At Christmas we stayed in a West Edmonton hotel. Each morning a crew of cooks serves breakfast to a gaggle of patrons – early morning faces, searching for sustenance to anchor them to their day – tea, coffee, eggs, a bagel. Goodwill, care and interest are shared and are part of the help that helps them on their way. Curiously and lovingly, a listening ear and dialogue are offered, also anchoring the patron stranger to their day – encouraging them (adding courage to them).
Carrie Newcomer’s song ‘Betty’s Diner’ talks about this dynamic of communion, amongst the varied human narratives being lived, each coming into the diner for sustenance and a waitress who’s tracking their narratives each day, encouraging them (and adding courage to them), an anchor to would be strangers who find themselves more family than stranger in Betty’s Diner; it’s interesting that this waitress role of service is so similar to that of pastor. Carrie Newcomer’s song is now a musical. Here, a set of hotel kitchen utensils are clean and stand ready for tomorrow’s meal, becoming subject for these images and reminding this patron so much about Carrie Newcomer’s song, ‘Betty’s Diner.’
Quote to Consider – “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what you see is what we are.” – Ernst Haas
Listening to – Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s ‘Friend of Mine,’ ‘Sun’s Gonna Shine’ and ‘Heart of a Dreamer.’
24 December 2011 – On the afternoon preceding Christmas eve, in scrubbing our kitchen floor, my wife and I moved several wine bottles from the floor to our kitchen counter. Later, a ham cooked in an old, well-used roasting pot (in my wife’s family through generations), became the mainstay of our Christmas eve meal (part of the tradition coming through her family). After singing hymns at a Church service and coming home from time with friends in fellowship, I found myself with an abundance of time and the opportunity to photograph our kitchen in readiness for Christmas. I worked with reflection, light reflected in glass, shallow depth of field and adding accuracy to focal points through the use of the Canon 60D’s live-view mode (I put my glasses on for this). The wine bottles remained in a cluster on the kitchen counter top where the ham roaster was set out in readiness for cooking the Christmas turkey. Both became subjects in tonight’s photographs and a variety of colours and moods were explored.
On my mind this Christmas, the words – “Be still, and know that I am God … (Psalm 46:10);” these words confront you at the High Level Christian Fellowship Church from the wall surrounding the pulpit. For me, so long away from Church, practice and walk, it surfaces the idea that it’s alright to rest, to ease up on the reigns of one’s life that can be held so tightly and remove my focus from the doing and busy-ness of Life; amazingly, so much has been provided for in the lives of my family and me … and I am thankful.
My hope for each of you is that you are able to find the rest that this Christmas time affords.
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