Cooper Captures captures cosmos
If you cannot get out in nature today, the next best thing is to experience Cooper Captures at 107 East German Street, next to Town Run. There you will enter a world of fine art, canvas and prints depicting nature’s wonders, and especially, but not exclusively, our feathered friends.
You will also get to meet the gracious proprietor, Diana Cooper, who spoke with the Wise Guyde last week. Diana acquired her great affection for wildlife from her grandfather, who was a photographer himself and a great respecter of Mother Earth. A birdbath outside their window provided the inspiration for her special love of the winged ones. She effuses that she is “never happier than when taking pictures of nature.” Her love for nature photography stems from her mission, according to Diana, “We’ve lost a third of our bird species. I want them to at least be remembered by future generations in my pictures.”
Indeed, a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Report tells us that three billion adult birds have gone extinct since 1970; 269 species are listed as high conservation priorities; shore birds have shrunk 70 percent since 1973; two-thirds of bird species are threatened with extinction due to climate change, and conservation groups are calling for “aggressive, collaborative action.”
In the face of this overwhelming situation, how can an individual respond? Do we just throw up our hands and hope the political sector frees itself of mega corporate influence and addresses the problem effectively? By all means, exercise your right to vote and do it with wisdom. But what can an individual do today?
Shamanic practitioner Sandra Ingerman encourages us to spend time in nature every day. She wants us each to sit down on the ground (not so easy for some of us), and just observe one tree or plant. You are not trying to make a scientific analysis; you are just observing, that’s all. Why? Because, Ingerman says, this is how we will re-establish a felt awareness of the spiritual soul of nature. In the process, we will renew humanity’s once universal awareness that all is one. We and the cosmos are one.
The notion that we are one with the cosmos has long been promoted by visionary Matthew Fox. In fact, he would say the cosmos is the primary source of revelation, surpassing even the Bible. The cosmos has been here for 13 billion years. The Bible was not in general circulation until the printing press came along in 1450 A.D. The Bible’s contents had only been around for about 2,500 years.
Fox provides quotes from the scriptures of the world religions to support this. For example,” The Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu Scriptures, addresses God by saying, “Although you are one, you spread throughout the sky and the planets and all space between.” Is this reality also what the biblical writer is singing about, who declares, “the spirit of the Lord fills the whole universe?” (Matthew Fox, Daily Meditations, June 18, 2021).
Meanwhile, Diana Cooper offers this simple message, “We’re only here a short while; appreciate what is here.”
Note to readers: Cooper Captures will move across the street to 112 East German Street, near Betty’s Restaurant, on Aug. 1.
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at email@example.com.