wood

In my town those who are annoyed by deer eating their flowers want to hire hunters to kill the problem. This morning I saw a heart-crushing Facebook post of a couple kissing next to the carcass of a magnificent lion they had just killed for a trophy. Perhaps the inhumane treatment of migrants at our border causes you pain but others just dismiss them. My heart aches when I see these things. Where is love? What happened to respect for all life. Albert Einstein said:

We, like all other life forms, are part of nature. We depend on one another for survival. Humans, like other forms of life, cannot live without a healthy environment. It is only right that we take care of nature. “Any society which does not insist upon respect for all life must necessarily decay.” ~ Albert Einstein ~

In love and respect,
Joseph

Forest Bathing Plus Photography Heals Grief

How Forest Bathing plus photography is healing my grief.

Forest Bathing in green trees and lush mountain sides. Photo by Joseph Liberti
South Valley by Joseph Liberti

I found a way to heal my grief through Forest Bathing and photography.

What’s Forest Bathing? In 1982, the Forest Agency of the Japanese government premiered its shinrin-yoku plan. In Japanese shinrin means forest, and yoku, although it has several meanings, refers here to a “bathing, showering or basking in.” More broadly, it is defined as “taking in, through all of our senses, the forest atmosphere.” This “nature therapy” program was established to encourage the populace to get out into nature, to literally bathe the mind and body in greenspace to reduce stress find peace and improve health.

A Daily Hiker
I have been a nature lover and daily hiker since I was a child, I had experienced the power of nature to calm and restore me, but after the recent death of my canine companion and best friend Eddie, it wasn’t working for me any more. Eddie and had I hiked daily for nearly twelve years and when I resumed my daily hiking after Eddie crossed the rainbow bridge, every tree and rock and meadow reminded me of him and brought intense grief.

Click Click To Find Peace
I decided to use my hiking time to photograph the nature I loved To deal with my grief . I read a book on how to create artful nature photography with a point and shoot camera and started snapping photos. As I learned more, I took more time with composition and started to see every detail in a new way. Things that had been triggering grief now brought curiosity, appreciation and reverence. The process of trying to create landscape art kept me focused on natural beauty and prevented me from obsessing on my loss.

Healing And New Beginnings
What is true is I will never forget my Eddie. He is always with me on every hike. We are just enjoying it in a new way. I heal a little with every day. and every click. My photography is improving daily and I have garnered some fans of my work, and soon some of my work will be on display for sale. I will continue to publish photos of my “green art” in this blog. Please do return and see some. I have thousands.

Be well and happy,
Joseph

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Green On Grey

Green On Grey is a composition by me that was inspired by nature on a lovely spring evening.

I was standing in our “deer park,” a patch of slowly spreading blue grama grass  surrounded by oak, juniper and blue spruce. I was looking up through the new tender green oak leaves at a patch of sky filled with unusual silver-grey clouds. I enjoyed this special moment of peace and beauty. The feeling percolated within me overnight and in the morning I wrote this piece. The recording is from the score and has only chords and melody now but I think it does communicate the experience.

This piece, along with another of my compositions, has been selected to be specially arranged for a big band and will be performed some time in the next few months. Meanwhile, you can take a few minutes, relax and enjoy the peace.