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Monday, July 12, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words....but a good word is still good!

I'm writing this entry from Jackson, WY just minutes away from Grand Tetons National Park.   We have finished our journey of the 'desert' parks (Arches, Canyon lands and Grand Canyon) and now we are heading into the wooded more northern part of our trek.   I think I've taken some wonderful photographs and I'll put a few on this post for you to consider....but still I wonder how can one capture "Grace" in a photo of the natural world?   We visited a wonderful gallery today and talked to a most delightful family who has spent 35 years taking photos and supporting the National Parks.  (They often vacation in Laguna Beach) and he showed me a great paining of a mountain goat jumping from spire to spire. The picture is called "Faith."  But can a goat jumping from high rock to high rock really capture the essence of the word?    

On the other hand there are some amazing images that certainly help us reflect in ways that words simply don't allow.   I'm praying for insight and creativity!   Of course the one word that still always resonates is WONDER!  This is an amazing continent filled with marvelous things. 

I've posted three pictures here that I think have some theological merit....but not overtly so!  The first picture above is from the Windows at Arches National Park.  There is something about those arches that compel people to want to be next to them, inside of them, to peer through them as if they offered a glimpse into heaven itself.  I like this picture of hikers standing and sitting in the arch.  For me it reflects our desire for God, for the holy, our search for meaning and our looking for windows where God might be found.

This next picture is from Canyon Lands National Park and it is a simple photo of two outcroppings of rock that frame a magnificent vista in the back ground with needles coming up from the desert floor.  I have another picture I took which is just the opposite--the background is clear and the forground is out of focus.  To me this picture reflects the difficulty of being in this world but not of it.  It is hard to focus both on this world and on our spiritual world

Finally my friend the raven.   This photo reminds me of the story of the ravens bringing food to a tired and depressed Elijah out in the desert.  Look at the light on this photo as it comes down around the raven.  Sometimes God can use very ordinary things for extraordinary purposes.

OK...here is the problem with my trek so far...I like the photos I 've taken...but do they speak 'theological truths' to others?  I'm not sure?  If I explain them they do...but each image is also taken apart by the imagination and experience of the viewer and this makes the universality of any image hard to find.   More to come!  Let me know if you like the photos!!! 


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