Monday, March 3, 2014

Witness to Life

Untitled, 2013
In my Artist's Statement I write "that most of us will never write a great novel, but all of us will live one" and that I photograph these great novels and thereby "bear witness to life."  I can't think of a better photo to illustrate my point than the one above.

My parents and my maternal grandfather are buried in this cemetery.  I visit every now and then, but really not too frequently.  If there's an afterlife, then that is where they are and I hope they keep me in their thoughts.  If there isn't one, well, then they continue to exist in my thoughts and feelings, and occasionally in my dreams as well.  Visiting their graves will neither help them in any afterlife, nor bring them closer in this life, so I really don't visit often.

Obviously, though, as this photo shows I do visit occasionally, sometimes to take my elderly aunt who cannot drive herself there.  On this occasion, we encountered this gentlemen sitting under his umbrella in the blistering Miami sun, just staring at a grave.  I assume his wife is buried there, but perhaps that is too pat.  Perhaps it is life-partner, someone he couldn't marry, at least not under Florida law.  Perhaps it is actually worse, perhaps his child is buried there.  Now that would truly be horrible as parents should never have to bury their children.

Whoever it is, though, I'll never know.  All I know is that on this day I bore respectful witness to his grief, to his devotion, to his very life and for that I feel truly honored.

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