The Day I Found Decadence
By TLB Contributing Writer: Ken LaRive
Once, when very young and inexperienced, my friends and I sought to finish a photography student assignment. Searching, we happened upon an almost empty room in an old folk’s ward.
The afternoon sun reflected off polished wooden floors, filtered by old lace curtains pulled back tight from the blinds. It was a glittering spectacle, as there in the middle of the room was the bent and crippled body of a very old woman in a wheelchair. It was as if the years were crushing down, as a book would press a rose.
Our photo assignment was called decadence, and yes, here was a subject… a subject for study.
We stood back mimicking the balance in imbalance, the symmetry in asymmetry of our teacher’s philosophical art, and clicked our first pictures. She didn’t move. So unresponsive to our novice eyes she seemed somehow inanimate.
In and out with macro and flash: a study of a blue veined hand clutching the wheelchair grip, and another as a wisp of gray hair curled on parchment colored cheeks. The bend of her neck from a twisted spine was rigid and unmoving, and her head fell forward, almost touching her knees.
“Click!” and I captured the crisp white collar showing through the dark green of her sweater. Time stopped. Click, Click, Click, we went, moving in slow motion around her like a dance.
And there, under the scope of our three lenses, highlighted by the golden glow of late afternoon light and Extachrome, I heard from my friend a whispered exclamation. It echoed, bouncing from the empty walls without a thought but the assignment, she said: Look, Ken! There’s spit coming out of her mouth!”…and I saw it. That perfect accent, a crystalline syrup of spittle sparkling in the afternoon sun… I thought to rummage through my bag for my star filter, but was afraid to miss the moment. At that instance I thought I understood the assignment: the balance of art, reflecting the decadent end of life, alone and forgotten in an empty room…
We stood back, measuring the balance in imbalance, the symmetry in asymmetry of our teacher’s philosophical art, and focused for the perfect depth of field. But then…
Her delicate hand, holding a tiny blue laced handkerchief, slowly and deliberately wiped her mouth.
We all froze.
I think back over that moment, and the day my ego came face to face with reality. It was the day I found decadence in me.
From the Author, Ken La Rive – We in the Liberty movement have been fighting to take back this country for less than a decade, peacefully and with the love of God and country in our hearts. Our banner has been trampled on and displaced by a multitude of distractions, further eroding our nation and the cause for Liberty. And so, as we are pulled by forces we cannot fathom, powerful entities with unlimited resources stolen from our future, unaccountable trillions printed out of thin air and put on our backs as debt, we must formulate the most pitiful of all questions any patriot might ask in the final hour: Are we going to fight for our master’s tyranny, or are we going to demand the return of our civil liberties and Constitution? Are we going to choose The Banner of Liberty, or the shackles of voluntary servitude? Will it be a war for corporate profit, or a war to regain our ability to self govern, as the blood and toil of our forefathers presented to us, their children, as a gift? I fear that decision is emanate. I fear that any decision will be a hard one, but my greatest fear of all is that the decision has already been made for us.
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