Thursday, December 13, 2018

Water, light, and kindness

Crossed light
Las Vegas, NV
November 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram
This isn't the first time I've shot water fountains, and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. I keep coming back to scenes like this because wherever they present themselves - malls, public squares, airports, etc. - they offer up a ready-made opportunity to turn the outside world off for a few minutes and have a little fun with water, light, and any strangers who happen to meander on past while I do what I do.

In this particular case, I was sitting on my hotel room balcony, looking way down, way across the street. So there were no strangers nearby for me to entertain, no far-from-home moments of connectedness with others who probably needed a snippet of kindness even more than I did.

But, still, I pulled the camera out and took the time to remember the moment before the fountain fell dark and silent. Because an opportunity is an opportunity, and there's always another way to ripple out some happiness into the broader universe. It can be a simple thank you to the person who held the elevator door just a little too long so you wouldn't miss the ride. Or it might just be a smile to a harried mom who felt the need to apologize because her kids were playing in the hotel corridor as I walked past. I told her this place needed more kids just like hers.

And as I worked the controls and tried to freeze a moment that would soon slip into my past, I thought of all the ways this simple collection of pixels, captured on a darkened high-rise balcony, could be used in a similar way. To quickly and easily plant a seed, start a ripple, lay the groundwork for someone else to smile, to be inspired, to feel connected.

In a way, it's just a picture. In another, it's much more.

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