Photo Prayer 2021-36 -- Few Can See

Not everyone is given your eyes. Few if any can see what you see — the beauty, the glory of your child. Because you see what others do not, they may think you are seeing things. They will not say their vision has failed, that you can see what they cannot, that they are, in that sense, blind. But be at peace with them. Are you not like them? Do you see the beauty, the glory, of their children? Over their little ones these other parents smile, pamper, and coo, in awe of the shining beings they call their own. Do not say they are imagining things, seeing in their children things that are not there. Say rather that your eyes have failed you, or that you have not been given the vision. Some have the vision. God has blessed some, especially teachers, who can see the beauty, who can see the glory, of every child that enters into their care. How we envy them, those who can see!

Photo of a potter holding his child while wading in the river in Wimberley, Texas.
Image copyright 1984; text, 2021 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Tom wrote:
Wow, a terrific message and photo!

Kathy wrote:
Beautiful. One thing that really makes the photo is the baby’s expression. So knowing.

Kerry wrote:
This image is gorgeous and the words are lovely and fitting as well. Thank you for sharing!

Robin wrote:
Beautiful, Powerful Image Danny!

Bernadette wrote:
What a fantastic shot!! Thanks for sharing!

Susan wrote:
This is amazing! Thank you once again.

[DANNY REPLIED:The lighting and the subjects in this 1984 photo are special. Paco Sutera, a potter, was gracious to let me photograph him and his child. I still find the composition compelling. In fact, I now use this photo to show my photography students how to compose images using the Rule of Third, Lines to Corners, and The Letter K. See: I plan to donate a silver-gelatin print of this photo to the Austin History Center in Texas, where it will have a good home for years after I am gone.]

Robin continued — I love it! [The Letter K] Lots of synchronicity here because Monday night I gave my talk called “Beyond the Thirds” to the Cobb Photographic Society on Zoom. It was about seeing what is really there in the moment, getting tension close to the edges, composing in camera to your full image area, designing with squares… basically making your own rules to create visual interest, so the Letter K is fantastic and your own unique discovery!

John wrote:
Very thoughtful Danny—and I was totally with you all the way to the very last line. I would have written “How we should envy them….” I fear most of us never stop to be as thoughtful as you are being here. (I will make a quick reference to Richard Rohr here: He might add at the very end of that last line:“those who can see with what Paul called ‘the mind of Christ’”.)

DANNY REPLIED: While I agree that most people seldom stop to be thoughtful, in general I want to give readers something positive to embrace in my writing. They may be hypocrites in doing so, but who isn’t? I am often not very thoughtful — Mr. Oblivious — but writing these prayers every week forces me to think. As you know, I am often surprised where the writing process takes me. I started this prayer as a reflection on the verity of what parents see in their children. Only at the end did I unexpectedly think about teachers. I had never thought about teachers that way before.

Martha wrote:
Hi Danny. Your reflection and gorgeous photo recalls a poem by Lisel Mueller, “Monet Refuses the Operation”.


Craig wrote:
Nice shot. I wonder what the little guy is doing these days... and if he knows he's being memorialized. Hope he doesn't demand a model’s release!

Bebin (the wife and mother) wrote:
This is my favorite photo, period. Thanks, Danny. That little boy is an entrepreneur in California these days, the gorgeous potter is still the love of my life. [DANNY REPLIED: Great to hear from you, Bebin! Yes, that sweet baby is 37 years old or so these days. Glad he made it that far. Last week I was talking about how any male over the age of 30 is lucky to be alive. Glad, too, to hear the love of your life is still kicking around. Last Friday, I turned 75 and am looking forward to the next 75.]

Joan wrote:
My heart twisted when I saw this.

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