Friday, December 08, 2006

Of moonlight and kung fu

There have been some gorgeous moonlit nights here of late – perfect for getting out and getting some lunar-lit landscapes, but alas, it has not worked out for me to get out and do any photographing. Going into my archives, I pulled out a shot from a series of moonrise photos taken last September on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, Illinois. We'll see what the weekend holds for photo excursions.

Switching gears: It doesn’t take much to get me going somewhere. Maybe it’s because of my naturally curious nature. I cross-post many of my Points of Light photographs on Flickr, an online photo community. A photo I had posted here a couple of days ago received a comment from Burnblue: “Compositional kung fu,” which I take as a high compliment.

Now, I’m at an age where the term “kung fu” brings to mind images of David Carradine wandering the old west, spouting soft-spoken philosophy and seeking serenity while throwing evil cowboys around like cow chips. So I thought it might be good to get a better handle on the term.

Through the popularity of martial arts films and the Kung Fu television series back in the 1970s, the term came to encompass Chinese martial arts in general. But a quick look-see via wikipedia reveals that the original meaning of the term is quite a bit different. There’s no direct English equivalent, but the general idea of kung fu is something like “achievement through great effort.” The closest single English word might be “virtue.”

On one hand, I have indeed devoted a great deal of time and effort toward improving my photographic skills, and it feels good for someone, who is himself an accomplished lensman, to give recognition. All of your kind comments have been gratefully received as well.

On another level, I can’t help but think about this time of year - that the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in a small backwater town was God’s “kung fu.” That through the great effort and achievement of that child some thirty years later on a cold, hard cross, humankind would be blessed with virtue.

I told you it doesn’t take much to get me going.

More “kung fu” photos from BurnBlue

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


Peter Roskothen said...

Wonderful photograph.

Peter Roskothen said...

I watched KungFu as a boy and now again hired the DVDs to watch them again. They did not loose their spirit, I still love them a lot. It is interesting to know what you wrote about the real translation of KungFu. The bigger word BUDO is also translated in a wrong way by saying "Martial Arts". The original meaning of BUDO (KungFu, Karate, Aikido...) is to "avoid conflicts". A much better meaning in my eyes.

alicia said...

wow, great shot of the moon.