This is my second occasion of taking 10 minutes just to reflect on a photograph, to consider its content, themes, and message…as suggested by Howard Zehr in The Little Book of Contemplative Photography. (You may wish to click on the photo below to enlarge it in a second window so that you can see more of the detail.)
I see > a rocky wasteland hemmed in by sea and cliffs, fortress-like walls, unscaleable; a narrow strip of safety but not of comfort–temporary; 2 people, one in white, miniscule and so far ahead walking in a place of smoothness; a helicopter just entering in–a heavenly observer; beyond, another coast which I could never reach by walking; coastal rocks in lines set like alligator teeth in a protected car park–be careful not to move the wrong way over them!
I feel > if the tide came in, could I be rescued? Would the people turn back? Would the helicopter descend? How much time have I got? Could I run safely over the rocky wasteland and find community and companionship? Across the ocean, I can see for miles and there is nothing; towards the cliffs, I can’t see beyond and there is nothing. Little oases of green along the way–taunting refreshment, discouraged by saltiness.
I think: there is no clear destination for this journey, just a day-to-day survival and wondering. In these circumstances, dreams are hard to come by, but limitations are apparent and help is uncertain. Do I actually want to be down there? One step forward and I will be. But I can’t imagine that the perspective is any better from there, but somehow I know that it is.
These thoughts remind me of a previous blog post: In the Midst.
See also my other posts on contemplative photography.