The photographer's eye and landscape fascinate me. Capturing a subtle movement or moment using light and time calls us into the present moment, here and now, while taking us to the hidden place just below the surface.
This week when I was admiring my friend's photograph of a young woman's face, slightly veiled, I thought, "perfect, perfect beauty."
I stopped for a moment to think about this word perfect and all that is means in our culture, especially as it relates to the body. There is no perfect body. We know this even though modern media does everything to present a perfect body to us. Today's standards of what is the perfect body is always subjective and keeps us from finding that hidden side of perfection.
I saw in this young woman's face a beauty perfectly human. A photographer's gift can be to present human beauty to us while revealing what it is means to be perfectly human: that being human means we carry the marks of our struggles as well as the signs of hope--written on our bodies. Wrinkles speak of aging and wisdom. Youthfulness carries hope. Cultural dress speaks of a location as well as hinting at personal experiences. All these marks matter because they mean we are living a perfectly human life.
It is sad that today we are only given one side, one view of beauty, and that we accept it. We are missing the opportunity to grasp a humanly perfection that holds sacred beauty.
That's why I love this photograph. It reminds me that I am perfectly human just like you. And it reminds me that art has the power to reflect our experiences so that we can see the human condition in a richer, more full form.
There are many shades of perfection that go unnoticed, but we need each shade to help us find true beauty.
Halim Ina's photograph of a young woman in Lebanon was posted on his Facebook page, 29th of April, 2014.