INTO THE FIRE — Silhouetted against the upper rim of Bennington Lake on Jan. 4, 2012, in Walla Walla, Wash., two men appear to walk from an open sky into the fire-hued clouds of a blazing winter sunset.
Photo by Jeff Horner.
Leaping ladybugs, flying Coyotes, fire, water and smiling zombies.
Mixed with the elements of tragedy and human suffering that hard news often brought for 2012, there was room in our collective retrospect for a few good images to smile about — a different approach to the doomsday misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar and the end of time, as we know it, on Dec. 21, 2012.
If you’re reading this and looking at the photos, then you’re still here.
We made it.
It didn’t happen.
Admittedly I took a big chance selecting images, designing these two pages and writing this text on Dec. 17 and 18 because doomsday is just one of those things that shouldn’t be jinxed.
I apologize for risking that jinx and endangering the course of world history and the coming holidays.
It had me worried for a while.
Really though, I took the chance because I don’t believe any of us has that power — even those individuals with launch codes, high-capacity magazines and an awkward dose of cowardliness that twists the wrong way and results in a rain of misery on the innocent and unarmed.
Tragedy still happens.
So does life.
Most of the time, we soar — higher, stronger, faster, more beautifully than the previous generation.
A show of helping hands supporting one another while raising funds to help support someone else in need.
The rain and a stampede of rising water that doesn’t cause the flood. Instead, the watery threat veils a bigger picture, constructing a horse’s head in its flow while waiting to be found — revealed — leaving the mud of a flooded basement for another day.
Hunters becoming the hunted to give a new take on our perception of who is really in charge, for the time being at least.
And weather, it seems, never stays the same.
Torrential rain allows the magic of tables to turn and be transformed into umbrellas. Smiles happen even if the game is delayed and we’re soaking wet.
As with every year, 2012 had its share of losses. We live with those losses and try to remember that the news isn’t all bad.
Zombies can smile, and walking straight into the fire of a sunset can be a beautiful thing.
Photography lives on these borrowed moments, each element of fleeting time revealing in its persistance to record that, should the end of all time ever occur, there shall always remain something to smile about, marvel at and be fascinated by.
Keep looking up. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of a ladybug leaping.
Wheeeeeeee! Still have time ...