Like many photographers, I keep alert, paying attention to my eyes when they are delighted. Since I travel little, and have little time to set up a shot, I rely on God, or perhaps you’d call it happenstance or serendipity, to provide my subjects. This photo of ice cubes melting inside a blue plastic cup is typical.
I’ve made many photographs in my kitchen. Since I work at home, it often serves as my break room. Momentarily relaxed, I sometimes see what I’d otherwise miss.
Many, perhaps most of my photographs are of subjects found when I am not photographing. Suddenly I’ll see something and grab my camera. That’s a pleasant break from the tasks, one after another, that define my life, a life I suspect is much like yours. When my adult photo students tell me they don’t have time to photograph, I tell them to keep their camera closer and their eyes open.
Photo Prayer 2012_31
Today, in Photo Prayer 2012_31, I paired this photo with the following words, which include three from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s apocalyptic book, Cat’s Cradle.
How pleasant it is to lose
oneself in the task at hand,
busy, busy, busy,
our concentration pure,
Just as pleasant is to lose
ourselves in the aimless
grace of your creation,
The three words from Vonnegut are “busy, busy, busy”, the words one of his characters, the nihilistic and cynical prophet Bokonon, uses to describe God. In that book, the world ends after someone invents a form of ice, Ice Nine, that stays frozen well above 32 degrees F. In the book, all the oceans freeze once this form of ice escapes into the world. Blood and saliva freeze. Everyone freezes. Everyone dies. Suddenly God doesn’t seem so busy.
Cat’s Cradle is not a cheerful book, but it is, or was, quite popular. The Grateful Dead, a popular band of musicians in the late 20th century, had their songs copyrighted with Ice Nine Publishing. At one time Vonnegut’s view of the world appealed to me, but God won me over. Ice cubes melt.
The Rev. Doug Gerdts included my Photo Prayer in his weekly email to members and friends of First & Central Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, Delaware. Doug said,
I occasionally include one of Danny Schweer’s “photo prayers” in my weekly emails as I find them personally thought-provoking and inspiring. This one was not only eye-catching but soul-catching as well. Take a moment and read Danny’s brief blog entry about the “busy, busy, busy” word selection. As a corollary, I’m offering this link to a great article in Sojourner’s Magazine entitled, “Ten Ways to Live ‘Almost Amish'”!
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware included this Photo Prayer in its Weekly Word newsletter emailed to its 600+ members and friends. These prayers got their start when I worked at Westminster as their communications coordinator.
Urban Bridge Church in Edmonton, Alberta also included this prayer pic in its “View from the Bridge” newsletter emailed to its members. This Canadian church found my prayers after Image Journal touted them in its e-newsletter. For a brief time, six months, I was Image Journal’s managing editor while it prepared to move from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania to Seattle, Washington in the year 2000.