Is your composition balanced?

January 18, 2016


On a recent road-trip to the Highlands of Scotland I found the weather to be ‘changeable’ - to say the least.  One minute I was bathed in beautiful sunshine, the next I was running for shelter from heavy rain.  It occurred to me as I was photographing the above scene that consideration to balance for the effective creation of a strong landscape composition is important and it is also fundamental in creating the type of individual I am and the life-style I lead.  My point of reference for this insight is that, irrespective of the weather conditions, nature has a tendency to always find balance.  Balance is the natural order of things and it should therefore be my natural state, also. 


Occasionally, I have moments when I wake up from the unconscious routine of my daily existence (like now) and I become conscious of the fact that I am living my life in an unbalanced fashion.  I’m over-doing some things, (e.g., eating, drinking & working) and under-doing others (e.g., exercise and relaxation) with the result that I am existing in an almost constant state of 'dis-ease’ - which isn’t healthy. 


Having said this, in the hectic, frenetic world of our daily lives nature’s equilibrium is disturbed and it is a challenge to maintain our natural, balanced, state.  Like a tightrope walker, frequently sensing his lack-of-balance and adjusting his centre to stay on the rope, we too should frequently come to consciousness; take stock of how we are acting and determine which aspects of our lives are off-the-beam and distracting us from our natural state. 


A classic role-model for this behaviour is Benjamin Franklin.  In the evenings, Franklin regularly reviewed his performance in the events of the preceding day and determined where in his thoughts, decisions, actions he could make improvements.  As part of his daily review, Franklin also assessed his temperance (aka balance). 

“Eat not to dullness, drink not to levity.”


- the objective being: the preservation of healthy balance.  Following his review, Franklin would resolve to improve his performance the next day on those aspects of his character that fell short of his expectation.


We’re all seeking balance; it is one of the key components to happiness.  Even when we act in an unbalanced way, we’re striving (albeit in a misguided fashion) to achieve balance in the hope that it will lead to happiness. 


As Thomas Merton says,


"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."


Is your landscape balanced?


Best regards.  Steve

Books I've read (and can recommend) by Benjamin Franklin are, 'The Autobiography & Other Writings ' and 'Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management...'.



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