Measuring the Soul

My project, “Measuring the Soul,” is my reaction to the unprecedented times we are all living through right now.

I have combined my images with phrases from the poetry of Mary Oliver to express my feelings of loss, despair, anger and confusion surrounding these fraught moments in history.

The project came to be when I roamed around with my camera at the local arboretum, which was one of the only places open during the early days of the pandemic. To crystallize my vision and also to make things simple, I shot with only one lens and treated each photograph the same way in my post-production process.

After working on the photographs, I then turned to Mary Oliver’s poetry to help me express my oftentimes deeply held, subconscious feelings towards the pandemic, and also the tragic and needless death of George Floyd. Oliver’s words helped me to understand the myriad of feelings that have been swirling around inside me. They have also asked questions, which I haven’t been able to answer yet.

“Have I Lived Enough?” allows/encourages me to look at my life in the past, present and future. To me, “living enough” means not only living well, it means living in harmony and having respect for all sentient beings.

“Where Do We Go From Here?” is especially poignant to me, and so apropos of our current situation. ”And What Else Can We Do When the Mysteries Present Themselves” is an invitation to a solution.

Ultimately, my project aims to ask not only these questions, but also to provide room for contemplative thought and possible action, whether that action be internal or external.

Video produced/edited by: Claudia Kunin

Lori Pond Interview by Ry Sangalang

Then and Now