Monday, January 19, 2009

019/365 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I had been waiting all weekend for today's shot. The calendar had given me inspiration already and I was anticipating being able to stand in front of it.

I looked up the directions, bundled up and drove to the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd and Rock Quarry Road, in Raleigh. If I hadn't come to a stop light, I almost would have missed the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Gardens. To be sure, it is a small space for such a large man. But, it was touching to be able to spend a few moments remembering him on this day.

I wanted more. I wasn't sure what I would find, but I got back in the car and headed in to Downtown Raleigh. Struggling through a maze of police barricaded streets, I finally parked next to the Raleigh Convention Center and started walking, aimlessly. I had no goal, I just wanted to explore. I LOVE exploring, some of my favorite photos come from wandering.

More police directing traffic at every turn. I couldn't begin to figure out what could be going on. Again, I was not following any specific path, just taking the turns as I saw something I wanted to shoot. And then I realized what all of the buses parked on the side of the street were for.

They were marching from the State Capitol Building, down Fayetteville street. I had only come down this street I had already shot months before, because I was drawn to some lights on the side of a building. Inspiration brings great surprises.

I stood and watched. I listened to their happy voices sing. I witnessed their smiling faces. I found myself weeping. I caught eyes with a woman marching and whispered, "This is beautiful." "Yes," she said, "it IS beautiful." She marched on.

I will not pretend to know how these people felt, on this day, remembering the man who helped ignite a fire that is now shining for the whole world. But, I will tell you that I can feel it's warmth. Tomorrow, I hope you can feel it too.

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