Editor’s note: ‘WIDE angle’ is a photo commentary by Michael Mullady.
While fewer places today still possess the untainted energy that once thrived in these regions, finding retreats from pavement, electronics and everything our society values is growing evermore complicated.
With the population on the rise and upcoming generations being raised to appreciate material possessions, it seems the simple things in life are being erased.
It amazes me how many people I have met at Cal Poly who have never hiked Bishop Peak. Here we are in a beautiful place, with numerous spiritual and physical retreats, and yet most people would still prefer running on a treadmill or hanging out downtown. Why more people today are losing touch with traditional values is a question I have lost hope in an answer for. As long as I never have to see the downfall of state and national parks, my feelings will stay suppressed.
I consider myself fortunate to have the a state of mind, that today’s society would label “unconventional.” Being of American Indian decent, I have always possessed a spiritual connection, understanding and appreciation of all things natural. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from when I was hitched to my father’s backpack and we trekked through the Sierras. It was those early camping trips were I started to truly realize what John Muir, my parents and others among this rare breed had found so much joy in.
Throughout my life I have consistently practiced pure athleticism incorporated with a natural medium. Through forms of expression such as surfing, rock climbing and backpacking I satisfied my mental and physical needs, and more importantly, a spiritual connection. In my many moments of pure tranquility I often find myself feeling that if everybody could experience this connection for himself or herself, our society would greatly benefit.
As an avid outdoorsman and photojournalist, I remain in a quest for images that capture the connection of man and nature from a unique perspective. Here, my friend Jeremy Heller is seen climbing one of many boulders at Bishops Peak.
As John Muir once said, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”