There’s a story I read in a book recently that goes like this:
“Every year the aspiring photographer brought a stack of his best prints to an old, honored photographer, seeking his judgement. Every year the old man studied the prints and painstakingly ordered them into two piles, bad and good. Every year the old man moved a certain landscape print into the bad stack. At length he turned to the young man: “You submit this same landscape every year, and every year I put it on the bad stack. Why do you like it so much?” The young photographer said, “Because I had to climb a mountain to get it.” Annie Dillard
Seeing these images, I know their full context, what I went through to get them. I could explain it, but…twists, turns, and then you’re there, chauffeuring homeless men to a gospel music sing-along in a mental ward, asking to take pictures of what? An intersection of where an off-key heaven meets a hell lined with bedpans and the smell of Clorox?
Me: feeling like an imbecile, pointing, clicking, click, click, click.
Me: I showed up at 2:30, just when I said I would.
How could you know how far out onto the ledge of myself I went before I felt the rock crumble under my feet? And turning, I ran, but have not come back.
Me: the bravest of cowards, cradling the “bad stack”.