I recently browsed a book about leadership. It referred to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how it applies in the work place. The lowest level concerns safety and security. It’s mostly that which concerns trade unions. Pay and a few pounds more, overtime battles, and similar. A few years ago I met a Spanish student at Bujaruelo studying psychology of which Maslow was a part. I told her the mountains for me could be described in terms of the higher Maslow levels. He called it self actualisation. I wouldn’t take it too far but there is a connection.

I walk and photograph to escape nonsense when it exists in normal life. I am not a number says Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner. You are if you find yourself in corporate institutions which operate in industrial base layer Maslow terms. Your sensibilities are corralled by the system, your intelligence controlled and denied. We are dragged into (so called) political conditions and self actualisation, or Jungian individuation, is corralled as false consciousness or bourgeois elitism.

The same applies with art. Art is (so called) political representing the conditions of the time as opposed to personal expression and an attempt to transcend the rational. Mountains and individuality go together. There’s you and nature, not you and the state. You alone, with no so called ideology. The view here shows where I’d come from. There’s a small hill climb after this, facing the other way. In 2009 I cold barely manage it because of exhausation. It’s only ten or twenty metres. It wasn’t so arduous this year but I did struggle again. A few steps, stop. A few more, stop, recover.


Pyrenees Photography: Ossoue Valley 2

Monday December 1, 2014