“Complexity that works is built up out of modules that work perfectly, layered one over the other.” Kevin Kelly
What does layered look like to you? One of the joys of living near a popular metropolitan city is the surfeit of entertaining street artists and unusual sightings that dot the landscape. If you’ve ever lived in or been to NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, Lagos… you name it, you can be rest assured that you will see someone or something that will challenge your understanding of the human capacity for creativity and sheer enterprise. Add to it the huge murals that show up in the most unexpected places and you’ll understand why big cities are a photographer’s dream.
For today’s challenge on – Layered – I have the good fortune to share the entertainer and his menagerie of animal/bird companions. This savvy entrepreneur can be found anywhere between the New York Public Library and Times Square. His companions are not for sale … no, they are far more than that and it involves photography and a story shared by one of my daughters who has encountered him more than once and has captured quite a few photos of our friend. There are lots of layers in the shot; from his clothes, to the cats, and the birds, and the carriages … adding up to a mystical menagerie. Look again, how many cats do you see? And doves? What about the parrots? The layers of cloth add to the collection of things in and around him. He wears a shiny grey silk jacket over a striped blue/white cotton shirt. His socks are colorful, shoes plain. Who is the man behind the character in the photo?
<3 I’d like to take a moment to send prayers and support to folks in Puerto Rico (Hurricane Maria) and Mexico (earthquake) who are dealing with catastrophes and loss of human life… Please keep them in your hearts and prayers! <3
“A story is a kind of biopsy of human life. A story is both local, specific, small, and deep, in a kind of penetrating, layered, and revealing way.” Lorrie Moore
What do you see in the main photo? Take a closer look. The Street entertainer has a menagerie of animals that move/travel with him in various cages and containers. Before you ask, he is not selling them. His cats and birds are eager entertainers and if you had the pleasure to meet him on the streets of NY, you could, as my daughter assured me, ask to take a photo with him and/or his companions. He makes money that way and the animals play their acting roles perfectly … sometimes they appear medicated? tired? Only God knows, because we would have to know him to even begin to lift the layers around his lifestyle and find out what led him down that path. More later!
The other shots are of the Hudson River and its vicinity. I never tire of the Hudson River and love going back there again and again to take photos. I take pictures there whenever the mood grabs me, and I have shots from all times of the day; it still takes my breath away. We are all layered and our stories, if shared, help others get to know who we are behind the mask or the public face, right? Our lives are filled with layers and as we unfurl or unreel them like an onion, we reveal the sweetness and the resilient spirit within.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: – LAYERED – This week, let’s explore the interplay of texture and depth. This week, share with us a layered image of your own. The topic is wide open, as long as you focus on the interplay of depth, density, and texture (or just choose one of these elements if you’d like). Strata of clouds, a shirt collar peeking through a sweater, a cross-section of an onion: you can keep your interpretation as literal or as figurative as you wish. I look forward to exploring this topic through your photos!
Positive Motivation Tip: Explore your layered self and contemplate the sweetness and the resilient spirit within
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.