This photo will speak to different people in different ways. For some it will conjure up visions of the infant Jesus whom they say was born in a bail of straw 2008 years ago today. For others it will be a sweet reminder of the birth of their own children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and friends. For many of our world's people it will touch a deep sadness as they remember those they loved who are no longer. For parents-to-be it may fill them with anticipation and fear all mixed together. For those who wanted but never had children, it might bring forth an involuntary sigh. For others it will simply be a ho-hum picture that leaves them cold.
But for me, the photographer, this photo conjures up memories of a hot Labor Day weekend in Detroit when tens of thousands of adults and children gathered at Hart Plaza on the riverfront to listen to musicians blow, strum, pick, beat, sing and play their way around the jazz, blues, pop, Motown, Gospel and rock music we love. It makes me smile.
To all who see the Christ child in this photo I send wishes for a joyful celebration of Christmas. To those who recall the birth of loved ones, may your memories be sweet. To all who mourn, may you find peace and comfort. To those who are looking forward to the birth of a baby, may all go well. To those who regret not having had a child, may you discover and celebrate the generative energy you've manifested in your work and relationships. For those who find nothing in this photo, may some other photographer's image fill you with life. And to those who were with me at Detroit's International Jazz Festival in 2008, let us do whatever we can to insure that live music thrives in our city even as the recession hits us hard.