Focused thought

I took this picture many years ago when I was enrolled in a college photojournalism class. Having just bought a second-hand single-lens reflex camera from a buddy, I decided to try it out around my home in Missouri. At the time, I had chosen black and white film as the preferred medium for capturing a scene’s special mood and the contrasts between light and shadow. Across the way from my home was an old barn occasionally used for storing baled hay. I was always fascinated by the wide slats in the side boards allowing for ventilation, especially when the sunlight shone through them. This particular day the lighting and contrasts seemed particularly striking, and the empty hayloft door beckoned for a subject. So, I set my camera on a tripod, activated the timer, and scrambled up the ladder to the loft. I’ve always treasured the result because it seemed to depict rays of light focusing in on thought. It continues to bring to mind a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The rays of infinite Truth, when gathered into the focus of ideas, bring light instantaneously, whereas a thousand years of human doctrines, hypotheses, and vague conjectures emit no such effulgence” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 504).

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