Goethe, Horizons and Thresholds

Saturday – new horizons await a friend, a colleague and a mentor as he moves on from our school. He is the person who hired me into our school division. And, he’s someone who in action, thought and approach is a character developing leader worthy of Goethe’s quote (below) because he’s able to encourage and bring forth the best contribution people have to offer among our team. He lives this out in practice, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. And, his farewell party – a remembrance and celebration of the impact he’s had on people’s lives – is something I’ve had to miss being a Dad who has needed to bring home his son and his son’s gear from University. My contribution to my colleague’s farewell was an Animoto slideshow, a collection of images taken from various points in his thirty-year career – memorable, memorable times (like the fun we had skidooing and coming upon a saucy lynx that wouldn’t be bothered about getting out of our way). My wife went in my stead with our friends to the farewell celebration.

That was Saturday night, a night memorable also because I wasn’t there yet was thinking about all its goings-on.  The photographs, here, are taken roughly at the same time of night that this colleague’s farewell celebration would have been in full swing.  I stopped in my drive to look around with my camera lens because I know my friend and mentor would want me to. This week has been about offering photography as a contribution to the school’s dinner theater. The Northern Actors’ Guild, our school theater troupe, is presenting the musical, Grease. It’s been fun working with students and staff to create a visual record of rehearsals and headshot portraits for foyer display. Students in high school are at the tail-end of adolescence still metamorphosing into adult form – photography, here, along with the actor’s costumes acknowledges state of change, a step closer to or perhaps into adulthood.  It shocks and surprises – the new state does not always assimilate easily in terms of understanding one’s identity.

Perhaps that is something else that photography is – a record of threshold moments.

Listening to – Over the Rhine’s Spark, Patty Griffin’s Tomorrow Night, Mindy Smith’s Train Song and Dar Williams’ Mercy of the Fallen.  I-Nine performs Same in Any Language and Ryan Adams, his She Wants to Play Hearts. Then there’s Bruce Cockburn’s Pacing the Cage and David Gray’s Tidal Wave which rounds out into Over the Rhine’s Born.

Quote to Inspire – “If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa