The song goes on

Traveled through the asphalt desert at Cornwell’s Heights Station on my way to the funeral of the Rev. Lloyd Winter, a good man and faithful servant. In the silence between passing trains I heard beautiful bird song. Looked up – way up – and saw this. As individuals we’re born and we die, but the great song of life goes on.

City church

City church: memories of childhood summers. Windows open in church, and the soft hum of fans in the background like the Holy Spirit blowing through. Faces of priest and worshipers bathed in sweat anyway. After church, which seemed to last forever, a stop at the bakery before eggs and bacon, which smelled heavenly, better than the incense in church, and the rest of the morning settled in the living room eating pastries and reading the newspaper. And continuing to perspire. No bakery today, but in the 21st century, there is latte. And air-conditioning. Life is still good.

Church of the Holy Spirit, Harleysville

I was really grateful for perfect weather and a wonderful group of participants in a shared experience of seeing the sacred inside and out at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Harleysville. Most of the group took advantage of the opportunity to experience nature walking the beautiful and expansive grounds, but I mostly stayed inside because I never get tired of taking pictures in the church itself. Some day I’m going to get this window just right …

Thanks to Holy Spirit for hosting, to Ruth Konrad for organizing, and for all who came and shared. It was a blessed time.`

The perfect imperfect moment

If you give me a flower there’s a good chance I might glance at it while I’m in the middle of cooking dinner and decide that I have to stop and take a picture of it, right that very moment. And then look at the picture later and see that something is not quite right, and wish I could take it over again. But the flower and the greens will never be as fresh, and the last sunlight of the day won’t fall on it again in quite the same way. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that this was the best you could do in the moment that was, appreciate it for what it is, and let it go.

Compassion

Sidewalk art

He’s lost in a landscape they can’t see, a conversation they can’t hear. One notices, the other doesn’t. Both walk on.

As I wrote in my formal artist statement, lately in my photography I’ve also been exploring human character expressed as people interact with each other and with the world around them, each interaction consciously or unconsciously reflecting the nature of their connection to a greater whole.

I’m fascinated by the interactions in this photo: noticing and not noticing, becoming aware of another person however briefly as separate worlds intersect for a moment like a living Venn diagram. And I know I experience this in my own life, maybe not so dramatically, but constantly noticing and not noticing, and passing on. But I think compassion has to begin with noticing, and lingering.

Anything new under the sun

Not an original thought, but it resonated when someone else said it: Everything has already been photographed.

Which is to say, every good photo has already taken.

I fear sometimes that this is true. I also fear a corollary of this statement: Every good sermon has already been preached.

Can you make an original photograph? Can you preach an original sermon? Has someone somewhere fully exegeted every single passage in holy Scripture? Is there anything new to say?

In both cases, I think the challenge is more spiritual than creative. Or maybe that’s just saying the same thing …

Seeing and not noticing

I asked if I could take his picture, and I put a few dollars on his plate. After that he was very eager to please, and he peered intently at the camera, but it wasn’t his face I was interested in. And later I felt a little guilty about that. I think we all want to be seen. We want to be seen in the way that we see ourselves, and we want to be seen in a way that reveals something we didn’t already know about ourselves. And I was really interested in his hands and his instrument, and he thought I was looking at his face. There are so many ways we let each other down and don’t even realize it.