A interior stucco or plaster on stone wall of a ruined building by our beloved Schuykill River that is now exposed to the elements. The layers of paint worn through, or scraped here and there have created an image without thought nor purpose(a form of Wu Wei) . I enjoy seeing what these kinds of images suggest. I am fond of old billboards, newly exposed walls of torn down row homes and factories, peeling paint, micro and macro views of almost anything, reflections and shadows of again ...almost anything.
My printer created this image by happily running out of just the right kind and amount of ink at just the right moment of printing. I scanned the 'mistake" and now print it as a work of art in its own right. The original photo is part of my documentation from a restoration project that required making molds on elements of the terra cotta frieze that runs around the top of the PMA.(Philadelp[hia Museum of Art).
The sea, the sand, and the shells have conspired to created an image of a fish. What does this mean?...It suggests that "there are more things in heaven and earth ...than are dreampt of in our philosophy". In geologic time, the sand that the tide drew a fish upon was once a chunk of mountain.
To understand how our world is formed and changes over time, and the times of the earth itself, take a look at John McPhee's incredibly inspired book; "Annals of the Former World".
Yes We Can
This photo was created on Oct. 10, 2008 at the corner of Germantown and Chelten Aves., just before presidential candidate Obama arrived in Vernon Park to speak. If anybody doubts the importance of Mr. Obama being elected president, take a good look at these two fathers with their kids. As insane as it may now seem, the other party, for 4 long years, mounted a rabid attack on the character and executive abilities of President Obama. Their plan backfired,literally, and they looked(and still look) for all the world like somebody who had smoked an exploding cigar.
As we all know, President Obama was elected for a second term. There was not the same kind of excitement going on. Obama fans had to endure their candidate being incessantly smeared and insulted. Much as President Lincoln was treated, as a matter of fact. Election day I stopped by a voting place on Belfield avenue, and the mostly black voters there on their way to work,(the Takers), seemed kind of glum, in despair yet hoping against hope that their candidate might win against the big money.
President Obama won again. His second term is a study in steady, responsible leadership.The president's second term is also the rock upon which the "other party" has broken itself to pieces on, trying to destroy him. As difficult as this chaos of racism, bigotry, and hatred is for all of us, we need to deal with this as we can. And if not now ? When?
An excellent starting point, based on my own studies and Nicholas kristof's article : "When Whites Just Don't Get It, Revisited" that appeared in The NY Times, April 3, 2016, is to become aware of the nature of bias as the natural by-product of how our minds work, and not as a force of evil working unknowable to us.Most people, for example, feel more comfortable with friends than strangers. This is a bias.
Other factors are our historic conditioning and habit energy.
Thilo and Garth, Portrait Session
Here is my buddy Thilo taking a photo of my friend Garth...with Garth's Nikon D-3 with his 14-24 f2-8 zoom, which can give your portrait a lot of nose. I was so envious I had to go out and get that same lens for myself. Actually the lens i bought is a later edition of Garth's lens
Notice how close Thilo is holding Garth"s lens to Garth"s face. This is essential for getting good nose, to say nothing of eyes and hair. This can be a dangerous game, however. In Garth's case, he was at the zoo zooming in on an Ostrich when the bird pecked at his lens and knocked out a chunk of its glass.
Ross and grandson
This portrait of my neighbor Ross and his grandson was created the same day Obama visited Vernon Park. Its clear to me that Ross and his grandson should be treated with the same kind of respect and consideration I would like to be treated with.
When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed,
And the great star early drooped in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever -returning spring.
Ever returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
and thought of him I love.
from a poem by Walt Whitman
Whitman's poem is referring to the assassination of President Lincoln that occurred on April 14, 1865. Mid April is the time many Lilacs bloom here in America. The poem goes on to describe the journey of Lincoln's funeral train through the towns, cities, farmlands, and fields of our country on its way to Springfield, Illinois, his home town where he would be buried.
The Civil war was a time of great suffering in America, both north and south. And while that war ended, the struggle for freedom and equal rights for all of our citizens still rages on, on different battlefields, unabated.