Darkest before the Light

containers iv

Over the last few days the events around the world have seemed so apocalyptic that I felt a need to express the emotion that I know we all must feel as we look at images of agony, despair, sadness and grief every day.

My initial response to this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers was meant to be amusing and light-hearted. A shredded piece of paper “O help” is prominent amongst thousands of similarly shredded pieces lying within the shredder; a simple straight forward technically successful photographic image.

container i

However it was only when I re-posted it as a monochrome image for Leanne Cole’s weekly gallery Monochrome Madness that I started to see it in a completely different light, as something much more than just an amusing photo. It became a photographic metaphor for a sense helplessness, a real cry for help to stop the madness.

The second photograph I posted for the Photo Challenge was a peaceful-looking view of container ships in English Bay Vancouver viewed from a trouble-free beach. What could be more peaceful?  But with today’s re-edited photograph of those ships waiting in the Bay the view is much more foreboding.

I know this post is unusually dark for me, but sometimes there is a need to make an honest statement expressing how we really feel. Today, as I reflected on all the the sadness in the Netherlands, Malaysia, the Ukraine, the Middle East, Nigeria, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Britain, Canada, the United States and all the other places in our world where there is so much grief and loss, it seemed this was a day for honesty.

But I will end on a note of hope, a musical note, the prelude from Bach’s first cello suite play by the great humanitarian Pablo Casals. It is always darkest before the light, and tomorrow it will be lighter I promise, but today for me is a day for reflection and sorrow as I send my deepest sympathy to all those who have lost their loved ones wherever you may be.


  1. I can’t imagine the emotional agony of so many of the families of those slain – famililies bereft forever of their children, fathers, mothers … I’m sorry, but the Bach took me toward the dark side. I have been heartened this morning, though, by the statement of one of those families, a couple from Western Australia whose three children and their grandfather died … from the hell of their sorrow they realised hatred and anger wouldn’t lessen their pain.


  2. A very powerful post. Thank you for taking the time to express how you feel. The world’s events sometimes seem so overpowering that it seems difficult to remain optimistic. But we must!


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