The Stranger in The Light

Take it or leave it ©MTHerzog

There are photographers who put a lot of effort into planning the shot, calculating the light, and sorting out all the equipment beforehand in minute detail. Then there are those who just walk out the door without an iota of planning or even a concept, with a second lens and back-up battery if they even remember, and shoot whatever the soul stumbles upon. I belong to the latter.

Into the light (1) ©MTHerzog

I must confess, I am very indisciplined about carrying my camera around with me 24/7, and the number of times I regretted this decision don’t seem to be enough to get it into my stubborn head. I never leave home without some sort of photography device, however, and you can bet your last Euro that I will get the shot no matter what, without dropping it into the puddle or down drain. I may end up slipping or stepping into something unspeakably squishy, or push my luck my standing on a rickety fence, but by gosh and golly, I will get that shot.

Into the light (2) ©MTHerzog

My mind was troubled when I got off the bus on the wrong stop, but since the sun was shining and the sky was absolutely cloudless, I decided to use the time instead to pray. The footsteps behind me were an indication that I was not alone along the path through the field, and still I chose to remain calm and introspective. The hooded figure that overtook me, however, shuffled back and forth in a strange manner, with a rather pronounced limp. I never saw the face, but will forever be grateful for the few minutes he stopped and stared out into the field.

Into the light (3) ©MTHerzog

I don’t know whether this was an auspicious message not to worry too much, but the experience was a bit like an epiphany. It is the light ahead that matters, not the darkness behind me nor the shadows lurking behind every tree. Keep walking, and believe in the angelic role of strangers on your path.

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