This photograph currently appears in “The Portrait 2022” issue of the online journal, F-Stop Magazine. Let me tell you its story.
On April 25, 2019, just before noon, I was walking in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut with a Canon 5D Mark III and the old “nifty fifty” (50mm f/1.8) lens. At McLevy Green, next to the Bridgeport Town Hall, a couple of people were playing chess at one of the concrete tables on the edge of the Green. . . .
. . . With some difficulty, that’s what I’ve been doing. Concentrating on healing, living in some ways like a mole. I’ll wait to see what the world looks like when I can poke my head out again and peer around. I’ll see what I seem like to myself after time in this underground burrow. I’ll see what guidance comes to me about what God wants me to do in the new spring.
In the meantime, though, I see no reason not to send out Springtime greetings to you. Here’s something that will probably seem a little different for me. . . .
Fire has often been not just a symbol of the holy Spirit, but its embodiment. . . Even fewer people will know what faith and fire lay behind the phrase “Chariot of fire.” It refers to certain events concerning the prophet Elisha, told in 2 Kings 6:8-17.
I wrote to you about the story of the cat at the heart of this photograph, but why is the cat wreathed in flames, and why don’t they consume him? I’ll respond to that now, not with pretended analysis or explanation, but with a kind of “Biography of Fire.” . . .
As I said I would, I’ll write to you soon about the Fire in “The Friend Who May Not Seem a Friend.” But I have to share with you first an exceptional, timely gift that came to me this week.
To understand why I show you this carved cat in flames, you need to know that my childhood was plagued by sweat-through-the-night terrors, terrors that could take hold even in daytime. . .
One of the great dangers for each of us is that we let someone define us, even it’s ourselves, and then we let that definition dictate what we do and don’t do, what we believe is possible or right for us. At various times in my life, I’ve felt impelled to challenge some idea of myself, sometimes at the cost of tremendous anxiety and apprehension. I often think of (and have a couple of T-shirts that quote) the remark of one of the child “Candidates” in The Matrix, when Neo asks him how he is bending a spoon only by thinking about: “There is no spoon.” St. Paul has a similar, but farther-reaching saying: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13.)
A few days ago, I wrote an e-mail to one of my best friends, Rich Armstrong, about a new photograph of mine, which you see above, “The Friend Who Dies … Continue Reading A Pre-Christmas Christmas Card
All of the people who know me pretty well know that I adore my wife, Marion. It’s a central fact of my person and my life. You yourself may, just possibly, have gathered this from my earlier post, “The Heroines’ Unpinned Hair” (posted February 13, 2013) https://lruss.com/2013/02/15/the-heroines-unpinned-hair/ . If you didn’t guess it before, you’ll likely guess now that she’s the model in all the images in my “Marion under the Moon” series, which began with the photograph (above) of that name. . . .
The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. – Paul Strand
I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that Keith Carter evidently read my three-post “Keith Carter and the Cloud of Mercy” on this site, and he posted this comment … Continue Reading A Surprise Bright Spot in My Confinement
I’ve written posts before about the inspirations or events that come to us, without our having planned or willed them, to spur or add force to artistic works (you don’t … Continue Reading We Don’t Know How
We’re all taught – or, rather, misled – by our families, our schools, our occupational or professional training, by the ubiquitous stream of advertisements, to believe that what is unreal … Continue Reading A Little Guidance and a First Pair of Clues
Li Bo, how could you keep your heart from loneliness, calling always to the moon?
Yes, the word “camera” is italicized in the original text of this passage from “The God of the Living” by George MacDonald. The word opens an entrance into these … Continue Reading The Body, Mortal and Immortal, as a Camera
There’s a loneliness in being an artist, a feeling that almost no one else understands or values what you’ve intended or made. There’s loneliness in having had any kind of … Continue Reading Lonely Truth versus the Chill of Ages