Cosmic Photo Challenge: Up Close and Personal

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Hannah Keene 2019

My contribution to Dale and K’lee’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Up Close and Personal.

6 thoughts on “Cosmic Photo Challenge: Up Close and Personal”

  1. Wow. Really like this as it brings up lots of thoughts for me as to what the image means… curious if you feel it defines anything(s) in particular? Regardless, its a fantastic shot.

    1. Sorry to be so delayed in getting back to you, K’lee. I have been briefly ill and wanted to wait until I could give you a thoughtful answer. I was excited to read your comment because it meant both that I had been successful in creating a powerful image, and because it gives me the opportunity to comment. I didn’t want to put an explanation into the post because I wanted the image to evoke whatever feelings were true for the viewer.

      For me the image brings up many things. I am not a woman of color, but I am a woman and as such, have had to elbow my way into almost every situation in order to be perceived as being on equal footing with men. Equally, if not more important, is the fact that I was born after the second world war, and thus came of age during the Civil Rights Movement, the Viet Nam War, and the Women’s Movement. All of those shaped me into the adult that I am and have caused me to be passionate about fighting against the various chains that bind us: poverty, sex, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, lack of quality education, hunger, inadequate shelter, as well as the history of slavery in this country with the attitudes that still linger……….

      Added into that mix is the fact that both my father and my father-in-law fought on the front lines in WW II. My father landed D Day +3 on Utah Beach and thus helped to liberate France. My father-in-law was captured by Japanese forces and was a POW for 40 months. Only one third of those men survived, my father-in-law being one of them. The horrors and physical chains of war are evoked for me, as well as the chains of the suffering and mass murder of the Holocaust.

      And presently with much of the leadership of the western world, and here in the states in particular, I see the chains of hatred being used to try and make anyone who is different into something less than human so that they can be discarded. It frightens me that we, the world, seem once again to be descending into an ‘us against them’ mentality. That is a world in which no one is free from chains.

  2. Hope you are doing better, Hannah. Interestingly, I’m not female, but as an African American male in this country, the chain certainly brings up notions of struggle, but what I really tapped into was the idea of the ‘slack’ nature of the chain in your shot, which for me feels like a release from struggle or the attainment of freedom?

    You are right in what you said about the state of the world today, but if we, collectively, are to take back our personal power, I feel it must start in our minds…

    Thank you for an enlightening conversation, bought about by your amazing image!

    1. Wow! I hadn’t focused on the slack of the chain. For me it was the knots and the wrapping over and over the wheel. Thank you for focusing in on the slack! I will now always view the image with hope.

      I’m normally a very hopeful person, but it’s hard not to get discouraged with the state of things now. But you are absolutely right, we must keep the state of freedom in our minds. I know that’s what my father-in-law did during those 40 long months in captivity during which he, along with the other POWs were starved, beaten and tortured. In fact, he observed that the young men who gave up hope often went to sleep and didn’t wake up in the morning. A lesson for all of us.

      Thank you, K’lee!

      1. Absolutely, Hannah. I’m of the mind that the constant thinking of a thing will eventually bring it manifested into our ‘waking life’. What your father-in-law went through… many, I believe, wouldn’t make it. I have lots of respect for him.

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