Copyright © 2011-2012 Ilona Goin.  All rights reserved.  Garden of Light Photography is a service of Opus 9 Media LLC.


"Joy is like pure clear water;
wherever it flows, wondrous blossoms grow."

From Discourses of Shams-i-Tabrizi.
(Shams was the teacher of Sufi mystic and inspirational poet Jalal al-Din al-Rumi.)
The first time I read those words, they shimmered across my heart. I just sat there in wonderment. Despite the apparent simplicity, the words’ meaning ran deep and hinted at a rich perception of life filled with gratitude, love, and service. Shams had said in one brief sentence all I could ever hope to say about my vision and objective as a photographer.

The blossoms in my life, the ones you find planted throughout the Garden of Light, also began as joy. It bubbled forth from a well within until it flowed in a steady stream. Soon, the joy watered the entire field, which began to bloom. Love does that: it makes all good things grow.

The wonder of poetry is that, like music and art, it bypasses the dry, dull mind and goes straight to the heart and imagination. Poems tell of a greater truth. In fact, they take us to the very edge of wisdom, farther than words in any other form possibly could. For this, they are favored by mystics and students of the divine. They are beloved by the artist for their colorful imagery, the intellectual for bending a rigid mind around to a new point of view, and the musician for their rhythm and melody.

The poetic wisdom of Rumi and Shams resonates with people around the world and of all faiths. We find in their poetry — as in the measured lines of Wordsworth and Emerson, Longfellow and Whitman — a language we all understand.

"Joy is like pure clear water; wherever it flows, wondrous blossoms grow."

This line might as well be my mission statement. I hope that among the flowers you find here, some will encourage you to cultivate a boundless joy of life and to grow your own field of wondrous blossoms.

With warm regards,

Ilona Goin
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