Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ghosts in the Field

A couple of years ago, I blogged about regrets I had about photos not taken. . . those images seared in my mind when I had thought. "I wish I had my camera . . ." or "I should come back tomorrow with my camera."  One of the images I was thinking about were scarecrows in the agricultural fields near where I live that bore a strong resemblance to Easter crosses.  There was a wooden frame, wrapped in white linen which flapped in the breeze. 
The image struck me because I write about the plight of farm workers in my "real" job as a law professor. I approach their plight as an issue of justice and human rights, with a religious/ethical undertone to my critique.  So, the cross imagery spoke to me in a very deep way. 
But, I never stopped to save the image, even though it was right around the corner from my house.  And it has bothered me ever since. 
Fast forward to this fall, and different scarecrows appeared in the same field.  These ones are different, but still speak to me.  
So, this year, I grabbed my camera and went and took the pictures.
I can imagine this one as the cover to the book I am writing on how we treat certain workers as not fully human. . . just like these scarecrows which resemble humans but are merely ghosts, doing their job without recognition.  Perhaps as the season goes on, the overalls will fray and the hats will blow away.  Perhaps the scarecrows will once again resemble Easter crosses.  If they do, then I promise myself I will grab my camera and go capture that image, too.  Because, today I learned an important lesson.  Sometimes you do get a second chance.

22 comments:

helena said...

a powerful metaphor for your work

Amy said...

Oh yes Helena, I agree. Pretty fabulous that you got a second chance with this photo Rinda - perfect for your book.

Malin/malwa said...

Love the photos and loooove the story!

Miriam said...

Rinda, this is a beautiful post and how wonderful to have your second chance. Is Ghosts in the field the title of your book?

Margot said...

Compelling writing and photograph, and what a good lesson to learn today!

Mary B said...

What a wonderful description you have found here and yes that photo would make an excellent book cover for what you are writing about.
So glad you got the second chance and do hope that the 'crosses' appear again later in the season

Jane said...

the perfect photo for your book, so glad you managed to capture it this time.

Cheri said...

Those scarecrows are rather creepy - I'm glad you had a second chance to photograph them.

heart.hearth.home. said...

Great analogy Rinda. So pleased you managed to get the pictures and wrote about them on your blog. There are so many injustices in the world that could perhaps benefit from such recognition. Irene

*jean* said...

an astute observation...i have had several scarecrows in my veg garden over the years...i appreciate your eye...and your work...my husband is a lawyer & PT prof and can't wait until he retires so he can begin some meaningful work...

Irene said...

Great lesson to be learned, I am so glad you got this second chance. This is a great photo for your book cover.

Beverly said...

What a symbolic image that would be on the cover. Possibly the first didn't happen so you would be attune to this opportunity.

Alison said...

That sounds like an interesting book Rinda..and these pics would indeed make a great cover!Alison xx

Elizabeth said...

I really like your reason for taking the scarecrow photos. There is too much inequality in the world right now. Sorry you missed taking the first photo you mentioned. I'll remember that when I see something interesting and hesitate to take a photo of it.

Karen said...

This is a wonderful post, and I'm happy to read about some of the work you do as a lawyer. The plight of farm workers is at the forefront of some of the mission work we do here in Western New York through our Presbytery. I've attended several meetings in the last year with powerful speakers.

laurie said...

what a great message: sometimes you do get a second chance. i think the likelihood increases when it is something that grows stronger in you as time goes by. we take for granted the food we eat, the hands that touch it. i'm sure your book will be an asset to the study of human labor and the respect it is due, but so often does not receive.

Sian said...

I love that thought of the second chance..

The scarecrows are haunting. Something about their outfits? I think they are going to be hard to forget. And that's a good thing.

Missus Wookie said...

Forced labour and exploiting those who are not able to defend themselves are things that concern me. Was delighted to see a Forced Labour UN:GIFT Box at Friends House during the Paralympics. Quakers do work on these subjects - like Karen I too have heard some harrowing speeches by powerful orators. And fascinating, uplifting ones too of changes being made etc.

So glad that you are doing such work.

Melissa said...

So glad you got a second chance for these photos. And I agree, these photos would make a great cover for your book!

Ginger said...

I have lots of photo regrets and I always think I will try again next time or year to capture what I have wanted to.

Your book sounds interesting :)

Jennifer Grace said...

Interesting story behind these photos, well done for capturing them on your 'second chance'. Every year I mean to do an autumn photo shoot with my kids in the leaves and then I always forget. I must remember this year. x

Gail said...

So glad you got your second chance. I found your story very thought provoking and yes that would make a wonderful cover photo for your book.