ASHES to ASHES ~ 2018

“Ashes to Ashes”  is an ongoing project that I’ve been working on, photographing people on the streets of New York on the day after Mardi Gras, the first day of Lent; Ash Wednesday.  “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust” is a reminder of our fragility, and of the preciousness of the time that each of us has here.

Thanks to each person who shared their ashes by allowing me to photograph them. You can see more of my photos at: thomlang.com

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Lessons of St. Sebastian

Inspired by the legend of Saint Sebastian, I made this photograph of an anatomical model heart being stabbed with tiny cocktail swords.

Stabbed Heart During the Roman emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians, St. Sebastian was tied to a tree and shot full of arrows. Miraculously, he survived the onslaught of arrows, being rescued and nursed back to health by Irene of Rome. But alas, shortly after his recovery he pushed his luck when he went to Rome and lectured the emperor about his sins, and so was clubbed to death in the year 288 AD. And so it was Sebastian became the patron saint of archers and athletes, and the subject of so many great Renaissance paintings.

So what can we learn from the story of St. Sebastian?  People can be incredibly resilient. It shows that with help from the right person we are capable of bouncing back even after being shot full of arrows. But I think it also says that we shouldn’t let success go to our heads, and we should choose our battles wisely because even though we’ve survived the arrows today, we could be clubbed to death tomorrow. Oh yeah, and timing is everything.

St. Sebastian by Liberale da Verona Princeton U Art Museum
St. Sebastian by Liberale da Verona at the Princeton University Art Museum

NIGHT DRIVING

“Life is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the entire journey that way.”  – E.L. Doctorow

We stopped at this gas station just off the highway on a long drive through Pennsylvania last summer. It was all lit up, but looked so lonely that I had to take its picture.

GO AHEAD… SAY SOMETHING!

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”     – Plato        “If a fool could keep his mouth shut he would be thought wise.”     – Proverbs 17:27-28       “If you see something, say something.”   – NYC MTA public notice.

Are you a wise man or a fool?  I guess we’ll never know until you speak. Go ahead, say something… I dare you!

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