When I graduated UCLA, I moved to
northern California, and I lived in a little town called Elk on
the Mendocino coast, and I didn't have a phone or TV, but I had
U.S. mail, and life was good back then, if you could remember
I'd go to the general store for a cup of coffee and a
brownie, and I'd ship my film to San Francisco, and lo and
behold, two days later, it would end up on my front door, which
was way better than having to fight the traffic of Hollywood.
I didn't have much money, but I had time and a sense of
So I started shooting time-lapse photography. It would take me a
month to shoot a four-minute roll of film, because that's all I
I've been shooting time-lapse flowers continuously, non-stop, 24
hours a day, seven days a week, for over 30 years, and to see
them move is a dance I'll never get tired of.
immerses us with color, taste, touch. It also provides a third
of the food we eat.
Beauty and seduction is nature's
tools for survival, because we protect what we fall in love
with. It opens our hearts, and makes us realize we are a part of
nature and we're not separate from it.
When we see ourselves in
nature, it also connects us to every one of us, because it's
clear that it's all connected in one.
When people see my images, a lot of times they'll say, "Oh my
God." Have you ever wondered what that meant? The "oh" means it
caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful. The
"my" means it connects with something deep inside your soul. It
creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.
God is that personal journey we all want to be on, to
be inspired, to feel like we're connected to a universe that
Did you know that 80 percent of the information we receive comes
through our eyes?
And if you compare light energy to musical
scales, it would only be one octave that the naked eye could
see, which is right in the middle?
And aren't we grateful for
our brains that can, you know, take this electrical impulse that
comes from light energy to create images in order for us to
explore our world?
And aren't we grateful that we have hearts
that can feel these vibrations in order for us to allow
ourselves to feel the pleasure and the beauty of nature?
Nature's beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and
So I have a gift I want to share with you
today, a project I'm working on called Happiness Revealed, and
it'll give us a glimpse into that perspective from the point of
view of a child and an elderly man of that world.
Child: When I watch TV, it's just some shows that you just - that are pretend, and when you explore, you get more imagination
than you already had, and when you get more imagination, it
makes you want to go deeper in so you can get more and see beautifuller things, like the path, if it's a path, it could
lead you to a beach, or something, and it could be beautiful.
Elderly Man: You think this is just another day in your life?
It's not just another day. It's the one day that is given to you
today. It's given to you. It's a gift. It's the only gift that
you have right now, and the only appropriate response is
If you do nothing else but to cultivate that
response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn
to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very
last day, then you will have spent this day very well.
Begin by opening your eyes and be
surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array
of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment.
Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note
how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming
We just think of the weather, and even with the
weather, we don't think of all the many nuances of weather. We
just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now,
has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that
form come again. That formation of clouds in the sky will never
be the same as it is right now.
Open your eyes. Look at that.
Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an
incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never
fully fathom, not only their own story, but the story of their
We all go back so far, and in this present moment, on
this day, all the people you meet, all that life from
generations and from so many places all over the world flows
together and meets you here like a life-giving water, if you
only open your heart and drink.
Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives
to us. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a
faucet and there is warm water and cold water, and drinkable
water. It's a gift that millions and millions in the world will
So these are just a few of an enormous number of gifts to which
we can open your heart. And so I wish you that you will open
your heart to all these blessings, and let them flow through
you, that everyone whom you will meet on this day will be
blessed by you, just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch,
just by your presence.
Let the gratefulness overflow into
blessing all around you, and then it will really be a good day.
Louie Schwartzberg: Thank you. Thank you very much.