Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Witness to the Light (Girl on a Roof)

[John] came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light (John 1:7-8).

I like the form of this photograph. Girl on a roof. I don't always have my Nikon with me, but typically there's a cellphone in my back pocket. So when I looked up and saw Rebekah silhouetted against the darkening afternoon sky, I thought it might make an image worth preserving.

It was the last of Christmas. Holdout strands of rooftop lights, starting to look untidy; small branches caught in the wires; random sections unmoored, hanging uneasily from the gutters. They weren't being lit any more so they needed to go.

Light is an interesting phenomenon. Without it this photograph would reveal nothing. Too much and the effect would be the same. There's a shading here that allows form to speak in a way that is often lost in the complexities of color.

The storm clouds - subtly present in the background - were rolling in and the wind was picking up. Rain threatened. A pointed freshness in the air invited pause, at least enough of a pause to drink in the simple beauty of a Florida winter's day.

There is beauty in everything - such a simple statement, but loaded with the kind of truth I need to apprehend on a deeper level if I am going to make any sense out of this complex, conflicted world.

In a recent interview, Journalist Diane Sawyer said, "I so believe in the fact that we are somehow born to love the truth." I suspect that she's one hundred percent right, and it's certainly an understanding that drives my interface with the world.

However, I also believe many people are confused when it comes to how they go about putting themselves in the proximity of truth, and they end up being satisfied with "answers" instead. But answers don't necessarily have that much in common with truth and they are deceived.

The truth of this photograph is the beauty it reveals on a grey winter's day. Heaven touching Earth. A human being visible only against the backdrop of light. Not light illuminating humanity so much as humanity defined because of light.

"[John] came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light" (John 1:7-8).

1 comment:

Geoffrey said...

Beautiful indeed!!