Monday, September 29, 2008

I am at the airport hotel and ready for my early morning return flight to the USA and I want to share just a bit more about the hands. In the first photo, you see a coil of rope, a simple expression of ritual pleasure and pride in one's work. It is the hand's engagement in ritual that stands at the core of human culture.

In the next photo, look at the expression of ritual and rhythm made manifest through patterns of brick and stone... what might start in the human soul as a gentle tapping of fingers, becomes the undulating arrangement of pattern in physical form. Nearly all of downtown Helsinki is a network of patterns, and if I were at some future time to become a professional photographer, it would be to pay homage to the patterns created by the human hand. The meaning of the ritual expressed in stone is little different from the coiling of a rope. It tells that someone was here, whose mark is of deep caring for all that he or she might touch. Those who think the hands have no place in education are those who know nothing of ritual value in their own lives. A small pity for them. A huge tragedy when imposed on a society at large.

The third photo is not about visual pattern so much as it it about life. The stem of a boat is designed to cut water and ease the passage of a boat. There is a stem and a stern for each of us in every act. Pattern and ritual is what takes place in the space between stem and stern. Observe the ripples at the side of a boat as it passes through water and you will see what I mean. If you have the chance to visit Helsinki, or even if you are stuck in the confines of your own home, I hope these simple photos, only a small sample of what I have enjoyed seeing and recording will open your eyes to observe ritual and the engagement of the hands that has made Helsinki a place of exquisite beauty.

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