True Metaphor

Metaphors: comparisons that show how two things that are not alike in most ways are similar in one important way.

True: the state of being in accord with fact or reality

I have been trying to write this article on the theme of a "true metaphor", as in one word or idea that holds truth, problems & interpretations all in a single phrase. Confusing idea, don’t you agree? It all started last week when I met this man who walked out of the pages of the Old Testament and shook my hand. He had a big smile, strong hand shake and a laugh that was contagious.

I was filling in for a last minute job at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to document the installation of a professor. I had no idea what an installation of a professor was. Apparently it is when a teacher/preacher gets an important job.

What I received from this encounter was the best damn sermon I ever heard. This Old Testament scholar gave a talk and transcendental speech that I have been waiting 30 years to hear. He bridged truth and metaphor into a single thread of thought. I was blinded by words, ideas and hope for what we all could be, become, or better yet evolve into.

I am not going to paraphrase or try to explain this experience because I could not do it justice. What I want to share is the "true metaphor" that I have been struggling with.

True-metaphor: Arts only purpose is to serve

The only purpose art has is to entertain the rest of nature. After God created the world he gave to his last creation (us, humanity) the gift of creativity. Nature as a whole is concerned about living, better yet - staying alive. The only act of creation in nature is the act of reproducing. Humans and humanity - we get to create, ponder and then create anew for the totality of our existence on this planet.

Arts only purpose is to serve…

If you have attend any of our workshops, Q&A's or Photo-Walks you know I preach this phrase as the photographer’s gospel. What does it mean? To me it is about training what might end up being your future competition. In truth it is about training what will hopefully turn out to be my future collaborators, teachers and community.

If you’re creating something then in no way can you be doing harm. Art can only be part of the conscious solution, not the unconscious problem…