Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Staring us in the face

I sometimes find it amusing that I so rarely photograph "normal" things anymore -- at least, the kinds of things people normally find beautiful: waterfront scenes, animals, boats, rural landscapes, sunsets...

I do still occasionally take pictures of such things, if they happen to show up while I'm carrying my camera.  But these days I mostly carry the camera into less obvious places, and I go with the understanding that I'm primarily looking for what calls to me -- "blog-fodder" -- something that triggers me or kick-starts my brain;  something that will speak to me if I just listen hard enough.

I love this image, shot in the Westgate Mall in downtown San Francisco.  And I've been looking at it for days, trying to find an excuse to share it with you here.  Today it finally hit me; the hook that will enable me to tie it in.

Because -- I think it's really a message about Christmas.  While we're supposed to be struggling through the dark days of advent, most of us are actually surrounded by all this artificial light.  We're out in the shopping malls, and everything sparkles and shines, and it's all about selling, about getting us to buy from the manufacturers whose names  are constantly flaunted before us.  And we think that's what Christmas is: the sparkle and the shine, the piped-in music and getting a good deal on a few designer trinkets.

But the truth is (and yes, I get that this is trite; I just think it needs to be said; we need to be reminded:)  We've got it all backwards.  It's not about the designers and the sparkles and the bright lights; it's really all about the amazing and miraculous gift that is love.  And the most miraculous part is this: that even when we get it totally backwards, it's still there, staring us in the face.

It might be big letters, or a nativity scene; a tired dad pushing twins in a stroller or the old couple holding hands on the bus. It might be in a church, a barn, or a battlefield; a shopping mall or a barrio.  But I'm sure that if you look, you'll see it; that miracle of love.


Maureen said...

I really like this photo, and the juxtaposition of the Louis Vuiton with the Robert Indiana sculpture (I'm assuming it's his).

Your post is right on.

Louise Gallagher said...


I'm so glad you shared the EVOL message -- even in it's backwardsness, it is powerful!