WPC: Gatherings in Detroit, Chicago, New York, and India

As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.~A. C. Benson
For this week’s photo challenge, I collected a few shots on the theme of “gathering.”  These shots illustrate the power of gathering in a variety of places for a variety of reasons.  This first image below shows the intense concentration of art lovers who are gathered in the Detroit Institute of Art to view the work of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo during a recent exhibit.  For me, this shot demonstrates the power and mystery of creativity.  The Latin expression “Vita Brevis. Longa Ars,” which you can see inscribed on the wall of the rotunda, highlights this fact:  “Life is short.  Art endures.”
Detroit Institute of Art. Frieda and Diego in Detroit Exhibit. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Detroit Institute of Art. Frieda and Diego in Detroit Exhibit. Shot with a Canon 70D.

The pictures below do not do justice to the enormous scale of Edward Burtynsky’s work.  In a recent exhibit of his photographs at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, I took a few shots of his work– shot high above the beach in Coney Island, New York and along the Ganges River in India.

Beach Umbrellas. Grand Rapids Museum of Art. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Beach Umbrellas. From the Edward Burtynsky: Water Exhibit.  Grand Rapids Museum of Art. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Gathering at the Ganges River. From the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

The Ganges River. From the Edward Burtynsky: Water Exhibit.  Grand Rapids Art Museum. Shot with a Samsung Galaxy S5.

There is such power in these human gatherings–when people unite for prayer, for sports, for rituals, for celebrations.

Hare Krishna Group, Chicago, IL. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Hare Krishna Group, Chicago, IL. Shot with a Canon 70D.

These gatherings can bring out the best in us and the worst.

4 Dancers, Chicago Hispanic Festival, Chicago, IL. Shot with a Canon 40D.

4 Dancers, Chicago Hispanic Festival, Chicago, IL. Shot with a Canon 40D.

At best, we can transcend our individual selves to form a greater whole.  In this situation our happiness grows, filling us and spilling over to everyone nearby. Or, conversely, in our worst moments, we can get mired in our differences and our unhappiness seems to magnify until it is almost unbearable.  (We’ve all sat through those holiday dinners where tempers flare and doors slam.)  So, my wish is that you find joy and unity in your gatherings with friends and family during this holiday season.   And all the best to you and your loved ones in 2016.

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6 replies »

  1. Hi Ashokbhatia. I’m delighted to hear from you! Yes, it is true. The rituals and hymns may vary, but we still have a lot in common–including the universal acknowledgement of a spiritual “force” that is greater than us. All the best to you in the new year–Patti

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