Saturday, August 11, 2007
Asahel and the Tree of Promises
The church around the corner from my apartment has had what I, at least, think of as a "tree of promises" sitting outside it for a few days now. It's a wire-coathanger structure with paper leaves, each containing a Bible verse involving some sort of promise. I find it a compelling object, even though I don't really know why it's there. On my way home tonight, I realized that it might well have something to do with a service planned for tomorrow, so I stopped to try to get a picture or two in the dark.
As I was shooting away (and muttering under my breath, for long-exposure hand-held photography is an exercise in frustration), a man emerged from the bushes a few yards away. I watched his approach with some concern. I wasn't worried for my personal safety--the church is on a busy street with lots of foot traffic, and he was hobbling to a degree that made me pretty sure I could outrun him in any case. My worry was that he would ask me for money, or tell me drunkenly that I was pretty, or in some way or another want some response from me that I was unable or unwilling to give him.
That didn't happen. We had a nice conversation, the kind of conversation I'd like to have with any of my neighbors but rarely do, and then we parted ways. As I was leaving, he asked if I would take his photograph--which turned out to be the best picture I took at the site. I hope at some point I'll be able to track him down to give him a print of it.