ELDERLY WOMAN WITH CHRISTMAS CARDS - 50 SHADES OF BLACK

The description of the photo in the Smithsonian archives reads:

"Elderly woman with crutches in rocking chair with Christmas cards and 'God Bless Our Home' sign in the background. Eastman- Safety-Kodak 230 edge imprint."

This description says it all...while at the same time doesn't even begin to touch the surface of the layers of meaning that this photo offers.  This image with the singular figure sitting quietly in her chairs points to far more than the woman captured in the frame.  It speaks to the silent prayers, being offered incessantly, by grandmothers like mine who want more for me than they ever had for themselves.  It speaks to the longing in the hearts of our ancestors for their children's children to see, to experience, and to savor freedom.  It echoes the voices of people who marched and sat and and sang the words to a song that heralded a future brighter than the reality of its present circumstance.  "We Shall Overcome.  Deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome some day".

In this image is sadness and hope.  It symbolizes strength and utter frailty   It reveals poverty while at the same time wealth in terms of resilience.  The sign quietly offers a blessing to not only the woman whose quiet room it was placed but to all of us tonight.

As we look forward to tomorrow, let us be reminded of yesterday.  As we anticipate a wellspring of gifts and blessings let us find joy in being a blessing to someone else.  On this night, this Eve of Christmas 2012 may all of our homes and lives be richly blessed.  May the spirit of Christmas overcome us and fill our hearts with love.

Carlton Mackey 50 SHADES OF BLACK

The final image in a special series of 5 curated by Carlton Mackey, Creator of 50 SHADES OF BLACK.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SERIES HERE